Robinhood, an app founded in 2013, gives the user the ability to make stock trades for free. There’s no minimum deposit and it’s quick and easy to use. After success in the U.S. they are trying their hands at outside the U.S., so, of course, that obviously means focusing its efforts on China…?
Robinhood – Ambitious At Best
Currently, Robinhood only allows you to make trades with stocks in the U.S., but its goal is to open up trading in each country’s domestic exchange. However, starting with China, a country that has banned the use of the majority of American apps, seems a little ambitious. It sounds more than just ambitious in fact, it sounds downright hopeful, especially when you remember that the American giants Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram (the list goes on) are all banned there.
Robinhood, however, expects that they will be successful in operating there. Whether that be through an official green light from the government or a smoke and mirrors affair, it’s still not certain how.
Whatever the method, the goal may be a long way off, since permissions to trade in Australia are still in talks after opening its wait list nearly a year ago. But with all this in the background, however, the foreground greets us with a Chinese version of the app, allowing Chinese-American citizens to presently trade U.S. stocks on American soil and in preparatin for a launch on Chinese soil.
Chinese Americans who sign up are presented with invite codes that they can send to friends and family (all 1.35 billion of them) back home in China, furthering complicating Robinhood’s aim to conquer the seemingly unconquerable China. This goal, however, may not only be unattainable due to the sheer number of people in China, but will be quashed if the country subjects a certain Tobin Tax on any foreign transactions, fearing any fluctuation of the yuan.
Stanford, Google, Snoop Dogg: All Household Names In China
Robinhood was started by two Stanford graduates who got their hands dirty in a few other startups. While most trading companies charge around $10 per trade, their ideology was to implement a stock trading tool that doesn’t charge a dime.
After government approval, Robinhood launched in 2014 and currently has many hundreds of thousands of users. Investors such as Slow Ventures, Index, NEA and Snoop Dogg, show that the company means business with its attitude to global domination. All of these names won’t mean squat in China, unfortunately, and even less so the name Stanford.
It’s a strange game plan from this company, the fortune cookie says “the greatest danger, could be your stupidity”