9F transitions to brokerage firm to take on Robinhood and Charles Schwab

Rick Steves

9F is in the process of applying for brokerage and digital assets management licenses in countries such as Singapore and the United States.

9F Inc. has announced it is implementing a series of strategic changes aimed at converting the business from a personal credit technology provider to a blockchain-based securities brokerage company.

At the center of its offerings will be equity-based securities brokerage services and digital asset technology services, the firm stated.

Its wholly-owned licensed brokerage firm will leverage AI and blockchain to provide access to trading of securities and digital assets, with a primary focus on stocks traded on the U.S. and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

The brokerage operation is headquartered in Hong Kong and is supported by branch offices in Mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries.

Lei Liu, Executive Director and CEO of 9F Inc, commented: “The Company has been around for fifteen years since its inception and has experienced different economic cycles and crises. We have gained a profound understanding of the fact that during economic downturns, internet-based credit facilities increase the overall debt and risk level of society, putting pressure on and weighing down both investors and borrowers.

“The same holds true for loan facilitation businesses operating in collaboration with financial institutions, especially where direct and indirect guarantee arrangements also give rise to hidden long-term risks, into which we also have deep insights. As part of our strategic transformation, we have decided to shift our focus to provide brokerage services that also allow investors to trade digital securities using blockchain technology centered on equity securities and digital asset products.

“In doing so, we will be able to better respond to the policy call for deleveraging and stepping up investments in equity assets, as well as to resolve historical issues that are now behind us. The ownership of a licensed brokerage firm that has decades of operating experience, the first-mover advantage of our early deployment in Southeast Asian markets, the 113 million registered users that we have accumulated over time, the blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies that we have amassed, together with the innovation and execution capabilities of our experienced management team, have served and will continue to serve as the cornerstone of our transformation and in the process, will make us a cut above the rest”, CEO Liu added.

The aim is to make asset allocation on an international scale and wealth appreciation a possibility through licensed and rule-compliant trading of global assets (including digital assets), Raymond Chan, CEO of our subsidiary Ether Securities Hong Kong explained.

“We will incubate a novel ecosystem of ‘new consumption, new technology, new fortune’ around the consumer and technology sectors, to help younger generations grow their affluence from equity-based investments and to benefit directly from the rapid development of the global digital economy. This digital ecosystem will also connect global investors with investment opportunities that come with the vast potential of China’s new consumer economy and the appreciation of global digital assets.

“We benchmark ourselves against US-based Robinhood and Charles Schwab, and we are working on a series of upgrades to our securities app ‘Ether Benben'”, Chan added.

9F Inc. holds Type 1 (dealing in securities), Type 4 (advising on securities), Type 5 (advising on future contract) and Type 9 (asset management) Licenses under the Securities and Futures Ordinance in Hong Kong.

The firm offers brokerage, IPO underwriting and distribution, securities investment advisory, futures, public and private equity funds, and asset management services that cater to the U.S. and Hong Kong stock markets.

In addition, the Company is in the process of applying for brokerage and digital assets management licenses in other countries such as Singapore and the United States.

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