A US discount brokerage giant is partnering with Chinese technology company WeChat to court Asian investors
- TD Ameritrade on Monday launched a new chatbot for WeChat users who based in the US.
- The WeChat chatbot, similar to those on Facebook Messenger and Twitter, offers investment information, ranging from global market updates to volume spikes. It does not allow trading over the platform.
- The discount brokerage is trying to court more Asian investors.
Discount broker TD Ameritrade unveiled a chatbot for users of popular Chinese messaging app WeChat living in the US. It's the latest attempt by the discount brokerage to tap further into the massive user base of the largest social network in China.
TD had rolled out an initial partnership with WeChat in August, but made the service accessible only to investors in Hong Kong. The new launch allows the firm to offer the same services to WeChat users living in the US, a clientele it inherited from its $4 billion acquisition of Scottrade in 2017."When we did our acquisition of Scottrade, as part of that acquisition, we on-boarded a very robust and engaged client book of Asia Pacific clients in the U.S.," said Sunayna Tuteja, director of innovation and strategic partnership at TD Ameritrade. "They're very engaged on WeChat."
The firm's WeChat chatbot, similar to those it built via Facebook Messenger and Twitter, provides users with investment information, including market updates, company news, trading quotes, or volume spikes, though users can't trade on the platform.
The partnership with WeChat comes at a time when when TD Ameritrade is trying to grow its business in Asia. Earlier this year, TD Ameritrade opened a new office in Hong Kong and unveiled the "ThinkorSwim"platform to offer trading in stocks, options, and futures listed in the U.S. exchanges. In August, it rolled out an AI-powered chatbot for investors in Singapore, allowing them to trade via Facebook Messenger.
TD is aiming to enter into the mainland China market next, said Tuteja.
"We just want to be very deliberate and purposeful, so we are taking at some time to really learn and understand how we would structure that entry," she added.Founded by Tencent in 2011, WeChat is a fast-growing social and messaging platform in Asia. It dominates the Chinese market, but has also gained in popularity in other regions, like Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US. As of February, WeChat has hit 1 billion monthly active users across the globe, according to "Pony" Ma Huateng, Tencent's co-founder and chief executive officer.