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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commission file number 001-38833

UP FINTECH HOLDING LIMITED

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

50 Raffles Place, #29-04 Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 048623

(Address of principal executive offices)

John Fei Zeng, Chief Financial Officer

18/F, Grandyvic Building, No. 1 Building,

No. 16 Taiyanggong Middle Road, Chaoyang District,

Beijing, 100020 PRC

Telephone: +86-10-56216660

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class:

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered:

Class A Ordinary Shares, par value
US$0.00001 per share

 

TIGR

 

Nasdaq Global Select Market

American Depositary Shares

 

TIGR

 

Nasdaq Global Select Market

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None

 

 


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Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

 

 

 

2,250,051,860 Class A ordinary shares were outstanding as of December 31, 2021

 

222,111,722 Class B ordinary shares were outstanding as of December 31, 2021

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

†The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP

International Financial Reporting
Standards as issued
by the International Accounting
Standards Board

Other

 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

Item 17 or Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes No

 

 

 


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

Presentation of Financial and Certain Other Information

3

 

CONVENTIONS WHICH APPLY TO THIS REPORT

4

 

Forward-Looking Statements

6

PART I

 

 

Item 3.

Key Information

8

Item 4.

Information on the Company

76

Item 5.

Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

106

Item 6.

Directors, Senior Management and Employees

122

Item 7.

Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions

131

Item 8.

Financial Information

134

Item 9.

The Offer and Listing

134

Item 10.

Additional Information

134

Item 11.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

141

Item 12.

Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities

143

Part II

 

 

Item 13.

Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies

145

Item 14.

Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds

145

Item 15.

Controls and Procedures

145

Item 16A.

Audit Committee Financial Expert

146

Item 16B.

Code of Ethics

146

Item 16C.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

146

Item 16D.

Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees

147

Item 16E.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

147

Item 16F.

Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant

147

Item 16G.

Corporate Governance

147

Item 16H.

Mine Safety Disclosure

148

Item 16I.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

148

Part III

 

149

Item 18.

Financial Statements

149

Item 19.

Exhibits

149

 

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements for the Years Ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021

F-1

 

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PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND CERTAIN OTHER INFORMATION

UP Fintech Holding Limited, together with its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company” or the “Group”), is a leading integrated financial technology platform providing cross-market, multi-product investment experience for investors around the world. In this annual report on Form 20-F, unless otherwise specified or the context otherwise indicates, all references to “UP Fintech Holding Limited” and the “Company” refer to the business and operations of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries.

This annual report on Form 20-F includes the consolidated financial statements of the Company for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (the “Consolidated Financial Statements”) prepared in accordance with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“US GAAP”) as issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

The financial statements are presented in U.S. dollars. All references to “U.S. dollars,” “US$,” “U.S. $” and “$” refer to the currency of the United States of America.

The language of this annual report on Form 20-F is English. Certain legislative references and technical terms have been cited in their original language so that the correct technical meaning may be ascribed to them under applicable law.

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CONVENTIONS WHICH APPLY TO THIS REPORT

Except where the context otherwise requires and for the purposes of this Annual Report on Form 20-F only, the following is a glossary of certain terms used throughout this report:

 

“China” or the “PRC” means the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this report only, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

 

“Chinese investors” refer to the Chinese speaking population around the globe.

 

“conversion rate” means the ratio of (i) the number of trading customers to (ii) the number of customer accounts.

 

“customer(s)” or “customer account(s)” means the registered users who have passed the Know-Your- Client (“KYC”) procedures and opened a trading account on our platform (including APP and website).

 

“customer(s) with deposits” means the customers who have deposited funds in their accounts on our platform.

 

“HK$” or “Hong Kong dollars” means the legal currency of Hong Kong.

 

“NZ$” or “New Zealand dollars” means the legal currency of New Zealand.

 

“the VIEs” means Beijing Xiangshang Rongke Technology Development Co., LTD, or Beijing Rongke, formerly known as Ningxia Xiangshang Rongke Technology Development Co., LTD or Ningxia Rongke, and Beijing Xiangshang Yiyi Laohu Technology Group Co., LTD, or Beijing Yiyi; “VIE” or “VIEs” means a variable interest entity or variable interest entities.

 

“our WFOEs” means Beijing Bohu Xiangshang Technology Co., Ltd., or Beijing Bohu, formerly known as Ningxia XiangShang Yixin Technology Co., Ltd or Ningxia Yixin and Beijing Xiangshang Yixin Technology Co., Ltd., or Beijing Yixin; “WFOE” or “WFOEs” means the wholly-foreign owned entity or wholly-foreign owned entities as provided in the relevant PRC laws and regulations.

 

“retention rate” means the ratio of (i) the number of trading customers in one period who continue to trade in the next period to (ii) the number of trading customers in the first period.

 

“RMB” or “Renminbi” means the legal currency of China.

 

“Singapore dollars” means the legal currency of Singapore.

 

“trading customer(s)” means the customers who have conducted at least one trading transaction on our platform.

 

“trading volume” means the total value of securities traded during a specific period of time.

 

“UP Fintech,” “we,” “us,” “our” and “our company” means UP Fintech Holding Limited, our Cayman Islands holding company and its subsidiaries, its consolidated VIEs and the subsidiaries of the VIEs.

 

“user(s)” or “registered user(s)” means those who have registered on our platform (including APP and website) but not necessarily have opened a trading account.

Unless otherwise noted, the translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Renminbi in this report were made at a rate of RMB6.3726 to US$1.0000, the exchange rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of

4

 


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the Federal Reserve Board on December 30, 2021 and the translations from Hong Kong dollars to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Hong Kong dollars in this report were made at a rate of HK$7.7996 to US$1.00, the exchange rate in effect as of December 30, 2021. We make no representation that Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this report could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.

 

5

 


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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of current or historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

You can identify these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “likely to” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

our goals and strategies;

 

our future business development, including the expansion of existing businesses and development of new businesses;

 

our plans for international expansion of our business;

 

our expectations and trends regarding our financial condition and results of operations;

 

expected changes in our sources and volume of revenues;

 

expected changes in our costs or expenditures, including those relating to regulatory compliance, personnel, development and sales of our products and services, arrangements with third parties, acquisitions, cost of funding, and litigation;

 

our relationships with third parties on whom portions of our business depend, including Interactive Brokers;

 

our expectations regarding the demand for and market acceptance of our services;

 

expected growth of our customers, including consolidated account customers;

 

competition in our industry;

 

the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

 

government statutes, policies and regulations relating to our industry and our company, including the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.

You should read this annual report and the documents referred to herein with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and worse than what we expect. Other sections of this report include additional factors which could adversely impact our business and financial performance, including those described under the heading “Risk Factors.” Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all the risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all the factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

6

 


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You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Projections, assumptions and estimates of our future performance and the future performance of the industry in which we operate are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risks due to a variety of factors, including those described in Item 3.D “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this annual report. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

7

 


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PART I

Item 3. Key Information

UP Fintech is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company with no material operations of its own, whose operations are conducted by its subsidiaries and through contractual arrangements with VIEs based in China. This structure involves unique risks to investors. We conduct our operations primarily through our Singapore subsidiaries, New Zealand subsidiaries, U.S. subsidiaries, Hong Kong subsidiaries and the VIEs and their respective subsidiaries in China. The VIEs structure is used to replicate foreign investment in Chinese-based companies where Chinese law prohibits direct foreign investment in the operating companies, and investors may never directly hold equity interests in the Chinese operating company. Chinese regulatory authorities could disallow this structure, which would likely result in a material change in our operations and/or value of our ADSs, including that it could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or become worthless. There is no assurance that the PRC government will not intervene or impose restrictions on the company’s ability to transfer cash to or from the holding company, the subsidiaries, the VIEs and investors. For more information about our operations, refer to “Item 3. Key Information – Certain Summary Financial Information Regarding the Company, Its Subsidiaries, and Consolidated VIEs.” Additionally, VIE agreements have not been tested in a court of law. For more information regarding these and other risks, refer to “Item 3. Key Information – Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure.”

A diagram of our corporate structure, reflecting our significant subsidiaries, the consolidated VIEs, and subsidiaries of the VIEs, is set forth below.

8

 


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On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determinations that it is unable to inspect or investigate PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and in Hong Kong because of positions taken by PRC authorities in those jurisdictions. Our independent registered public accounting firm is subject to the determinations announced by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021. Under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, our ADSs could be prohibited from trading on U.S. securities exchanges, including The Nasdaq Stock Market, and in the U.S. over-the-counter market, which will limit the liquidity of our ADSs and our access to U.S. capital markets. Additionally, in the event that the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act becomes the law, it will reduce the time period before our ADSs could be delisted from the exchange and prohibited from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. to as early as 2023. For more information about these risks, see the risk factor below under the heading “We may be subject to consequences pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and related regulations, including the potential for our ADSs to be prohibited from trading on U.S. securities exchanges, including The Nasdaq Stock Market, and in the U.S. over-the-counter market, which will limit the liquidity of our ADSs and our access to U.S. capital markets.”

We are subject to multiple risks arising from our corporate structure, including our status as a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands that conducts a portion of our business through China-based VIEs with which we have only contractual relationships and in which we do not own an equity interest, and our operations in China, including potential actions or decisions by PRC or U.S. regulatory authorities restricting or affecting our business activities in the PRC or our access to U.S. capital markets. Certain of these risks, as well as other information relating to our corporate structure and operations in China, are highlighted in this section. This information should be considered in conjunction with the other risks described below under “Risk Factors,” and the information set forth under the heading “Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure” is incorporated by reference in “Item 3. Key Information – D. Risk Factors.”

Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure

Shareholders may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through the U.S. courts may be limited, because we are registered under Cayman Islands law.

We are an exempted company limited by shares incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum of association and articles of association, the Companies Act of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedents in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have the standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.

Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like ours have no general rights under the Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors have the discretion under our fourth amended and restated articles of association to determine such times and such days that our register and branch register of members, as the case may be, shall be open to inspection by our shareholders or other persons. This may make it more difficult for shareholders to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the United States. We rely on home country practice with respect to

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certain corporate governance matters. Our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would have under rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.

As a result of all of the above, public shareholders may have more difficulties in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by the management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would have as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.

If the agreements that establish the structure for operating some of our activities in China do not comply with PRC regulations, if we fail to obtain all required permissions and approvals required by Chinese regulatory authorities, or if these regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.

Our WFOEs have entered into a series of contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their respective shareholders, respectively, which enable us to (i) exercise effective control over the VIEs, and (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits of the VIEs. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we have control over and are the primary beneficiary of the VIEs and hence consolidate their financial results into our consolidated financial statements under U.S. GAAP. See Item 4 “Information on the Company” for further details.

To our knowledge, we believe that (i) the ownership structures of the VIEs in China and our WFOEs, comply with all existing PRC laws and regulations; (ii) the contractual arrangements between our WFOEs, the VIEs and their respective shareholders governed by PRC law are valid, binding and enforceable, and in compliance with PRC laws or regulations currently in effect; and (iii) except as disclosed under the risk factor headed “We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in the PRC regulations of Internet-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite licenses, permits or approvals applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations”, our PRC subsidiaries and the VIEs have received all permissions or approvals that we believe are required and necessary to conduct our business operations within the PRC in all material aspects. However, there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of the existing and future PRC laws, regulations and rules. Accordingly, the PRC regulatory authorities may take a view that is not consistent with the opinion of the Company and our PRC legal counsel. It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. If we or any of the VIEs are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits or approvals, or inadvertently conclude that such permissions or approvals are not required, or if applicable laws, regulations, or interpretations change and we are required to obtain such permissions or approvals in the future but are unable or fail to do so, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion to take action in dealing with such violations or failures, including:

 

revoking the business licenses and/or any permits held by such entities;

 

discontinuing or placing restrictions or onerous conditions on our activities through any transactions between our WFOEs and the VIEs;

 

imposing fines, confiscating the income from our WFOEs or the VIEs, or imposing other requirements with which we or the VIEs may not be able to comply;

 

requiring us to restructure our ownership structure or activities, including terminating the contractual arrangements with the VIEs and deregistering the equity pledges of the VIEs, which in turn would affect our ability to consolidate, derive economic benefits from, or exert effective control over the VIEs; or

 

restricting or prohibiting our use of the proceeds of our initial public offering and concurrent private placement to finance our business and activities in China.

The imposition of any of these penalties would result in a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business. In addition, it is unclear what impact the PRC government actions would have on us and on our ability to consolidate the financial results of the VIEs in our consolidated financial statements, if the PRC government authorities were to find our legal structure and contractual arrangements to be in violation of PRC laws and regulations. If the imposition of any of these government actions causes us to lose our right to direct the activities of the VIEs and we are not able to restructure our ownership structure and operations in a satisfactory manner, or any

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other significant penalties imposed on us in this event, there would have a material adverse effect on our activities in China, and our ability to conduct our business may be negatively affected. This could have a material adverse effect on the market price of our ADSs.

Uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the newly enacted Foreign Investment Law of the PRC and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

On March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress adopted the Foreign Investment Law of the PRC, or the FIL, which became effective on January 1, 2020 and replaced the Wholly Foreign-Invested Enterprise Law of the PRC, the Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Enterprise Law of the PRC and the Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Venture Enterprise Law of the PRC, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations. On December 26, 2019, the State Council published the Implementation Rules of the Foreign Investment Law, or the FIL Implementation Rules, which took effect on January 1, 2020.

The FIL embodies an expected PRC regulatory trend to rationalize its foreign investment regulatory regime in line with prevailing international practice and the legislative efforts to unify the corporate legal requirements for both foreign and domestic investments. However, since it is relatively new, uncertainties still exist in relation to its interpretation and implementation. For example, the FIL removes all references to the terms of “de facto control” or “contractual control” as defined in the draft published in 2015 by the Ministry of Commerce, or the MOFCOM, and adds a catch-all clause to the definition of “foreign investment” so that foreign investment, by its definition, includes “investments made by foreign investors in China through other means defined by other laws or administrative regulations or provisions promulgated by the State Council” without further elaboration on the meaning of “other means.” The FIL Implementation Rules also remain silent on contractual arrangements. It leaves leeway for the future legislations promulgated by the State Council to provide for contractual arrangements as a form of foreign investment. We currently use contractual arrangements to operate certain businesses, including the consolidated VIEs, in which foreign investors are prohibited or restricted from investing. It is uncertain whether our corporate structure, including our existing VIE structures, will be seen as violating the foreign investment rules.

In addition, the FIL grants national treatment to foreign invested entities, except for those foreign invested entities that operate in industries deemed to be either “restricted” or “prohibited” in the “negative list”. The current Special Administrative Measures for Market Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) (2021 Edition) was issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, or the NDRC, and the MOFCOM on December 27, 2021 and became effective on January 1, 2022. Furthermore, on December 19, 2020, the NDRC and the MOFCOM jointly issued the Measures for Security Review of Foreign Investment, effective on January 18, 2021, which provides detailed guidance regarding security review of foreign investment that has a potential impact on national security. However, there remain a number of unclear issues under the Measures, including but not limited to its view towards contractual arrangements, including VIE arrangements. As the Measures was only recently issued, there are very few interpretations, implementation guidance or precedents to follow in practice. If future legislations prescribed by the State Council mandate further actions to be taken by companies with respect to existing contractual arrangement, we may face substantial uncertainties as to whether we can complete such actions in a timely manner, or at all. Failure to take timely and appropriate measures to comply with any of these or similar regulatory compliance requirements could materially and adversely affect our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

We rely on contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their respective shareholders for a large portion of our business operations, which may not be as effective as equity ownership in providing operational control, and which we may not be able to enforce in a court of law.

We are a holding company with no material operations of our own. We conduct our operations primarily through our Singapore subsidiaries, New Zealand subsidiaries, U.S. subsidiaries, Hong Kong subsidiaries and the VIEs and their respective subsidiaries in China. We have relied and expect to continue to rely on contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their respective shareholders to conduct certain of our key supporting functions. Additionally, the VIEs were responsible for generating approximately 1.6% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2021.The VIEs are consolidated for accounting purposes, but we do not have and may never have an equity interest in the VIEs. These contractual arrangements are used to provide investors with exposure to foreign investment in

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China-based companies where Chinese law prohibits direct foreign investment in the operating companies and may not be as effective as equity ownership in providing us with control over the VIEs. For example, the VIEs and their respective shareholders could breach their contractual arrangements with us by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests. Our contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their respective shareholders are described in detail below under the heading “Item 3. Key Information — Contractual Arrangements with the VIEs and Their Respective Shareholders.”

If we had equity ownership of the VIEs, we would be able to exercise our rights as a shareholder to effect changes in the board of directors of the VIEs, which in turn could implement changes, subject to any applicable fiduciary obligations, at the management and operational level. However, under the current contractual arrangements, we rely on the performance by the VIEs and their respective shareholders of their obligations under the contracts to exercise control over the VIEs. The shareholders of the consolidated VIEs may not act in the best interests of our company or may not perform their obligations under these contracts. Such risks exist throughout the period in which we intend to operate certain portions of our business through the contractual arrangements with the VIEs. If any disputes relating to these contracts remain unresolved, we will have to enforce our rights under these contracts through the operations of PRC law and arbitration, litigation and other legal proceedings and therefore will be subject to uncertainties in the PRC legal system. See “—Any failure by the VIEs or their shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material and adverse effect on our business.” Therefore, our contractual arrangements with the VIEs may not be as effective in ensuring our control over the relevant portion of our business operations as equity ownership would be.

Our PRC legal counsel has advised us that there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations and rules, including those governing VIE arrangements. Additionally, the VIEs contractual arrangements have not been tested in a Chinese court of law. Accordingly, the PRC regulatory authorities may take a view that is contrary to the opinion of our PRC legal counsel. It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. If we or any of the VIEs are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, or fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits or approvals, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion to take action in dealing with such violations or failures. Additionally, Chinese regulatory authorities could disallow this structure, which would likely result in a material change in our operations and/or a material change in the value of our securities, including that it could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or become worthless.

Any failure by the VIEs or their shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material and adverse effect on our business.

We refer to the shareholders of each of the VIEs as its nominee shareholders because although they remain the holders of equity interests on record in each of the VIEs, pursuant to the terms of the relevant power of attorney, each such shareholder has irrevocably authorized the relevant WFOE to exercise his, her or its rights as a shareholder of the relevant VIE. Additionally, our WFOEs have the sole discretion to receive from the relevant VIE an annual service fee and will make discretionary determinations on whether to collect services fees and on the amount of fees to be collected in future years. To the extent that our WFOEs do not choose to charge service fees to the VIEs, we will not have any contractual rights to collect funds from the VIEs that would be legally enforceable upon liquidation or sale of the VIEs. Under such circumstances, our investors would not derive any benefit from the operation of, or our contractual arrangements with, the VIEs. Furthermore, if the VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under the contractual arrangements, we may have to incur substantial costs and expend additional resources to enforce such arrangements. We may also have to rely on legal remedies under the PRC law, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages, which we cannot assure will be effective under the PRC law. For example, if the shareholders of the VIEs refuse to transfer their equity interests in the VIEs to us or our designee if we exercise the purchase option pursuant to these contractual arrangements, or if they otherwise act in bad faith towards us, then we may have to take legal actions to compel them to perform their contractual obligations.

All of the agreements under our contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in China. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC law and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. There are substantial

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uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations and rules regarding the status of the rights of our Cayman Islands holding company with respect to its contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their shareholders. It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. Additionally, the legal system in the PRC is not as developed as in some other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. See “— Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure – The legal system of the PRC is not fully developed and there are inherent uncertainties that may affect the protection afforded to us.” Meanwhile, there are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a VIE should be interpreted or enforced under the PRC law. There remain significant uncertainties regarding the ultimate outcome of such arbitration. In addition, under the PRC law, rulings by arbitrators are final, parties cannot appeal the arbitration results in courts, and if the losing parties fail to carry out the arbitration awards within a prescribed time limit, the prevailing parties may only enforce the arbitration awards in PRC courts through arbitration award recognition and enforcement proceedings, which would require additional expenses and delay. In the event we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant delays or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, we may not be able to exert effective control over the VIEs, and our ability to conduct our business may be negatively affected.

The shareholders of the VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect our business.

The shareholders of the VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us. These shareholders may breach, or cause the VIEs to breach, or refuse to renew, the existing contractual arrangements we have with them and the VIEs, which would have a material and adverse effect on our ability to effectively control the VIEs and receive economic benefits from them. For example, the shareholders may be able to cause our agreements with the VIEs to be performed in a manner adverse to us by, among other things, failing to remit payments due under the contractual arrangements to us in a timely manner. We cannot assure you that when conflicts of interest arise any or all of these shareholders will act in the best interests of our company or such conflicts will be resolved in our favor. Currently, we do not have any arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest between these shareholders and our company. If we cannot resolve any conflict of interest or dispute between us and these shareholders, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in disruption of our business and subject us to substantial uncertainties as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

Contractual arrangements in relation to the VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that we or our PRC VIEs owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect our financial condition and the value of your investment.

Under applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities. We could face material and adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that the VIE contractual arrangements were not entered into on an arm’s length basis in such a way as to result in an impermissible reduction in taxes under applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations, and adjust the income of the VIEs in the form of a transfer pricing adjustment. A transfer pricing adjustment could, among other things, result in a reduction of expense deductions recorded by the VIEs for PRC tax purposes, which could in turn increase their liabilities without reducing our WFOEs’ tax expenses. In addition, the PRC tax authorities may impose late payment fees and other penalties on the VIEs for the adjusted but unpaid taxes according to the applicable regulations. Our financial position could be materially and adversely affected if the VIEs’ tax liabilities increase or if it is required to pay late payment fees and other penalties.

We may lose the ability to use and enjoy assets held by the VIEs that are material to the operation of certain portions of our business if the VIEs go bankrupt or become subject to a dissolution or liquidation proceeding.

As part of our contractual arrangements with the VIEs, the VIEs and their subsidiaries hold certain assets that are material to the operation of certain portion of our business, including intellectual properties. If the VIEs go bankrupt and all or part of its assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, we may be unable to continue some or all of our business activities, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Under the contractual arrangements, the VIEs may not, in any manner, sell, transfer,

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mortgage or dispose of their assets or legal or beneficial interests in the business without our prior consent. If the VIEs undergo a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, independent third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of these assets, thereby hindering our ability to operate our business, which could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The PRC government may intervene or impose restrictions on our ability to transfer cash to or from the holding company, the subsidiaries, the VIEs and investors.

A majority of our revenues were generated from our wholly owned subsidiaries in New Zealand, Singapore and the United States for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Most of the consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries operate business in the PRC and their main functions are to support our licensed/registered entities in New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States, etc. (“Licensed Entities”). Certain of the costs generated by VIEs and their subsidiaries are covered by these Licensed Entities through inter-company transactions, and we expect that the Licensed Entities will cover a substantial majority of such costs in the future. In general, the holding company transfers funds from financing (including funds from its IPO, follow-on equity offerings, and offerings of convertible bonds, as applicable) to Licensed Entities in the form of capital injections or loans to support their business expansion. These Licensed Entities pay the consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries periodically for the services rendered through inter-company transactions, pursuant to the terms of the contractual arrangements between them. To date, we have not experienced difficulty in transferring cash to or from the holding company, the subsidiaries, the VIEs, and investors. However, there is no assurance that the PRC government will not intervene or impose restrictions on our ability to transfer cash in the future.

If we fail to protect customer data and privacy, our reputation, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.

We are dependent on information technology networks and systems to securely process, transmit and store electronic information and to communicate among our locations and with our customers and partners. Due to the volume and sensitivity of the personal information and customer data we manage and the nature of our brokerage services and ESOP management services, the security features of our platform and information systems are critical.

We have adopted security policies and measures, including encryption technology, to protect our proprietary data and customer’s privacy. All customer and transaction data are saved in our own database and operating systems. Only database administrators with the proper authorization have access to the database. In addition, all employees should sign non-disclosure agreements when they join and leave our company. However, we cannot guarantee our employees will not breach the non-disclosure agreements in the future. Further, as the breadth and complexity of the infrastructure of our platform continues to grow, the potential risk of system breakdown or function failure increases and it is the same for the potential risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks such as viruses, malware or phishing attempts by cyber criminals or other wrongdoers seeking to steal our customer’s data for financial gain or to harm our business operations or reputation. Further, if any person, including any of our employees, negligently disregards or intentionally breaches our established controls with respect to customer data, or otherwise mismanages or misappropriates that data, we could be subject to significant monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines or even criminal prosecution in one or more jurisdictions. Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential customer data, whether through system failure, employee negligence, fraud or misappropriation, could damage our reputation and cause us to lose customers. Cyber-attacks could also adversely affect our operating results, consume internal resources, and result in litigation or potential liabilities for us and otherwise harm our business. We have received several complaints from our customers regarding the leakage of their personal information. Although we have conducted investigation on such leakage, we cannot guarantee that there will not be other similar incidents and complaints. Further, our security management programs are reviewed annually, and therefore, we cannot ensure that such programs will be updated promptly.

In addition, by virtue of third party channels, our corporate customers utilize our technology to serve their own customers. Consequently, any leak or abuse of customer data by our third party channels may be perceived by the customers as a result of our failure to protect the customer data and privacy. Any failure or perceived failure by us to prevent information security breaches or to comply with privacy policies or privacy-related legal obligations, or any compromise of security that results in the unauthorized release or transfer of personally identifiable information or other customer data, could cause our customers to lose trust in us and could expose us to legal claims.

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A growing number of legislative and regulatory bodies have adopted consumer notification requirements in the event of unauthorized access to or acquisition of certain types of personal data. Such breach notification laws continue to evolve and may be inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another, which might become a particular concern as we accelerate our international expansion. For information regarding risks relating to privacy and data security laws to which we are subject in China, see “– We may be subject to regulatory compliance costs and enforcement activity relating to Chinese privacy and data security laws.”

In addition, laws and regulations in certain jurisdictions impose specific regulatory requirements on cross border transmission of important personal data. We are subject to domestic and international laws relating to the collection, use, retention, security and transfer of personally identifiable information among us and our international subsidiaries. Non-compliance could result in significant penalties or legal liability. Foreign data protection, privacy, and other laws and regulations can impose different obligations or be more restrictive that those in mainland China. Regulatory authorities around the world are considering a number of legislative and regulatory proposals concerning data protection. Also, the interpretation and application of consumer and data protection laws in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere are often uncertain. It is possible that these laws may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our data practices. These legislative and regulatory proposals, if adopted, and such interpretations could, in addition to the possibility of fines, result in an order requiring that we change our data practices, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into application in the European Union (EU) on May 25, 2018, applies to all of our activities conducted from an establishment in the EU or related to products and services that we offer to EU users. The GDPR created a range of new compliance obligations, which could cause us to change our business practices, and significantly increased financial penalties for non-compliance.

We cannot assure that the measures we currently adopt to assess the personal data security could satisfy the requirements of the relevant governmental authorities or any future measures when published. Further, to comply with those obligations will incur substantial costs and could increase negative publicity surrounding any incident that compromises user data. Although we have made substantial efforts to ensure our compliance with the applicable privacy regulations in various jurisdictions, we may not be capable of adjusting our internal policies in a timely manner and any failure to comply with applicable regulations could also result in regulatory enforcement actions against us.

We may be subject to regulatory compliance costs and enforcement activity relating to Chinese privacy and data security laws.

In China, the government is still ramping up regulations with regard to personal information protection. On October 1, 2020, the Information Security Technology - Personal Information Security Specification (GB/T 35273-2020) (“2020 Specification”) took effect. Although the 2020 Specification is a recommended guideline, and it is not enforceable by law, the authority will use this standard to evaluate our compliance with China’s legal guidelines and regulations regarding personal information protection. Besides, Personal Information Protection Law drafted by SCNPC became the most relevant law in China regarding personal information protection on November 1, 2021. The Personal Information Protection Law provides serve punishment for those who violates regulations when processing personal information. For details of the relevant PRC Laws, please refer to the section “Regulations on Privacy Protection” below.

In addition, the Cyber Security Law of the PRC, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, or the SCNPC and became effective on June 1, 2017, requires operators of key information infrastructures, which include, among others, public communications and information service and financial industry and other important industries and fields, shall store personal information and important data gathered and produced during operations in China within the territory of China. Where such information and data need to be transmitted overseas based on commercial demand, a security assessment shall be conducted in accordance with the measures formulated by the national cyberspace administration authority in concert with the relevant departments under the State Council. However, there are no detailed measures published on how such security assessment shall be conducted. Although all of the data centers used for our brokerage service are located overseas, we have several servers located in China to provide user community support and market information. We might need to transmit certain personal data between different locations, and since such data are used for financial services, we might be subject to security assessment requirements as set forth in the Cyber Security Law of the PRC.

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We cannot assure that the measures we currently adopt to assess the personal data security could satisfy the requirements of the relevant governmental authorities in China or any future measures when published. Further, to comply with those obligations will incur substantial costs and could increase negative publicity surrounding any incident that compromises user data. Although we have made substantial efforts to ensure our compliance with the applicable privacy regulations in various jurisdictions, we may not be capable of adjusting our internal policies in a timely manner and any failure to comply with applicable regulations could also result in regulatory enforcement actions against us. For more information regarding risks relating to privacy and data security regulations affecting our business and operations, see “– If we fail to protect customer data and privacy, our reputation, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.”

We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in the PRC regulations of Internet-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite licenses, permits or approvals applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

The PRC government extensively regulates the Internet industry, including foreign ownership of, and the licensing and permit requirements pertaining to, companies in the internet industry. These Internet-related laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving, and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. As a result, in certain circumstances it may be difficult to determine what actions or omissions may be deemed to be in violation of applicable laws and regulations.

We only have contractual control over the entities that provide Internet information provision services in China. We do not own such entities due to the restriction of foreign investment in businesses providing value-added telecommunication services in China, including Internet information provision services. This may significantly disrupt our business, subject us to sanctions, compromise enforceability of related contractual arrangements, or have other harmful effects on us.

The evolving PRC regulatory system for the Internet industry may lead to the establishment of new regulatory agencies. For example, in May 2011, the State Council announced the establishment of a new department, the Cyberspace Administration of China, or the CAC, with the involvement of the State Council Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or the MIIT, and the Ministry of Public Security. The primary role of this new agency is to facilitate the policy-making and legislative development in this field, to direct and coordinate with the relevant departments in connection with online content administration and to deal with cross-ministry regulatory matters in relation to the Internet industry. In practice, PRC regulators, including the CAC, have been increasingly focused on regulation in the areas of data security and data protection, and are enhancing the protection of privacy and data security by rule-making and enforcement actions at central and local levels. We expect that these areas will receive greater and continued attention and scrutiny from regulators and the public going forward, which could increase our compliance costs and subject us to heightened risks and challenges associated with data security and protection.

Considering our business arrangement and development plan, we have set up another set of VIE structures and intend the new VIE or its subsidiaries to apply for or hold the value-added telecommunications business license(s) as soon as practical to conduct value-added telecommunications business such as Internet information services. See “Item 3. Key Information – Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business.” We cannot guarantee that our new VIE, Beijing Yiyi or its subsidiary, will continue or maintain such value-added telecommunications business license due to uncertainties from PRC governmental authorities.

Beijing Yiyi’s subsidiary, Beijing U-Tiger Network Technology Co., LTD, holds the License for Production and Operation of Radio and TV Programs issued on September 2, 2020, and the value-added telecommunications business license issued on June 16. 2021. Beijing Yiyi’s subsidiary, Beijing Huyi Technology Co., LTD, holds the License for Production and Operation of Radio and TV Programs issued on May 10, 2021, and the value-added telecommunications business license issued on September 4, 2019. Beijing Yiyi’s subsidiary, Beijing Zhi Jian Feng Yi Information Technology Co., LTD, holds the License for Production and Operation of Radio and TV Programs issued on June 22, 2021, the value-added telecommunications business license issued on July 29, 2021, the Publication business license issued on June 30, 2021, and the Online Culture Operating Permit issued on September 9, 2021.

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In addition, our provision of certain services online may subject us to license requirements in China. For instance, we provide some recorded videos as a way of customer education and occasionally launch other audio-video contents on our platform and our community, which may result in audio-video license requirements from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, or MCT, National Radio and Television Administration, Cyberspace Administration of China, or their provincial level branches. The Internet Audio-Video Program Services Regulations only allow state-owned or state-controlled enterprises to apply for certain licenses, which means that we may not be able to obtain all required licenses. We also provide some digital works on our website and APP, which may require online publishing service license issued by the National Radio and Television Administration, or the NRTA, or its provincial level branches. In addition, we reprint some articles related to the stock market on our website and APP, and therefore may be subject to permit and approval requirements from the State Council Information Office. Furthermore, we also need to strictly follow the requirements applicable to online content providers set forth by the relevant regulatory authorities, especially for financial information. See “– We are subject to numerous regulations in the PRC, and compliance with these regulations may result in costs, expenses, regulatory enforcement action, and reputational harm that may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations” and “— Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business.” Failure to comply with these license or other requirements may subject us to penalties, which may adversely affect our business operations and reputation.

The interpretation and application of the existing PRC laws, regulations and policies and possible new laws, regulations or policies relating to the Internet industry have created substantial uncertainties regarding the legality of the existing and future foreign investments in, and the businesses and activities of, Internet businesses in China, including our business. We cannot assure you that we have obtained all the permits or licenses related to our Internet related business in China that might be required for conducting our supporting functions in China or will be able to maintain our existing licenses or obtain new ones. In the event that the PRC government considers that we were operating without the proper approvals, licenses or permits, promulgates new laws and regulations that require additional approvals or licenses, or imposes additional restrictions on the operation of any part of our business, it has the power, among other things, to bring enforcement action against us, levy fines, confiscate our income, revoke our business licenses, and require us to discontinue our relevant business or impose restrictions on the affected portion of our business. Any of these actions by the PRC government may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

The audit reports included in this annual report have been prepared by our independent registered public accounting firms whose work are not currently inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

Our independent registered public accounting firms that issues the audit reports included in our annual reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and firms registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), or the PCAOB, is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess its compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards.

Because we have substantial operations within the PRC and the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections of the work of our independent registered public accounting firm as it relates to those operations without the approval of the Chinese authorities, our independent registered public accounting firms are not currently inspected fully by the PCAOB. This lack of PCAOB inspections in the PRC prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating our independent registered public accounting firm’s audits and its quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

On May 24, 2013, PCAOB announced that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Enforcement Cooperation with the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, and the Ministry of Finance which establishes a cooperative framework between the parties for the production and exchange of audit documents relevant to investigations in the United States and China. On inspection, it appears that the PCAOB continues to be in discussions with the Mainland China regulators to permit inspections of audit firms that are registered with PCAOB in relation to the audit of Chinese companies that trade on U.S. exchanges. On December 7, 2018, the SEC and the PCAOB issued a joint statement highlighting continued challenges faced by the U.S. regulators in their oversight of financial statement audits of U.S.-listed companies with significant operations in China. The joint statement reflects a heightened interest in this issue. On April 21, 2020, the SEC and the PCAOB issued another

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joint statement reiterating the PCAOB’s inability to inspect audit work paper and practices of registered accounting firms in China, with respect to their audit work of U.S. reporting companies. In November 2020, the SEC and the PCAOB issued a third such statement and the SEC staff released disclosure guidance for China-based issuers. However, it remains unclear what further actions the SEC and PCAOB will take and what the impact of any such future actions on Chinese companies listed in the United States will be.

Inspections of other firms that the PCAOB has conducted outside the PRC have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. The inability of the PCAOB to conduct full inspections of auditors in the PRC makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside the PRC that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements.

We may be subject to consequences pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and related regulations, including the potential for our ADSs to be prohibited from trading on U.S. securities exchanges, including The Nasdaq Stock Market, and in the U.S. over-the-counter market, which will limit the liquidity of our ADSs and our access to U.S. capital markets.

The PCAOB’s inability to inspect in full the work of our independent registered public accounting firms may result in regulatory negative consequences pursuant to U.S. law.  On December 18, 2020, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (the “HFCAA”) was signed into law. The HFCAA requires the SEC to prohibit the securities of any “covered issuer,” including the Company, from being traded on any of the U.S. securities exchanges, including The Nasdaq Stock Market, or traded “over-the-counter,” if the auditor of the covered issuer’s financial statements is not subject to PCAOB inspection for three consecutive years.  On December 2, 2021, the SEC adopted final rules, including amendments to Form 20-F, to implement the HFCAA. These rules became effective January 10, 2022 and establish procedures the SEC will follow in determining whether a registrant is a “Commission-Identified Issuer” (as defined in the final rule). Consistent with the HFCAA, these amendments require the submission of documentation to the SEC establishing that a “Commission-Identified Issuer” is not owned or controlled by a governmental entity in that foreign jurisdiction and also require disclosure in a foreign issuer’s annual report regarding the audit arrangements of, and governmental influence on, such registrant, including any consolidated VIEs or other similar structures. We will be required to comply with these rules beginning with our annual report for the year ending December 31, 2022 if the SEC identifies us as a “Commission-Identified Issuer” in 2022. In the event that the PCAOB is unable to conduct full inspections in China or review audit documentation located within China for three consecutive years, which is subject to a variety of factors outside our control including the approval of Chinese authorities, our ADSs will be prohibited from trading on U.S. securities exchanges, including The Nasdaq Stock Market, and in the U.S. over-the-counter market, which will limit the liquidity of our ADSs and our access to U.S. capital markets.

On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a bill known as the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, to amend Section 104(i) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (15 U.S.C. 7214(i)) to prohibit securities of any registrant from being listed on any of the U.S. securities exchanges or traded over-the-counter if the auditor of the registrant’s financial statements is not subject to PCAOB inspection for two consecutive years, instead of three consecutive years as currently enacted in the HFCAA.  On February 4, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Competes Act of 2022 which includes the same amendments as the bill passed by the Senate. The America Competes Act however includes a broader range of legislation not related to the HFCAA in response to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act passed by the Senate in 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate will need to agree on amendments to these respective bills to align the legislation and pass their amended bills before the U.S. President can sign into law. It is unclear when the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will resolve the differences in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the America Competes Act of 2022 bills currently passed, or when and if the U.S. President will sign on the bill to make the amendment into law. In the event that the bill becomes the law, it will reduce the time period before our ADSs could be delisted from the exchange and prohibited from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. to as early as 2023.

On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determinations that it is unable to inspect or investigate PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and in Hong Kong because of

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positions taken by PRC authorities in those jurisdictions. Our independent registered public accounting firm is subject to the determinations announced by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021.

The HFCAA, related SEC and PCAOB rules, and any additional rulemaking efforts to increase U.S. regulatory access to audit information in China, could cause investor uncertainty for affected companies, including us, and the market price of our ADSs could be materially adversely affected.

We are subject to numerous regulations in the PRC, and compliance with these regulations may result in costs, expenses, regulatory enforcement action, and reputational harm that may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

We are subject to numerous regulations in the PRC, including those described in detail below under “Item 3. Key Information – Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business. These regulatory requirements are evolving, and new regulatory requirements affecting us may be adopted. Compliance with these regulations involves costs, fees, and expenses, as well as time and attention from our leadership team. Additionally, if we fail to comply in full with applicable regulations, we may be subject to government enforcement action, which may be costly, impose operational burdens on us, and cause us reputational harm, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

The legal system of the PRC is not fully developed and there are uncertainties that may affect the protection afforded to us.

Our business and activities in China are governed by the PRC laws and regulations. The PRC legal system is generally based on written statutes. Prior court decisions may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value. Since 1979, PRC legislation and regulations have significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various industries in China. However, as these laws and regulations are relatively new and continue to evolve, interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve significant uncertainties and different degrees of inconsistency. Some of the laws and regulations are still in the developmental stage and are therefore subject to policy changes. Many laws, regulations, policies and legal requirements have only been recently adopted by PRC central or local government agencies, and their implementation, interpretation and enforcement may involve uncertainty due to the lack of established practice available for reference. We cannot predict the effect of future legal developments in China, including the promulgation of new laws, changes in existing laws or their interpretation or enforcement, or the preemption of local regulations by national laws. For example, the PRC government has recently published new policies that significantly affected certain industries such as the education and internet industries, and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the future release regulations or policies regarding our industry that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. As a result, there are substantial uncertainties as to the legal protections available to us. Furthermore, due to the limited volume of published cases and the non-binding nature of prior court decisions, the outcome of the dispute resolution may not be as consistent or predictable as in other more developed jurisdictions, which may limit the legal protection available to us. For example, the Securities Law most recently amended in December 2019 and effective on March 1, 2020, stipulated that the offering and trading of securities outside the People’s Republic of China which disrupt the domestic market order of the People’s Republic of China and harm the legitimate rights and interests of domestic investors shall be dealt with pursuant to the relevant provisions of this Securities Law, and legal liability shall be pursued.

The PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, and it has recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over overseas securities offerings and other capital markets activities and foreign investment in China-based companies.

As a result of its significant oversight authority into businesses operating in the PRC, the PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time. Uncertainties regarding the enforcement of laws and the fact that rules and regulations in the PRC can change quickly with little advance notice, along with the risk that the PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations, access to the capital markets, and the market value of our ADSs.

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Furthermore, on July 6, 2021, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued Several Opinions Concerning Lawfully and Strictly Cracking Down Illegal Securities Activities. These opinions call for strengthened regulation over illegal securities activities and supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies like us, and propose to take effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies. As a follow-up, on December 24, 2021, the State Council issued a draft of the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, or the Draft Provisions, and the CSRC issued a draft of Administration Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, or the Draft Administration Measures, for public comments. As of the date of this annual report, the period for public comment on these draft regulations has ended while no official rules are issued. There are uncertainties as to whether the Draft Provisions and the Draft Administration Measures would be further amended, revised or updated. Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable and final content of the Draft Provisions and the Draft Administration Measures. Additional oversight or regulation of this nature could have a material adverse effect on our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and could have a material adverse effect on the market price of our ADSs. For more details, please refer to “Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business - Regulations Relating to Overseas Offerings”.

PRC regulation of loans and direct investment by offshore holding companies to PRC entities may delay or prevent us from using proceeds we received from our initial public offering and the Concurrent Private Placement to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries.

In 2015, the SAFE published the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming the Management Approach regarding the Settlement of Foreign Exchange Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or the SAFE Circular 19, which has come into effect since June 1, 2015. According to the SAFE Circular 19, foreign-invested enterprises are allowed to convert their registered capital from foreign exchange to Renminbi and apply such funds to equity investment within the PRC, conditioned upon the investment target’s duly registration with local bank of such reinvestment and open a corresponding special account pending for foreign exchange settlement payment. Further, such conversion will be handled at the bank level and does not need to be approved by the SAFE. The SAFE Circular 19 prohibits foreign-invested enterprises from, among other things, using an RMB fund converted from its foreign exchange capital for expenditure beyond its business scope, investment in securities, providing entrusted loans, repaying loans between nonfinancial enterprises or purchasing real estate not for self-use. The SAFE promulgated the Circular on Reforming and Standardizing the Foreign Exchange Settlement Management Policy of Capital Account, or the SAFE Circular 16, effective on June 9, 2016, which reiterates some of the rules set forth in the SAFE Circular 19, but changes the prohibition against using RMB capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise to issue RMB entrusted loans, to the prohibition against using such capital to issue loans to non-associated enterprises.

As a holding company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands, with some of our operations conducted in China, we may make loans to our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs, or we may make additional capital contributions to our wholly foreign-owned subsidiaries in China. Any loans provided by us to our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs are subject to PRC regulations and foreign exchange loan registrations. Such loans to any of our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs cannot exceed a statutory limit and must be filed with SAFE through the online filing system of SAFE pursuant to the applicable PRC regulations. Any such loan with a term of one year or more must be recorded and registered with the National Development and Reform Commission. In addition, the capital of a foreign invested enterprise may not be used for the following purposes: (i) directly or indirectly used for payment beyond the business scope of the enterprises or the payment prohibited by relevant laws and regulations; (ii) directly or indirectly used for investment in securities or investments other than banks’ principal-secured products unless otherwise provided by relevant laws and regulations; (iii) the granting of loans to non-affiliated enterprises, except where it is expressly permitted in the business license; and (iv) paying the expenses related to the purchase of real estate that is not for self-use (except for the foreign-invested real estate enterprises).

Our ability to make loans or capital contributions to our subsidiaries and VIEs may be constrained by these regulations, and if we fail to comply with such regulations, our ability to capitalize the relevant PRC subsidiaries or fund our operations may be negatively affected, which could materially and adversely affect the liquidity of our relevant PRC subsidiaries or our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

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We may be subject to penalties, including restrictions on our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, if our PRC resident shareholders or beneficial owners fail to comply with relevant PRC foreign exchange regulations.

On July 4, 2014, the SAFE issued the Circular on Several Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration of Domestic Residents Engaging in Overseas Investment, Financing and Round-Trip Investment via Special Purpose Vehicles, or the SAFE Circular 37, which replaced the previous Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Residents’ Financing and Roundtrip Investment Through Offshore Special Purpose Vehicles, effective on November 1, 2005, or the SAFE Circular 75. The SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC individuals, institutions and foreign individuals who have a habitual residence in the PRC due to economic interests, or collectively referred as the PRC residents, to register with the SAFE or its local branches in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests. Such offshore entity is referred to as an offshore special purpose vehicle. In addition, such PRC residents must update their foreign exchange registrations with the SAFE when the offshore special purpose vehicle undergoes material events relating to any change of basic information (including change of such PRC residents, name and operation term), increases or decreases in investment amount, share transfers or exchanges, or mergers or divisions. According to the Circular on Further Simplifying and Improving the Administration of Foreign Exchange Concerning Direct Investment released on February 13, 2015 by the SAFE, local banks will examine and handle foreign exchange registration for overseas direct investment, including the initial foreign exchange registration and amendment registration, under the SAFE Circular 37 from June 1, 2015.

If any shareholder holding interest in an offshore special purpose vehicle, who is a PRC resident as determined by the SAFE Circular 37, fails to fulfill the required foreign exchange registration with the local SAFE branches or its designated banks, the offshore special purpose vehicle may be restricted in its ability to contribute additional capital to its PRC subsidiaries. Moreover, failure to comply with the SAFE registration described above could result in liability under PRC laws for evasion of applicable foreign exchange restrictions.

Mr. Tianhua Wu and some other individual shareholders, who indirectly hold shares in our Company and who are known to us as being PRC residents have completed the SAFE registration pursuant to the SAFE Circular 37. We have requested all of our current shareholders and/or beneficial owners to disclose whether they or their shareholders or beneficial owners fall within the ambit of the SAFE Circular 37 and urged relevant shareholders, upon learning that they are PRC residents, to register with the local SAFE branch or its designated bank as required under the SAFE Circular 37. However, we may not be fully informed of the identities of all our shareholders or beneficial owners who are PRC residents, and we cannot provide any assurance that all of our shareholders and beneficial owners who are PRC residents will comply with our requests to make, obtain or update any applicable registrations or comply with other requirements pursuant to the SAFE Circular 37 or other related rules in a timely manner. Failure of our existing and future shareholders who are PRC residents to register or amend their foreign exchange registrations in a timely manner pursuant to the SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules may subject such beneficial owners or our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary to fines and legal sanctions. Failure to register or comply with the relevant requirements may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital to our WFOEs for the research and development and other supporting functions. These risks may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

You may be subject to PRC withholding tax on dividends from us and PRC income tax on any gain realized on the transfer of our shares or ADSs if we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise.

As described above, we may be treated as a PRC resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes. Under the EIT Law and its implementation rules, PRC withholding tax at the rate of 10% is normally applicable to PRC sourced dividends payable to investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, which do not have an establishment or place of business in PRC, or which have such establishment or place of business if the relevant income is not effectively connected with the establishment or place of business. Any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or shares by such non-PRC resident enterprise investors is also subject to a 10% PRC income tax if such gain is regarded as income derived from sources within the PRC. Under the PRC Individual Income Tax Law and its implementation rules, PRC sourced dividends paid to non-PRC individual investors are generally subject to a PRC withholding tax at a rate of 20% and gains from PRC sources realized by such investors on the transfer of ADSs or shares are generally subject

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to a 20% PRC income tax. While substantially all of our brokerage operations are in New Zealand, it is unclear whether dividends we pay with respect to our ADSs, or the gain realized from the transfer of our ADSs, would be treated as the income derived from sources within the PRC and as a result be subject to PRC income tax if we were considered a PRC resident enterprise, as described above. See Item 3.D “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China – We may be deemed to be a PRC resident enterprise under the Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, and be subject to the PRC taxation on our worldwide income, which may significantly increase our income tax expenses and materially decrease our profitability.” If PRC income tax were imposed on gains realized through the transfer of our ADSs or on dividends paid to our non-resident investors, the value of your investment in our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected. Any PRC tax liability described above may be reduced under applicable tax treaties. However, it is unclear whether our ADS holders whose jurisdictions of residence have tax treaties or arrangements with China will be able to obtain the benefits of such tax treaties or arrangements, if the prerequisites provided under the relevant treaties or arrangements were not satisfied.

We may not be able to obtain certain tax benefits for dividends paid by our PRC subsidiaries to us through our Hong Kong subsidiaries.

Pursuant to the EIT Law and its implementation rules, if a non-resident enterprise has not set up an establishment in the PRC, or has set up an establishment therein but its income has no actual connection with such establishment, it will be subject to a withholding tax on its PRC-sourced income at a rate of 10%. Pursuant to the Arrangement between the Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income, or the Double Taxation Arrangement, the withholding tax rate on dividends paid by a PRC enterprise to a Hong Kong enterprise is reduced to 5% from a standard rate of 10% if the Hong Kong enterprise directly holds at least 25% of the equity interests of the PRC enterprise. There are also other conditions for enjoying the reduced withholding tax rate according to other relevant tax rules and regulations. See Item 4.B “Business Overview-Operating and Financial Review and Prospects-Regulations Relating to Tax-PRC Regulations on Dividend Withholding Tax.” We cannot assure you that our determination regarding our qualification to enjoy the preferential tax treatment will not be challenged by the relevant PRC tax authority that or we will be able to complete the necessary filings with the relevant PRC tax authority and enjoy the preferential withholding tax rate of 5% under the Double Taxation Arrangement with respect to dividends to be paid by our PRC subsidiaries to our Hong Kong subsidiaries.

PRC regulations may restrict our ability to convert Renminbi into foreign currency and remit such currency out of the PRC to pay capital expenses.

The Group’s revenues were largely generated by our wholly owned subsidiaries outside of PRC, which pay the consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries periodically for the services rendered through inter-company transactions. We do not rely on the consolidated VIEs to distribute earnings to the parent company or to U.S. investors. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without the prior SAFE approval as long as certain routine procedural requirements are fulfilled. Therefore, our PRC subsidiaries are allowed to pay dividends in foreign currencies to us without prior SAFE approval by following certain routine procedural requirements. However, approval from or registration with competent government authorities is required where Renminbi is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. The PRC government may at its discretion restrict access to foreign currencies for current account transactions in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Contractual Arrangements with the VIEs and Their Respective Shareholders

We use contractual arrangements to control the VIEs due to restrictions or prohibitions on foreign ownership of Internet technology services and other related businesses in China. According to the Negative List (as defined elsewhere in this report) that took effect on January 1, 2022, the restrictions on the controlling stake of Internet technology service companies still exist, and foreign investments in this business are also restricted by other qualifications and requirements under relevant regulations in China.

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Our WFOEs, Beijing Bohu and Beijing Yixin, respectively, have the sole discretion to receive from the relevant VIE an annual service fee at an amount of at least 99% of the respective VIE’s annual net profit. In addition, Beijing Bohu and Beijing Yixin are entitled to receive certain fees for other technical services at the amount mutually agreed upon by Beijing Bohu or Beijing Yixin and the respective VIE. Beijing Bohu and Beijing Yixin did not collect any service fees from the VIEs in the last three fiscal years and will make discretionary determinations on whether to collect services fees and on the amount of fees to be collected. We do not have unfettered access to Beijing Bohu’s, Beijing Yixin’s and the respective VIEs’ revenues due to PRC legal restrictions on the payment of dividends by PRC companies, foreign exchange control restrictions, and the restrictions on foreign investment, among others.

As a result of our direct ownership in Beijing Bohu and Beijing Yixin, and the contractual arrangements with the VIEs, we are regarded as the primary beneficiary of the VIEs, and we treat them as our consolidated affiliated entities under U.S. GAAP. We have consolidated the financial results of the VIEs in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

Agreements that provide us with effective control over the VIEs

Powers of Attorney. Pursuant to the Powers of Attorney dated December 17, 2018 among Beijing Bohu and each of the shareholders of Beijing Rongke, which restated and amended the version dated June 7, 2018, each of the shareholders of Beijing Rongke irrevocably authorizes Beijing Bohu to act as its attorney-in-fact to exercise all of its rights as a shareholder of Beijing Rongke, including, but not limited to, the right to convene and attend shareholders’ meetings, vote on any resolution that requires a shareholder vote, such as the sale, transfer, disposal and pledge of all or part of the equity interest owned by such shareholder, and decide on the appointment and removal of directors, supervisors and officers. Beijing Bohu can assign or transfer under the aforementioned Powers of Attorney at its own discretion to any other person or entity without notice to or consent from any or all of the shareholders of Beijing Rongke. The Power of Attorney will remain effective and irrevocable until such shareholder is no longer a shareholder of Beijing Rongke.

On October 30, 2018, Beijing Yixin and each of the shareholders of Beijing Yiyi entered into an Power of Attorney, which contain terms substantially similar to the Powers of Attorney executed by the shareholders of Beijing Rongke described above.

Exclusive Option Contracts. Pursuant to the Exclusive Option Contract dated December 17, 2018, among Beijing Bohu, Beijing Rongke and each shareholder of Beijing Rongke, which restated and amended the version dated June 7, 2018, the shareholders of Beijing Rongke have irrevocably granted Beijing Bohuan exclusive option to purchase all or part of their equity interests in Beijing Rongke.

Beijing Rongke has irrevocably granted Beijing Bohuan exclusive option to purchase all or part of its assets. Beijing Bohuor its designated person(s) may exercise such options at RMB10 or at the lowest price permitted under applicable PRC laws, whichever is lower. The shareholders of Beijing Rongke undertake that, without Beijing Bohu’s prior written consent, they will not, among other things, (i) create any pledge or encumbrance on their equity interests in Beijing Rongke, (ii) transfer or otherwise dispose of their equity interests in Beijing Rongke, (iii) change Beijing Rongke’s registered capital, (iv) supplement, revise or amend Beijing Rongke’s articles of association, or (v) allow Beijing Rongke to merge with any other entity. In addition, Beijing Rongke undertakes that, without Beijing Bohu’s prior written consent, it will not, among other things, create any pledge or encumbrance on any of its assets, or enter into any material contracts (except in the ordinary course of business). The Exclusive Option Contract will remain effective for a term of ten years and renewable in accordance with the sole discretion of Beijing Bohu.

On October 30, 2018, Beijing Yixin and each shareholder of Beijing Yiyi entered into an Exclusive Option Contract which contain terms substantially similar to the Exclusive Option Contract described above.

Spouse Consent Letters. Pursuant to the Spouse Consent Letters dated December 17, 2018, the spouse of each married shareholder of Beijing Rongke which restated and amended the version dated June 7, 2018, unconditionally and irrevocably agreed not to assert any rights over the equity interest in Beijing Rongke held by and registered in the name of their spouse. In addition, each of them agreed to be bound by the contractual arrangements described here if the spouse obtains any equity interest in Beijing Rongke for any reason.

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On October 30, 2018, the spouse of each shareholder of Beijing Yiyi signed two Spouse Consent Letters, which contain terms substantially similar to the Spouse Consent Letters described above.

Commitment Letters. Pursuant to the Commitment Letters dated December 17, 2018, the shareholders of Beijing Rongke which restated and amended the version dated June 7, 2018, undertake that, when Beijing Bohu exercises its options under the Exclusive Option Contracts, they will refund, without any conditions, any amount and fees to Beijing Bohu which exceed the share purchase price provided in the Exclusive Option Contracts.

On October 30, 2018, each of the shareholders of Beijing Yiyi executed a Commitment Letter, which contain terms substantially similar to the Commitment Letters described above.

Agreements that allow us to receive economic benefits from the VIEs

Amended Equity Pledge Contracts. Pursuant to the Amended Equity Pledge Contract dated April 13, 2021 among Beijing Bohu(previously known as Ningxia Yixin), Beijing Rongke (previously known as Ningxia Rongke) and each shareholder of Beijing Rongke, the shareholders of Beijing Rongke have agreed to pledge 100% of the equity interests in Beijing Rongke for the benefit of Beijing Bohu. In the event of a breach by Beijing Rongke or its any shareholder of contractual obligations under the Amended Equity Pledge Contract, Beijing Bohu, as pledgee, will have the right to dispose of the pledged 100% equity interests in Beijing Bohuand will have priority in receiving the proceeds from such disposal.

The shareholders of Beijing Rongke also undertake that, without prior written consent of Beijing Bohu, they will not dispose of, create or allow any encumbrance on the pledged equity interests and rights. Beijing Rongke further undertakes that, there is no other pledge or any other encumbrance on the assets owned by it that will or is likely to affect Beijing Bohu’s pledged equity interests and rights, including but not limited to any transfer of intellectual property rights or transfer of any asset with a value exceeding RMB0.5 million (except in the ordinary course of business). Beijing Rongke further undertakes that, without the prior written consent of Beijing Bohu, they will not assist or allow any encumbrance to be created on the pledged equity interests. The equity pledge under the Amended Equity Pledge Contract will not be effective until Beijing Rongke and its shareholders complete relevant registration with appropriate government authorities.

On October 30, 2018, Beijing Yixin, Beijing Yiyi and each shareholder of Beijing Yiyi entered into an Equity Pledge Contract, which contains terms substantially similar to the Amended Equity Pledge Contract described above.

We completed the registration of the equity pledge of Beijing Yiyi on December 27, 2018 under the Equity Pledge Contract with the State Administration for Market Regulation in accordance with the PRC Property Rights Law. We completed the registration of the equity pledge of Beijing Rongke on May 17, 2021 under the Equity Contract with the State Administration for Market Regulation in accordance with the Chinese Civil Code.

Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreements. Pursuant to the Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement dated June 7, 2018 between Beijing Bohu and Beijing Rongke, Beijing Bohu has the exclusive right to provide Beijing Rongke with the consulting and technical services required by Beijing Rongke’s business. Without Beijing Bohu’s prior written consent, Beijing Rongke may not accept any services subject to this Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement from any third party. Beijing Rongke agrees to pay Beijing Bohu an annual service fee at an amount of no less than 99% of its net profit or the amount which is adjusted at any time at the sole discretion of Beijing Bohu. Beijing Bohu has the exclusive ownership of all the intellectual property rights created as a result of the performance of the Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement, to the extent permitted by applicable PRC laws. Beijing Rongke also undertakes that upon the request of Beijing Bohu, it will assist Beijing Bohu in the consummation of the assignment or transfer of the relevant intellectual property rights, including but not limited to entering into a transfer or license agreement at no or a nominal consideration as well as fulfilling the necessary registration. To guarantee Beijing Rongke’s performance of its obligations thereunder, its shareholders have pledged their equity interests in Beijing Rongke to Beijing Bohu pursuant to the Equity Pledge Contract. The Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement will remain effective for a term of ten years and unconditionally renewable at the sole discretion of Beijing Bohu.

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On October 30, 2018, Beijing Yixin and Beijing Yiyi entered into an Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement, which contains terms substantially similar to the Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement described above.

Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business

We are subject to regulation by multiple PRC laws, regulations, and governing authorities, as described in more detail below. To date, except as disclosed under the risk factor headed “We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in the PRC regulations of Internet-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite licenses, permits or approvals applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations”, to our knowledge our PRC subsidiaries and the VIEs have received all permissions or approvals that we believe are required and necessary to conduct our business operations within the PRC in all material aspects. In reaching this determination, we have relied in part on the advice of our PRC legal counsel, DaHui Lawyers. However, there is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain all requisite permissions and approvals in the future. For more information, refer to the risk factor above under the heading “If the agreements that establish the structure for operating some of our activities in China do not comply with PRC regulations, or if we fail to obtain all required permissions and approvals required by Chinese regulatory authorities or if these regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.”  

PRC Regulations Relating to Securities and Futures Brokerage Business

Under existing PRC securities laws and regulations, including Securities Law of the PRC, which was most recently amended on 28 December, 2019 and the amended Securities Law of the PRC became effective on March 1, 2020, operating securities business in the PRC, including among others, securities brokerage business, futures brokerage business, stock option brokerage business, and securities and futures investment consulting services, requires a securities brokerage license or certain other approvals from the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC. In addition, the Securities Law also stipulates that the offering and trading of securities outside the People’s Republic of China which disrupt the domestic market order of the People’s Republic of China and harm the legitimate rights and interests of domestic investors shall be dealt with pursuant to the relevant provisions of this Securities Law, and legal liability shall be pursued. This is the second major set of amendments of the Securities Law since the major revision in 2005. Three main changes have been widely reported and discussed, namely, (i) the reform of the registration-based IPO system, (ii) the imposition of more severe punishments for violations, and (iii) the enhancement of protection for retail investors.

Failure to comply with such laws and regulations may result in penalties, including rectification requirements, confiscation of illegal proceeds, fines or even shutting down of business. In relation to our business in the PRC, one of our PRC entities received a rectification notice issued by the Beijing branch of the CSRC in September 2016, which required us, among others, to refrain from providing support to unauthorized foreign service providers that conduct securities business in China. Following the notice, we took certain rectification measures, including among others, (i) removing links to, and access to account opening functions of the website and the APP previously developed by such PRC entity; (ii) deleting “Zhengquan” (securities in Chinese) and “Gupiao” (stocks in Chinese) from the name of the APP previously developed by such PRC entity; and (iii) timely submitting in writing to the Beijing branch of the CSRC to brief on the rectification measures made by such PRC entity. Afterwards, we had communicated with the Beijing branch of the CSRC for a few times and further adjusted our business in China to comply with PRC laws. We believe that we have taken necessary measures in response to such notice and as of the date of this report, we had not received any further inquiry or rectification requirement from the CSRC. However, we cannot assure you that the CSRC will take the same view as us and do not expect a formal notice from the CSRC to inform us whether our PRC entity had satisfied the requirements in the aforementioned notice. See Item 3.D “Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Business and Industry-We may not be able to obtain or maintain all necessary licenses, permits and approvals and to make all necessary registrations and filings for our activities in multiple jurisdictions and related to residents therein, especially in China or otherwise related to PRC residents.”

PRC Regulations Relating to Foreign Investment

The MOFCOM and NDRC promulgated on June 28, 2018 the Special Administrative Measures for Market Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) (Year 2018) and further amended it on June 30, 2019, on June 23, 2020 and

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on December 27, 2021 into the Special Administrative Measures for Market Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) (Year 2021), or the Negative List, which took effect on January 1, 2022. Specifically, the Negative List provides that foreign investors shall hold no more than 50% of the equity interests in a service provider operating certain value-added telecommunications services other than for e-commerce, domestic multi-party communication, store and forward class and call center.

On March 15, 2019, the Foreign Investment Law of PRC, or the FIL, was issued by the National People’s Congress and took effect on January 1, 2020, which also provides that the industries in which foreign investment is not restricted and prohibited shall be administered under the principle of equal treatment to domestic investment. On December 26, 2019, the State Council published the FIL Implementation Rules, which took effect on January 1, 2020. Furthermore, on December 19, 2020, the NDRC and the MOFCOM jointly issued the Measures for Security Review of Foreign Investment, effective on January 18, 2021, which provides detailed guidance regarding security review of foreign investment that has a potential impact on national security.

Foreign investment in telecommunications companies in the PRC is governed by the Provisions on Administration of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises, or the Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises Provisions, which were promulgated by the State Council on December 11, 2001, and amended on September 10, 2008 and February 6, 2016. The Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises Provisions prohibits a foreign investor from holding over 50% of the total equity interests in any value-added telecommunications service business in China.

PRC Regulations Relating to Internet Companies

Regulations on Value-Added Telecommunication Services

Pursuant to the Telecommunications Regulations of the PRC, or the Telecommunications Regulations, promulgated by the State Council on September 25, 2000 and amended on July 29, 2014 and February 6, 2016, telecommunication service providers must obtain an operating license prior to the commencement operations. The Telecommunications Regulations categorize telecommunication services into basic telecommunication services and value-added telecommunication services. According to the Catalog of Telecommunications Business, attached to the Telecommunications Regulations, information services provided via fixed network, mobile network and Internet fall within value-added telecommunication services.

Pursuant to the Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services, promulgated by the State Council in 2000 and amended in 2011, “Internet information services” refer to the provision of information through the Internet to online users, and are divided into “commercial Internet information services” and “non-commercial Internet information services”. Under the Telecommunications Regulations and relevant administrative measures, commercial operators of value-added telecommunications services must first obtain a license for conducting Internet content provision services, or an ICP License, from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or the MIIT, or its provincial level branches. Otherwise, such operator might be subject to sanctions including corrective orders and warnings, imposition of fines and confiscation of illegal gains and, in the case of significant infringement, orders to close the website.

Our consolidated affiliated entity, Beijing Yiyi’s subsidiaries have applied for or obtained ICP License for providing financial and market information to our users, while we cannot guarantee that Beijing Yiyi’s subsidiaries may at all times continue or maintain such license(s) due to uncertainties from PRC governmental authorities. With respect to the risk of not obtaining, continue or maintain the ICP License, please refer to “Item 3. Key Information – Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure – We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in PRC regulation of Internet-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite licenses, permits or approvals applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.”

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Regulation on Mobile Internet Applications Information Services

Our APP is also regulated by the Provisions on the Administration of Mobile Internet Applications Information Services, or the APP Provisions, promulgated by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), on June 28, 2016 and effective on August 1, 2016. According to the APP Provisions, the providers of APPs shall not create, copy, publish or distribute information and content that is prohibited by laws and regulations. However, we cannot assure that all the information or content displayed on, retrieved from or linked to our APP comply with the requirements of the APP Provisions at all times. If our APP were found to be violating the APP Provisions, we may be subject to administrative penalties, including warning, service suspension or removal of our APP from the relevant APP store, which may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. See “Item 3. Key Information – Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure – We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in PRC regulation of Internet-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite licenses, permits or approvals applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.”

Regulations on Internet Audio-Video Program Services

The Administrative Regulations on Internet Audio-Video Program Services, or the Internet Audio-Video Program Services Regulations promulgated by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, or the SAPPRFT (which has been divided into National Radio and Television Administration, or NRTA, National Press and Publication Administration, or NPPA, and China Film Administration), which became effective on January 31, 2008 and was amended on August 28, 2015, sets forth the principal rules and requirements on the Internet audio-video program services. According to the Internet Audio-Video Program Services Regulations and other regulations, an Internet audio-video program service provider must obtain an audio-video license issued by National Radio and Television Administration before spreading audio-video programs via the Internet. The audio-video program services are defined as the activities of making, editing and integrating audio-video programs and providing them to the public via the Internet or providing services for other people to upload and spread audio-video programs. In addition, the Internet Audio-Video Program Services Regulations only allow state-owned or state-controlled enterprises to apply for such license. Any entity that fails to obtain an audio-video license but operates relevant audio-video services may face administrative penalties including warnings, rectification orders and fines of no more than RMB30,000, and in severe cases, bans from doing business, confiscation of equipment utilized in providing such services and fines ranging from one to two times of the investment amounts of the entity.

Regulation on Internet Publishing

On February 4, 2016, the SAPPRFT, and the MIIT jointly issued the Administrative Measures of Internet Publishing Services, or the Internet Publishing Measures, which became effective on March 10, 2016. According to the Internet Publishing Measures, an entity shall obtain an online publishing service license issued by the provincial branch of NPPA to provide online publishing services. Online publishing services refer to the provision of online publications to the public through information networks. Online publications refer to digital works with publishing features such as having been edited, produced or processed and are made available to the public through information networks.

Regulations on Financial Information Services

On December 26, 2018, the CAC promulgated the Provisions on Administration of Financial Information Services, taking effect on February 1, 2019. These provisions set forth general qualification, management and content requirements for financial information service providers if they provide financial information or data that may affect the financial market for users who engage in financial analysis, financial transactions, financial decisions or other financial activities. Specifically, financial information service providers are required to disclose the sources of the financial information or data in a clear and accurate manner, and shall not make, copy, publish or disseminate any content that covers, among others, false financial information that may detriment national financial security or stability of society, fictional event or news regarding the financial market (including that related to securities, funds, futures or foreign currency), or certain financial products or services that are forbidden by the competent regulatory authorities. Violations of any of the requirements in these provisions may subject the financial information service providers to penalties such as public condemnation and rectification orders.

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Regulations on Internet News Dissemination

The State Council Information Office promulgated the Interim Administrative Regulations for Publication News by Internet Websites in 2000 and Administrative Regulations for Internet News Information Services in 2017. These regulations stipulate that general websites established by non-news organizations may publish news released by certain official news agencies if such websites satisfy the requirements set forth in the these regulations but may not publish news items produced by themselves or other news sources. These regulations also require the general websites of non-news organizations to obtain permit and approval from the State Council Information Office at both the provincial and national level before they commence providing news dissemination services.

Regulations on Cyber Security

Internet information in China is heavily regulated and restricted from as a national security issue stand point. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, or the SCNPC, enacted the Decision on Internet Security Protection in December 2000, as further amended in August 2009, which impose criminal liabilities on persons or entities that: (i) gain improper entry into a computer or system of strategic importance; (ii) disseminate politically disruptive information; (iii) leak state secrets; (iv) spread false commercial information; or (v) infringe intellectual property rights. The Ministry of Public Security has promulgated measures that prohibit the use of the Internet in ways that would result in the leakage of state secrets or dissemination of socially destabilizing content. If an Internet information service provider violates these measures, the MPS and the local security bureaus may revoke its operating license and shut down its websites.

In November 2016, the SCNPC promulgated the Cyber Security Law of the PRC, or the Cyber Security Law, which became effective on June 1, 2017. The Cyber Security Law requires that network operators, which include, among others, Internet information services providers, take technical measures and other necessary measures in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and the compulsory requirements of the national and industrial standards to safeguard the safe and stable operation of its networks. We are subject to such requirements as we are providing certain Internet services through our APP and website. The Cyber Security Law further requires Internet information service providers to formulate contingency plans for network security incidents, report to the competent departments immediately upon the occurrence of any incident endangering cyber security and take corresponding remedial measures. In addition, according to the Cyber Security Law, operators of key information infrastructures, which include public communications and information service, energy, transportation, water conservancy, financial industry, public services, e-government affairs and other important industries and fields, shall store personal information and important data gathered and produced during operations in the PRC within the territory of the PRC. Where such information and data need to be transmitted overseas based on commercial demand, a security assessment shall be conducted in accordance with the measures formulated by the national cyberspace administration authority in concert with the relevant departments under the State Council.

On December 28, 2021, the CAC and other twelve PRC regulatory authorities jointly revised and promulgated the Measures for Cybersecurity Review, or the Cybersecurity Review Measures, which came into effect on February 15, 2022. Pursuant to the Cybersecurity Review Measures, besides the procurement of network products and services by critical information infrastructure operators, any data processing activities by network platform operators that affects or may affect national security shall be subject to the cybersecurity review as well. In accordance with the Cybersecurity Review Measures, operators mastering personal information of more than one million users must apply to the Cybersecurity Review Office for cybersecurity review when they seek for listing in a foreign country.  The CAC may voluntarily conduct cyber security review if any network products and services and activities of data process affects or may affect national security.

We may need to take certain security assessment measures on the personal data transmitted cross border. With respect to the risk of personal information and important data storage and cross border transmission, please refer to “– Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure – If we fail to protect customer data and privacy, our reputation, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.”

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Regulations on Privacy Protection

Internet information service providers are also required to maintain the integrity, confidentiality and availability of network data. The Cyber Security Law reaffirms the basic principles and requirements specified in other existing laws and regulations on personal data protection, such as the requirements on the collection, use, processing, storage and disclosure of personal data, and Internet information service providers being required to take technical and other necessary measures to ensure the security of the personal information they have collected and prevent the personal information from being divulged, damaged or lost. Any violation of the Cyber Security Law may subject the Internet information service provider to warnings, fines, confiscation of illegal gains, revocation of licenses, cancellation of filings, shutdown of websites or criminal liabilities.

Under the Several Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services issued by the MIIT in December 2011 and Cyber Security Law, an Internet information service provider may not collect any user’s personal information or provide any such information to third parties without that user’s consent, and it must also expressly inform that user of the method, content and purpose of the collection and processing of such user’s personal information and may only collect such information as necessary for the provision of its services. In addition, pursuant to the Decision on Strengthening Internet Information Protection issued by the SCNPC in December 2012, the Order for the Protection of Telecommunication and Internet User’s Personal Information issued by the MIIT in July 2013 and Cyber Security Law, any collection and use of a user’s personal information must be subject to the consent of the user, abide by the principles of legality, rationality and necessity and be within the specified purposes, methods and scopes. An Internet information service provider must also keep such information strictly confidential, and is further prohibited from divulging, tampering or destroying of any such information, or selling or providing such information to other parties. An Internet information service provider is required to take technical and other measures to prevent the collected personal information from any unauthorized disclosure, damage or loss. Any violation of these laws and regulations may subject the Internet information service provider to warnings, fines, confiscation of illegal gains, revocation of licenses, cancellation of filings, closedown of websites or even criminal liabilities.

Pursuant to the Ninth Amendment to the Criminal Law issued by the SCNPC in August 2015 and becoming effective in November, 2015, any Internet service provider that fails to fulfill the obligations related to Internet information security administration as required by applicable laws and refuses to rectify upon orders, shall be subject to criminal penalty for the result of (i) any dissemination of illegal information in large scale; (ii) any severe effect due to the leakage of the customer’s information; (iii) any serious loss of criminal evidence; or (iv) other severe situation, and any individual or entity that (i) sells or provides personal information to others in a way violating the applicable law, or (ii) steals or illegally obtain any personal information, shall be subject to criminal penalty in severe situation.

In addition, the Interpretations of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the PRC on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases of Infringing Personal Information, issued in May 2017 and effective June 2017, clarified certain standards for the conviction and sentencing of the criminals in relation to personal information infringement. Further, the NPC promulgated a new National Security Law, effective July 2015, to replace the former National Security Law and covers various types of national security including technology security and information security.

In November 2019, the Secretariat of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the General Office of the MIIT, the General Office of the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation jointly promulgated the Circular on Issuing the Methods for Identifying Unlawful Collection and Use of Personal Information of Applications, which defines actions that may be regarded as violating the Network Security Law and other personal information protection related regulations, including, among other things, failure to publicize the rules for collection and use of personal information, failure to expressly state the purpose, manner and scope of collecting and using personal information, collection and use of personal information without consent of users, provision of personal information to others without consent, and failure to provide the function of deleting or correcting personal information as required by law. On March 12, 2021, the aforesaid four departments jointly promulgated the Circular on Issuing the Provision on the Range of Personal Information Necessary for Common Types of Mobile Internet Application, which will come into effect on May 1, 2021. This circular defines specific information that 39 types of mobile internet application (“App(s)”), including mobile applications and programs on mobile applications, such as WeChat Mini Program, may collect for the basic functions of such Apps.

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On March 6, 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation and Standardization Administration of China, or SAC, jointly published the Information Security Technology - Personal Information Security Specification (GB/T 35273-2020) (“2020 Specification”) proposed by the National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee as an amendment to and replacement for the November 2017 version (GB/T 35273-2017). The 2020 Specification, which took effect on October 1, 2020, explains and reinforces the Cyber Security Law. Though the 2020 Specification is not a mandatory national standard but a recommended guideline, and it is not enforceable by law, the authority will use this standard to evaluate an entity’s compliance with China’s legal guidelines and regulations. The 2020 Specification outlines that “controllers” are those who collect personal information for providing a product or service. The “subject” is the individual or entity that provides the personal information to the controller. The 2020 Specification seeks to provide the subject with more autonomy in how and when they provide personal information to controllers. Although the 2020 Specification clarifies issues such as biometric data, multiple business functions, and explicit consent, it is still unclear to what extent the new standard will be enforced in China.

Furthermore, on August 20, 2021, the SCNPC promulgated Personal Information Protection Law which became effective on November 1, 2021. The Information Protection Law stipulates that the Cyberspace Administration of China is responsible for coordinating the protection of personal information and the related supervision and administration. The Information Protection Law also expressly stipulates that those who process personal information in violation of regulations or fail to take necessary security measures when processing personal information will be ordered to make corrections by the authority responsible for personal information protection, and given a warning, with their illegal gains confiscated. If the violator refuses to make corrections, it shall be subject to a fine of not more than RMB1.0 million. The person in charge directly responsible and other persons directly responsible shall be imposed a fine of not less than RMB10,000 but not more than RMB100,000. In case of any severe illegal acts as stipulated in the Information Protection Law, the violator shall be ordered to make corrections by the authority responsible for personal information protection, have its illegal gains confiscated and be subject to a fine of not more than RMB50.0 million or no more than 5% of the turnover in the previous year, as well as a suspension of the relevant business, suspension for rectification, revocation of relevant business permit or business license by the relevant competent authorities. The person in charge directly responsible and other persons directly responsible shall be imposed a fine of not less than RMB100.0 thousand but not more than RMB1.0 million.

The Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Data Security Law”) was passed by the SCNPC on June 10, 2021 and came into effect on September 1, 2021. The Data Security Law requires the data processor to establish and improve a whole-process data security management system, organize data security education and training, and take corresponding technical measures and other necessary measures to safeguard data security. In conducting data processing activities by using the Internet or any other information network, the data processor shall perform the above data security protection obligations on the basis of the hierarchical cybersecurity protection system. Any violation of the provisions and requirements under the Data Security Law may subject a data processor to rectifications, warnings, fines, suspension of the related business, revocation of licenses or even criminal liabilities.

On November 14, 2021, the CAC released the Regulations on the Network Data Security, or the Draft Regulations, for public comments, which stipulates, among others, that a prior cybersecurity review is required for listing abroad of data processors which process over one million users’ personal information, and the listing of data processors in Hong Kong which affects or may affect national security.

The Draft Measure on Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer (Draft for Comments) has been published on October 29, 2021 by the CAC. In this Draft Measure, data processors shall report to the Cyberspace Administration of China when they provide data overseas, and when they accumulatively transfer personal cross-border information of more than 100,000 people or sensitive personal cross-border information of more than 10,000 people, transfer important cross-border data, or other situations required to report. Before transferring cross-border data, data processors shall also conduct a self-assessment of cross-border data transfer risks in advance.

Regulations Relating to Overseas Offerings

On July 6, 2021, the relevant PRC government authorities issued Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down Illegal Securities Activities in Accordance with the Law. These opinions emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies

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and proposed to take effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies. As a follow-up, on December 24, 2021, the State Council issued a draft of the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, or the Draft Provisions, and the CSRC issued a draft of Administration Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, or the Draft Administration Measures, for public comments.

The Draft Provisions and the Draft Administration Measures propose to establish a new filing-based regime to regulate overseas offerings and listings by domestic companies. According to the Draft Administration Measures, the issuer or its affiliated domestic company, as the case may be, shall file with the CSRC for its initial public offering, follow-on offering and other equivalent offing activities. Particularly, the issuer shall submit the filing with respect to its initial public offering and listing within three business days after its initial filing of the listing application, and submit the filing with respect to its follow-on offering within three business days after completion of the follow-on offering. Failure to comply with the filing requirements may result in fines to the relevant domestic companies, suspension of their businesses, revocation of their business licenses and operation permits and fines on the controlling shareholder and other responsible persons. The Draft Administration Measures also sets forth certain regulatory red lines for overseas offerings and listings by domestic enterprises.

As of the date of this annual report, the Draft Provisions and the Draft Administration Measures were released for public comment only. There are uncertainties as to whether the Draft Provisions and the Draft Administration Measures would be further amended, revised or updated. Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable and final content of the Draft Provisions and the Draft Administration Measures. As the CSRC may formulate and publish guidelines for filings in the future, the Draft Administration Measures does not provide for detailed requirements of the substance and form of the filing documents. In a Q&A released on its official website, the respondent CSRC official indicated that the proposed new filing requirement will start with new companies and the existing companies seeking to carry out activities like follow-on financing. As for the filings for the existing companies, the regulator will grant adequate transition period and apply separate arrangements. The Q&A also addressed the contractual arrangements and pointed out that if relevant domestic laws and regulations have been observed, companies with compliant VIE structure may seek overseas listing after completion of the CSRC filings. Nevertheless, it does not specify what qualify as compliant VIE structures and what relevant domestic laws and regulations are required to be complied with. Given the substantial uncertainties surrounding the latest CSRC filing requirements at this stage, we cannot assure you that we will be able to complete the filings and fully comply with the relevant new rules on a timely basis, if at all.

Regulations Relating to Anti-monopoly

According to the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Anti-Monopoly Law”) which was promulgated by the SCNPC on August 30, 2007 and implemented on August 1, 2008, the Anti-Monopoly Law applies to the monopolistic practices in domestic economic activities in China as well as the monopolistic practices outside China which have exclusion or restriction effects on domestic market competition. The monopolistic practices under the Anti-Monopoly Law include any monopoly agreement reached by any operators, abuse of market-dominating position by any operators and any concentration of operators which has an effect of eliminating or restricting competition. The agencies designated by the State Council are responsible for enforcement of the Anti-Monopoly Law. The anti-monopoly enforcement agencies of the State Council may, according to work requirements, delegate relevant anti-monopoly enforcement tasks to the corresponding agencies of the people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and centrally-administered municipalities pursuant to the provisions of Anti-Monopoly Law. Operators who violate the provisions of the Anti-Monopoly Law will be ordered by the enforcement agencies to stop the illegal act, be imposed a fine or be subject to other restrictive measures. On October 23, 2021, the Draft Amendment to the Anti-Monopoly Law (Revised Draft) has been published for public comments. This Draft Amendment will establish a "safe harbor system" for monopoly agreements, propose key law enforcement in Internet, Finance, Technology, and Media areas, introduce the "stop meter" system in the review of the concentration of operators, and increase the penalties for business operators and responsible people.

In order to prevent and curb the monopolistic conducts in the field of platform economy, the Anti-monopoly Commission of the State Council issued the Guidelines to Anti-Monopoly in the Field of Internet Platforms on February 7, 2021, which regulates the competition among Internet platforms. To determine the abuse of market

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dominance in the platform economy, first define the relevant market, analyze whether the operator has a dominant position in the relevant market, and then analyze whether it constitutes abuse of market dominance according to individual circumstances.

PRC Regulations Relating to Foreign Exchange

Regulations on Foreign Currency Exchange

The core regulations governing foreign currency exchange in China are the Foreign Exchange Administration Regulations, as amended in August 2008, or the FEA Regulations. Certain organizations in the PRC, including foreign invested enterprises, may purchase, sell and/or remit foreign currencies at certain banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business upon providing valid commercial documents. However, approval of SAFE, is required for capital account transactions.

In 2014, the SAFE decided to further reform the foreign exchange administration system in order to satisfy and facilitate the business and capital operations of foreign invested enterprises, and issued the Circular on the Relevant Issues Concerning the Launch of Reforming Trial of the Administration Model of the Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-Invested Enterprises in Certain Areas on July 4, 2014 or SAFE Circular 36. The SAFE Circular 36 suspends the application of the SAFE Circular 142 in certain areas and allows a foreign-invested enterprise registered in such areas to use the RMB capital converted from foreign currency registered capital for equity investments within the scope of business, which will be regarded as the reinvestment of foreign-invested enterprise. On March 30, 2015, the SAFE issued the Circular on the Reforming of the Management Method of the Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, or the SAFE Circular 19, which took effect on June 1, 2015, and replaced the SAFE Circular 142 and the SAFE Circular 36. According to the SAFE Circular 19, the foreign exchange capital of foreign-invested enterprises shall be subject to the Discretional Foreign Exchange Settlement. The Discretional Foreign Exchange Settlement refers to the foreign exchange capital in the capital account of a foreign-invested enterprise for which the rights and interests of monetary contribution has been confirmed by the local foreign exchange bureau (or the book-entry registration of monetary contribution by the banks) can be settled at the banks based on the actual operational needs of the foreign-invested enterprise. The proportion of Discretional Foreign Exchange Settlement of the foreign exchange capital of a foreign-invested enterprise is temporarily determined to be 100%. The Renminbi converted from the foreign exchange capital will be kept in a designated account and if a foreign-invested enterprise needs to make further payment from such account, it still needs to provide supporting documents and go through the review process with the banks.

The SAFE issued the Circular on Reforming and Regulating the Policies for the Administration of Foreign Exchange Settlement under the Capital Account, or the SAFE Circular 16, in June 2016, which became effective simultaneously. Pursuant to the SAFE Circular 16, enterprises registered in the PRC may also convert their foreign debts from foreign currency to Renminbi on a discretionary basis. The SAFE Circular 16 provides an integrated standard for conversion of foreign exchange under capital account items (including but not limited to foreign currency capital and foreign debts) on a discretionary basis which applies to all enterprises registered in the PRC. The SAFE Circular 16 reiterates the principle that Renminbi converted from foreign currency-denominated capital of a company may not be directly or indirectly used for purposes beyond its business scope or prohibited by PRC laws or regulations, while such converted Renminbi shall not be provided as loans to its non-affiliated entities. As the SAFE has not provided detailed guidelines with respect to its interpretation or implementations, it is uncertain how these rules will be interpreted and implemented.

In January 2017, the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Further Promoting the Reform of Foreign Exchange Administration and Improving the Examination of Authenticity and Compliance, or the SAFE Circular 3, which took effect on the same day. The SAFE Circular 3 sets out various measures to tighten genuineness and compliance verification of cross-border transactions and cross-border capital flow, which include without limitation requiring banks to verify board resolutions, tax filing form, and audited financial statements before wiring foreign invested enterprises’ foreign exchange distribution above US$50,000, and strengthening genuineness and compliance verification of foreign direct investments.

Our PRC subsidiaries’ distributions to their offshore parents are required to comply with the requirements as described above.

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Regulations on Foreign Exchange Registration of Offshore Investment by PRC Residents

PRC residents or entities who have contributed legitimate domestic or offshore interests or assets to the special purpose vehicles, or the SPVs, but have yet to obtain the SAFE registration before the implementation of the Circular 37 shall register their ownership interests or control in such SPVs with the SAFE or its local branch. An amendment to the registration is required if there is a material change in the registered SPV, such as any change of basic information including change of such PRC resident’s name and operation term, increases or decreases in investment amounts, transfers or exchanges of shares, or mergers or divisions. Failure to comply with the registration procedures set forth in Circular 37, or making misrepresentation or failure to disclose controllers of foreign-invested enterprise that is established through round-trip investment, may result in restrictions on the foreign exchange activities of the relevant foreign-invested enterprises, including payment of dividends and other distributions, such as proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation, to its offshore parent or affiliate, and the capital inflow from the offshore parent, and may also subject relevant PRC residents or entities to penalties under PRC foreign exchange administration regulations.

In February 2015, the SAFE further promulgated the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Further Simplifying and Improving Policies for the Foreign Exchange Administration of Direct Investment, or the SAFE Circular 13, effective June 2015. This SAFE Circular 13 has amended the SAFE Circular 37 by requiring PRC residents or entities to register with qualified banks rather than the SAFE or its local branch in connection with their establishment or control of an offshore entity established for the purpose of overseas investment or financing. The SAFE Circular 37 is applicable to our shareholders who are PRC residents and may be applicable to any offshore acquisitions that we make in the future. All of our shareholders who, to our knowledge, are subject to the above SAFE regulations have completed the necessary registrations with the local SAFE branch or qualified banks as required by the SAFE Circular 37.

Mr. Tianhua Wu and some other individual shareholders who indirectly hold shares in our Company and who are known to us as being PRC residents had completed the necessary registrations with the local SAFE branch or qualified banks as required by the SAFE Circular 37 in relation to their investment in our company. See “— Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure – We may be subject to penalties, including restrictions on our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, if our PRC resident shareholders or beneficial owners fail to comply with relevant PRC foreign exchange regulations.”

PRC Regulations Relating to the Individual Foreign Exchange

On December 25, 2006, the PBOC issued the Administrative Measures for Individual Foreign Exchange, or the PBOC Order 3, which took effect on February 1, 2007. In addition, on January 5, 2007, the SAFE promulgated the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Issuing the Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Measures for the Administration of Individual Foreign Exchange, or the SAFE 2007 Circular 1, which took effect on the same day with the PBOC Order 3. Pursuant to the provision of the PBOC Order 3 and the 2007 Circular 1, individual foreign exchange businesses in the PRC can be classified into domestic and overseas individual foreign exchange businesses as per transaction, and current accounts and capital accounts as per transaction property. Annual quota management shall be implemented for individual settlement of exchange and individual foreign exchange purchase within the territory of the PRC. The annual quota for domestic individual’s current accounts equivalent to US$50,000 (including US$50,000). In case the total amount of the foreign exchange remitted abroad from his/her foreign exchange savings account in a same day does not exceed the amount equivalent to US$50,000 (including US$50,000), he/she shall deal with it at a bank by presenting his/her valid identity certificate; if the total amount is more than the aforesaid amount, he/she shall handle it by presenting the authentic voucher under the current account indicating the trading volume. As for capital account, a domestic individual may purchase foreign exchange or remit abroad his/her self-owned foreign exchange upon the approval of the local foreign exchange department and shall conduct the corresponding formalities for the registration of foreign exchange for investing abroad. In March 2016, Beijing Rongke(formerly known as Ningxia Rongke) received an inquiring notice from the SAFE that required it to review and report the status of our customers’ account opening and fund transfers on our platform. Beijing Rongke made a written submission to the SAFE, which clarified that, among others, (i) at that time, Beijing Rongke was a related party to Tiger Holdings Group Limited (already de-registered), both of which did not participate in the process of the foreign currency purchase by our customers, and (ii) Beijing Rongke was a technology company and Tiger Holdings Group Limited was a registered financial service

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provider in New Zealand. See Item 3.D “Risk Factor-Risks Related to Our Business and Industry-Violations of the relevant SAFE rules and regulations may give rise to regulatory inquiries, investigations or other actions, which may disrupt our business and could materially and adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.” We believe that we took necessary measures in response to such inquiry and as of the date of this report, we have not received any further similar inquiry or rectification requirement from the SAFE. However, we cannot assure you that the SAFE will take the same view as us and do not expect a formal notice from the SAFE to inform us whether Beijing Rongke had satisfied the requirements in the aforementioned notice.

Regulations Relating to Intellectual Property Rights

PRC Regulations for Copyright

The Copyright Law of the PRC, promulgated in 1990 and amended in 2001 and 2010, or the Copyright Law, and its related implementing regulations, promulgated in 2002 and amended in 2013, are the principal laws and regulations governing the copyright related matters. On November 11, 2020, the SCNPC issued amendment to the Copyright Law, which became effective on June 1, 2021. The amended Copyright law expands the scope of work protected by the copyright, the content of copyright, and the remedies for infringement of the copyright. Registration of copyright is voluntary, and it is administrated by the China Copyright Protection Center.

PRC Regulations for Patent

Pursuant to the Patent Law of the PRC, or Patent Law, as amended in 2008, after the grant of the patent right for an invention or utility model, except where otherwise provided for in the Patent Law, no entity or individual may, without the authorization of the patent owner, exploit the patent, that is, make, use, offer to sell, sell or import the patented product, or use the patented process, or use, offer to sell, sell or import any product which is a direct result of the use of the patented process, for production or business purposes. After a patent right is granted for a design, no entity or individual shall, without the permission of the patent owner, exploit the patent, that is, for production or business purposes, manufacture, offer to sell, sell, or import any product containing the patented design. Once the infringement of patent is confirmed, the infringer shall, in accordance with the regulations, undertake to cease the infringement, take remedial action, and pay damages, etc. On October 17, 2020, the SCNPC issued amendment to the Patent Law, which became effective on June 1, 2021. The amended Patent Law expands the definition of appearance design, enhances the protection on appearance design, increases the amount of compensation for infringement, and extends the litigation period for infringement of patent.

PRC Regulations for Trademark

Pursuant to the Trademark Law of the PRC, as amended in 2013 and 2019, the right to exclusive use of a registered trademark shall be limited to trademarks which have been approved for registration and to goods for which the use of such trademark has been approved. The period of validity of a registered trademark shall be ten years, counted from the day the registration is approved. According to this law, using a trademark that is identical to or similar to a registered trademark in connection with the same or similar goods without the authorization of the owner of the registered trademark constitutes an infringement of the exclusive right to use a registered trademark. The infringer shall, in accordance with the regulations, undertake to cease the infringement, take remedial action, and pay damages, etc. See Item 3.D “Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Business and Industry-We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights.”

PRC Regulations for Domain Name

Pursuant to Measures for the Administration of Internet Domain Names promulgated on August 24, 2017 and effective on November 1, 2017, “domain name” shall refer to the character mark of hierarchical structure, which identifies and locates a computer on the Internet and corresponds to the Internet protocol address of that computer. The principle of “first come, first serve” is followed for the domain name registration service. After completing the domain name registration, the applicant becomes the holder of the domain name registered by the same. Any organization or individual may file an application for settlement with the domain names dispute resolution

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institution or file a lawsuit in the PRC courts in accordance with the PRC law, if such organization or individual consider the domain names registered or used by others infringe upon the legal rights and interests of the former.

PRC Regulations Relating to Dividend Distribution

The principal regulations governing the distribution of dividends paid by wholly foreign-owned enterprises include the Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise Law issued in 1986 and most recently amended in 2016, and the Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprises issued in 1990 and most recently amended in 2014 , both of which have been superseded from January 1, 2020 by the FIL and FIL Implementation Rules, and the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China issued in 1999 and most recently amended in 2018. Under these regulations, wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits, if any, as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations, provided that, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in China shall firstly set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profit based on PRC accounting standards each year to its general reserves until its cumulative total reserve funds reaches 50% of its registered capital. These reserve funds, however, may not be distributed as cash dividends.

Certain Summary Financial Information Regarding the Company, Its Subsidiaries, and Consolidated VIEs

Cash Flows Among the Company, Its Subsidiaries, and Consolidated VIEs

The Group’s main revenues were mostly generated from our wholly owned subsidiaries in New Zealand, Singapore and the United States for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Most of the consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries operate business in the PRC and their main functions are to support our Licensed Entities. Certain of the costs generated by VIEs and their subsidiaries are covered by these Licensed Entities through inter-company transactions, and we expect that the Licensed Entities will cover a substantial majority of such costs in the future. In general, the holding company transfers funds from financing (including funds from its IPO, follow-on equity offerings, and offerings of convertible bonds, as applicable) to Licensed Entities in the form of capital injections or loans to support their business expansion. These Licensed Entities pay the consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries periodically for the services rendered through inter-company transactions, pursuant to the terms of the contractual arrangements between them. The Group currently does not have any cash management policies specifically governing these transfers between VIE and subsidiaries. Instead, we are guided by the contractual arrangements to which we are a party and, to the extent permissible under those contractual arrangements, the discretion of our management. To date, we have not experienced difficulty in transferring cash to or from the holding company, the subsidiaries, the VIEs, and investors. However, there is no assurance that the PRC government will not intervene or impose restrictions on our ability to transfer cash.

 

To illustrate cash flows among the holding company, its subsidiaries, and consolidated VIEs by type, please refer to the following tables (all in US$ thousands):

 

Cash flow between Holding company and Subsidiaries:

 

 

Fiscal Year ended December 31

 

2019

 

 

2020

 

 

2021

 

Net increase (decrease) of Loans to Subsidiaries

 

 

4,797

 

 

 

(995

)

 

 

94,502

 

Capital Injections to Subsidiaries

 

 

66,517

 

 

 

60,400

 

 

 

239,500

 

 

 

Cash flow between Holding company and VIEs:

 

 

Fiscal Year ended December 31

 

2019

 

 

2020

 

 

2021

 

Net increase of Loans to VIEs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8,586

 

 

 

Cash flow between Subsidiaries and VIEs:

 

 

Fiscal Year ended December 31

 

2019

 

 

2020

 

 

2021

 

Net (decrease) increase of Loans to VIEs

 

 

(9,470

)

 

 

1,312

 

 

 

1,726

 

Service Fees Paid to VIEs

 

 

19,186

 

 

 

20,928

 

 

 

76,971

 

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Our subsidiaries and the consolidated VIEs did not declare or distribute any dividends or distributions for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Additionally, the holding company did not declare nor distribute any dividends or distribution for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Condensed Consolidated Financial Information relating to the VIEs

As of and for the year ended December 31, 2021:

 

 

 

Parent

 

 

VIEs(1)

 

 

Subsidiaries

 

 

eliminating

adjustments

 

 

Consolidated(2)

 

Current assets

 

 

170,220,287

 

 

 

51,873,657

 

 

 

3,234,726,520

 

 

 

(185,548,937

)

 

 

3,271,271,527

 

Non-current assets

 

 

428,634,807

 

 

 

16,083,322

 

 

 

34,013,807

 

 

 

(428,584,807

)

 

 

50,147,129

 

Total assets

 

 

598,855,094

 

 

 

67,956,979

 

 

 

3,268,740,327

 

 

 

(614,133,744

)

 

 

3,321,418,656

 

Current liabilities

 

 

2,005,459

 

 

 

25,422,094

 

 

 

2,878,428,946

 

 

 

(185,916,356

)

 

 

2,719,940,143

 

Non-current liabilities

 

 

150,223,767

 

 

 

6,858

 

 

 

4,622,020

 

 

 

 

 

 

154,852,645

 

Total liabilities

 

 

152,229,226

 

 

 

25,428,952

 

 

 

2,883,050,966

 

 

 

(185,916,356

)

 

 

2,874,792,788

 

Total revenues

 

 

1,290,388

 

 

 

65,295,325

 

 

 

260,518,378

 

 

 

(62,615,929

)

 

 

264,488,162

 

Net income (loss)

 

 

14,690,701

 

 

 

(700,720

)

 

 

16,389,903

 

 

 

(15,689,183

)

 

 

14,690,701

 

Net cash (used in) provided

   by operating activities

 

 

(2,956,553

)

 

 

18,431,299

 

 

 

397,729,210

 

 

 

 

 

 

413,203,956

 

Net cash (used in) provided

   by investing activities

 

 

(307,315,533

)

 

 

(4,048,620

)

 

 

(8,395,110

)

 

 

330,678,088

 

 

 

10,918,825

 

Net cash provided by (used

   in) financing activities

 

 

330,881,355

 

 

 

(5,091,778

)

 

 

335,769,866

 

 

 

(330,678,088

)

 

 

330,881,355

 

 

(1)

The disclosed amounts of the VIEs were before elimination adjustments of intercompany transactions within the Group. See Note 1 to our audited consolidated financial statements for more information of the VIEs.

 

(2)

The disclosed amounts were included in our audited consolidated financial statements.

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As of and for the year ended December 31, 2020:

 

 

 

Parent

 

 

VIEs(1)

 

 

Subsidiaries

 

 

eliminating

adjustments

 

 

Consolidated(2)

 

Current assets

 

 

51,428,493

 

 

 

48,118,025

 

 

 

2,121,388,146

 

 

 

(68,712,677

)

 

 

2,152,221,987

 

Non-current assets

 

 

188,091,549

 

 

 

16,253,660

 

 

 

23,691,704

 

 

 

(187,941,549

)

 

 

40,095,364

 

Total assets

 

 

239,520,042

 

 

 

64,371,685

 

 

 

2,145,079,850

 

 

 

(256,654,226

)

 

 

2,192,317,351

 

Current liabilities

 

 

2,267,071

 

 

 

25,955,828

 

 

 

1,991,631,664

 

 

 

(68,482,884

)

 

 

1,951,371,679

 

Non-current liabilities

 

 

1,565,843

 

 

 

1,158,044

 

 

 

2,534,657

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,258,544

 

Total liabilities

 

 

3,832,914

 

 

 

27,113,872

 

 

 

1,994,166,321

 

 

 

(68,482,884

)

 

 

1,956,630,223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

 

1,885,212

 

 

 

16,191,693

 

 

 

133,900,879

 

 

 

(13,481,094

)

 

 

138,496,690

 

Net income (loss)

 

 

16,064,793

 

 

 

(7,524,524

)

 

 

34,615,803

 

 

 

(23,976,827

)

 

 

19,179,245

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash provided by (used

    in) operating activities

 

 

649,082

 

 

 

(597,323

)

 

 

535,229,256

 

 

 

 

 

 

535,281,015

 

Net cash (used in) provided

   by investing activities

 

 

(27,414,976

)

 

 

646,647

 

 

 

11,607,329

 

 

 

58,716,619

 

 

 

43,555,619

 

Net cash (used in) provided

   by financing activities

 

 

(2,167,502

)

 

 

311,688

 

 

 

52,206,357

 

 

 

(58,716,619

)

 

 

(8,366,076

)

 

(1)

The disclosed amounts of the VIEs were before elimination adjustments of intercompany transactions within the Group. See Note 1 to our audited consolidated financial statements for more information of the VIEs.

 

(2)

The disclosed amounts were included in our audited consolidated financial statements.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2019:

 

 

 

Parent

 

 

VIEs(1)

 

 

Subsidiaries

 

 

eliminating

adjustments

 

 

Consolidated(2)

 

Total revenues

 

 

2,874,057

 

 

 

44,134,256

 

 

 

52,819,106

 

 

 

(41,164,519

)

 

 

58,662,900

 

Net (loss) income

 

 

(6,589,432

)

 

 

16,505,238

 

 

 

(19,244,853

)

 

 

3,379,189

 

 

 

(5,949,858

)

Net cash provided by

   operating activities

 

 

3,758,294

 

 

 

6,567,594

 

 

 

232,983,251

 

 

 

 

 

 

243,309,139

 

Net cash used in investing

   activities

 

 

(91,764,800

)

 

 

(10,240,498

)

 

 

(906,362

)

 

 

80,871,549

 

 

 

(22,040,111

)

Net cash provided by

   financing activities

 

 

115,766,911

 

 

 

43,730

 

 

 

79,967,428

 

 

 

(80,871,549

)

 

 

114,906,520

 

 

(1)

The disclosed amounts of the VIEs were before elimination adjustments of intercompany transactions within the Group. See Note 1 to our audited consolidated financial statements for more information of the VIEs.

 

(2)

The disclosed amounts were included in our audited consolidated financial statements.

 

D. Risk Factors

The following risks should be considered in conjunction with the information set forth above under the headings “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 3. Key Information” and below under “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.” These risks may affect the Company’s operating results and, individually or in the aggregate, could cause its actual results to differ materially from past and anticipated future results. The following discussion of risks may contain forward-looking statements which are intended to be covered by the Safe Harbor Statement. Except as may be required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. The Company invites you to

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consult any further related disclosures made by the Company from time to time in materials filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC.

We are subject to multiple risks arising from our corporate structure, including our status as a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands that conducts a portion of our business through China-based VIEs with which we have only contractual relationships and in which we do not own an equity interest, and our operations in China, including potential actions or decisions by PRC or U.S. regulatory authorities restricting or affecting our business activities in the PRC or our access to U.S. capital markets. Certain of these risks, as well as other information relating to our corporate structure and operations in China, are highlighted above under Item 3. Key Information – Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure” and are summarized immediately below. These risks are incorporated by reference in this “Item 3. Key Information – D. Risk Factors.”

Summary of Certain Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations and Operating Structure

Risk Factor

Page

Shareholders may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through the U.S. courts may be limited, because we are registered under Cayman Islands law.

10

If the agreements that establish the structure for operating some of our activities in China do not comply with PRC regulations, if we fail to obtain all required permissions and approvals required by Chinese regulatory authorities, or if these regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.

11

Uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the newly enacted Foreign Investment Law of the PRC and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

12

We rely on contractual arrangements with the VIEs and their respective shareholders for a large portion of our business operations, which may not be as effective as equity ownership in providing operational control, and which we may not be able to enforce in a court of law.

12

Any failure by the VIEs or their shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material and adverse effect on our business.

13

The shareholders of the VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect our business.

14

Contractual arrangements in relation to the VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that we or our PRC VIEs owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect our financial condition and the value of your investment.

14

We may lose the ability to use and enjoy assets held by the VIEs that are material to the operation of certain portions of our business if the VIEs go bankrupt or become subject to a dissolution or liquidation proceeding.

14

The PRC government may intervene or impose restrictions on our ability to transfer cash to or from the holding company, the subsidiaries, the VIEs and investors.

15

If we fail to protect customer data and privacy, our reputation, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.

15

We may be subject to regulatory compliance costs and enforcement activity relating to Chinese privacy and data security laws.

16

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We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in the PRC regulations of Internet-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite licenses, permits or approvals applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

17

The audit reports included in this annual report have been prepared by our independent registered public accounting firms whose work are not currently inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

18

We may be subject to consequences pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and related regulations, including the potential for our ADSs to be prohibited from trading on U.S. securities exchanges, including The Nasdaq Stock Market, and in the U.S. over-the-counter market, which will limit the liquidity of our ADSs and our access to U.S. capital markets.

19

We are subject to numerous regulations in the PRC, and compliance with these regulations may result in costs, expenses, regulatory enforcement action, and reputational harm that may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

20

The legal system of the PRC is not fully developed and there are uncertainties that may affect the protection afforded to us.

20

The PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, and it has recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over overseas securities offerings and other capital markets activities and foreign investment in China-based companies.

20

PRC regulation of loans and direct investment by offshore holding companies to PRC entities may delay or prevent us from using proceeds we received from our initial public offering and the Concurrent Private Placement to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries.

21

We may be subject to penalties, including restrictions on our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, if our PRC resident shareholders or beneficial owners fail to comply with relevant PRC foreign exchange regulations.

22

You may be subject to PRC withholding tax on dividends from us and PRC income tax on any gain realized on the transfer of our shares or ADSs if we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise.

22

We may not be able to obtain certain tax benefits for dividends paid by our PRC subsidiaries to us through our Hong Kong subsidiaries.

23

PRC regulations may restrict our ability to convert Renminbi into foreign currency and remit such currency out of the PRC to pay capital expenses.

23

 

We are subject to additional risks as a result of doing business in China, as summarized immediately below and described in more detail below under the heading “Risks Related to Doing Business in China.”

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Summary of Risks Related to Doing Business in China

Risk Factor

Page

The current trade war between the U.S. and China, and on a larger scale internationally, may dampen growth in China and other markets where the majority of our customers reside, and our activities and results may be negatively impacted.

63

PRC economic, political and social conditions as well as government policies could adversely affect our business and prospects.

64

We may be subject to penalties for failure to fully comply with the NDRC and the MOFCOM filing requirements for historical overseas investments.

64

The enforcement of the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China, or the PRC Labor Contract Law, and other labor-related regulations in the PRC may increase our labor costs and impose limitations on our labor practices.

65

Failure to make adequate contributions to various employee benefit plans as required by the PRC regulations may subject us to penalties.

65

Any failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee share incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

66

We may be deemed to be a PRC resident enterprise under the Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, and be subject to the PRC taxation on our worldwide income, which may significantly increase our income tax expenses and materially decrease our profitability.

66

We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies.

67

Our leased property interest may be defective and our right to lease the properties may be affected by such defects, which could cause significant disruption to our business.

67

If the settlement reached between the SEC and the Big Four PRC-based accounting firms (including the Chinese affiliates of our independent registered public accounting firms), concerning the manner in which the SEC may seek access to audit working papers from audits in China of U.S.-listed companies, is not or cannot be performed in a manner acceptable to authorities in China and the United States, we could be unable to timely file future financial statements in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act.

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Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We have a limited operating history and our historical financial, operating results and growth rates may not be indicative of future performance.

We have a limited operating history. We launched our trading platform in August 2015 and have experienced rapid growth since then. Our total revenues increased significantly from US$58.7 million in 2019 to US$138.5 million in 2020 and further increased to US$264.5 million in 2021. We also improved from net loss of US$5.9 million in 2019to net income of US$19.2 million in 2020 and net income of US$14.7 million in 2021, as a result of growth in our businesses and improvement in economies of scale. We expect our business expansion to continue as we grow our customer base and explore new market opportunities. However, due to our limited operating history, our historical growth rates may not be indicative of our future performance. We cannot assure you that we will grow at the same rate and succeed in introducing new services and products as we did in the past. Further, we may fail to

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adjust our business model to our development needs or the requirements of this ever-changing industry. You should consider our prospects in light of the risks and uncertainties that a fast-growing company with a limited operating history may be exposed to or encounter.

We have incurred net losses in the past and may incur losses in the future.

The fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 was the first year we have been profitable since our inception. We incurred net losses of US$5.9 million in 2019 and generated net income of US$19.2 million in 2020 and net income of US$14.7 million in 2021. We have made significant investments in research and development, employee compensation and benefits, communication and market data, and marketing and branding to rapidly develop and expand our business. We expect to continue or increase such investments to establish and expand our business, and these investments may not result in an increase in revenue or positive cash inflow from operations in a timely manner, or at all.

We may incur substantial losses for a number of reasons, including the lack of a larger customer base, as well as other risks discussed herein, and we may incur unforeseen expenses, or encounter difficulties, complications and delays in generating revenues or achieving profitability. We may also incur net losses in the future due to changes in the macroeconomic and regulatory environment, competitive dynamics and our inability to respond to these changes in a timely and effective manner. If we are unable to maintain profitability, we may have to reduce the scale of our operations, which may impact our business growth and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Non-compliance with applicable laws in certain jurisdictions could harm our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.

The businesses of securities and other financial instruments are heavily regulated. Our brokerage business is subject to regulations in the United States, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and other jurisdictions in which we offer our products and services. Major regulatory bodies include, among others, in the United States, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or the FINRA, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or the CFTC; in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or the MAS; in New Zealand, the Financial Markets Authority New Zealand, or the FMA, and the Financial Service Providers Register, or the FSPR; in Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC; in Hong Kong, the Securities and Futures Commission or SFC. Domestic and foreign stock exchanges, other self-regulatory organizations and state and foreign securities commissions can censure, fine, issue cease-and-desist orders, suspend or expel a broker and its officers or employees. Non-compliance with applicable laws or regulations could result in sanctions to be levied against us, including fines and censures, suspension or expulsion from a certain jurisdiction or market or the revocation or limitation of licenses, which could adversely affect our reputation, prospects, revenues and earnings.

Furthermore, securities brokerage firms are subject to numerous conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest, over which federal and state regulators and self-regulatory organizations have increased their scrutiny. Addressing conflicts of interest is a complex and difficult undertaking. Our business and reputation could be harmed if we were to fail, or appear to fail, to address conflicts appropriately.

In addition, we use the Internet and mobile network as a major distribution channel to provide services to our customers. A number of regulatory agencies have adopted regulations regarding customer privacy, system security and safeguarding practices and the use of customer information by service providers. Additional laws and regulations relating to the Internet and mobile network and safeguarding practices could be adopted in the future, including laws related to access and identity theft and regulations regarding the pricing, taxation, content and quality of products and services delivered over the Internet and mobile network. Complying with these laws and regulations may be expensive and time-consuming and could limit our ability to use the Internet and mobile network as a distribution channel, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and profitability.

Our ability to comply with all applicable laws and rules is largely dependent on our internal and third party vendors’ system to ensure compliance, as well as our ability to attract and retain qualified compliance personnel. While we maintain systems and procedures designed to ensure that we comply with applicable laws and regulations, violations

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could still occur. Some legal and regulatory frameworks provide for the imposition of fines or penalties for non-compliance even though the non-compliance was inadvertent or unintentional and even though systems and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations were in place at the time. There may be other negative consequences resulting from a finding of non-compliance, including restrictions on certain activities. Such a finding may also damage our reputation and our relationships with regulators and could restrict the ability of institutional investment managers to invest in our securities.

We may not be able to obtain or maintain all necessary licenses, permits and approvals and to make all necessary registrations and filings for our activities in multiple jurisdictions and related to residents therein, especially in China or otherwise related to PRC residents.

We operate in a heavily-regulated industry which requires various licenses, permits and approvals in different jurisdictions to conduct our businesses. Our customers include people who live in jurisdictions where we do not have licenses issued by the local regulatory bodies. It is possible that authorities in those jurisdictions may take the position that we are required to obtain licenses or otherwise comply with laws and regulations which we believe are not required or applicable to our business activities. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements, we may encounter the risk of being disqualified for our existing businesses or being rejected for renewal of our qualifications upon expiry by the regulatory authorities as well as other penalties, fines or sanctions. In addition, in respect of any new business that we may contemplate, we may not be able to obtain the relevant approvals for developing such new business if we fail to comply with the relevant regulations and regulatory requirements. As a result, we may fail to develop new business as planned, or we may fall behind our competitors in such businesses.

In addition, a significant portion of our technology research and development, management, supporting and other teams are based in China and a significant portion of our customers are Chinese speaking people including PRC citizens. Our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs work closely with and provide significant supporting services for our trading platform outside of China as well as teams in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and Australia. In the opinion of our PRC legal counsel, our current supporting activities in China do not require a securities brokerage license or permit under the existing PRC securities laws and regulations. However, new laws and regulations in connection with our business activities may be adopted from time to time. There may be substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or any future PRC laws and regulations applicable to our business and that the PRC government or other governmental authorities may ultimately take a view that is inconsistent with the opinion of our PRC legal counsel. For instance, if certain of our activities in China were deemed by relevant regulators as provision of securities brokerage services, future brokerage services, securities or futures investment consulting services or stock option brokerage business, we might be subject to licensing requirements from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”).

In July 2016, the CSRC posted an investor alert on its website warning investors that except for certain investment channels approved by the CSRC under the PRC laws, the CSRC has not approved any domestic or foreign institutions to provide services for domestic investors to participate in overseas securities trading. In September 2016, we received a rectification notice issued by the Beijing branch of the CSRC. Following such notice, we took certain rectification measures in order to comply with the requirements set forth therein, and we provided written responses to such authority promptly. We communicate with the Beijing branch of the CSRC from time to time to ensure our business follow their requirements. As of the date of this report, we have not received further written rectification requirements from the CSRC. For more details of the notice and our rectification measures, please see “Item 3. Key Information – Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business.” However, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to further investigation or scrutiny from regulators even though we had not yet received any negative opinion or penalty for the activities of our PRC entities or services provided to PRC investors so far. If we are required to make further rectifications, our business and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. If we fail to receive required permits in a timely manner or at all, or obtain or renew any permits and certificates, we may be subject to fines, confiscation of the gains derived from our non-compliant activities, suspension of our non-compliant activities or claims for compensation of any economic loss suffered by our customers or other relevant parties.

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If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may be unable to accurately or timely report our results of operations or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the market price of the ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.

Prior to our initial public offering, we were a private company with limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls. In 2019 and 2020, we and our independent registered public accounting firms identified a material weakness in our internal controls. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal controls such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weakness identified related to our lack of sufficient and competent accounting and financial reporting personnel with appropriate knowledge of U.S. GAAP to design and implement robust period-end financial reporting policies and procedures for the preparation of consolidated financial statements and related disclosures in accordance with U.S. GAAP and the financial reporting requirements set forth by the SEC. In the past, we made certain corrections to our interim financial reporting. We have implemented a number of measures to address the material weakness that had been identified. For details of these remedial measures, see “Item 15. Controls and Procedures—Remediation of the Material Weakness in Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” While, as of December 31, 2021, based on our management’s assessment on the performance of the remediation measures, we determined that the material weakness had been remediated, in the future we may determine that we have additional material weaknesses, or our independent registered public accounting firm may disagree with our management assessment of the effectiveness of our internal controls.

We are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or Section 404, requires that we include a report from management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our annual report on Form 20-F beginning with our annual report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. In addition, as we have ceased to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined in the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.

Our management has concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2021.  See “Item 15. Controls and Procedures—Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” However, if we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 and our independent registered public accounting firm may not be able to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting at a reasonable assurance level. If we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which would likely cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. This could in turn limit our access to capital markets, harm our results of operations, and lead to a decline in the trading price of the ADSs. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions. We may also be required to restate our financial statements for prior periods. Furthermore, we have incurred and anticipate that we will continue to incur considerable costs, management time and other resources in an effort to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other requirements.

Violations of the relevant SAFE rules and regulations may give rise to regulatory inquiries, investigations or other actions, which may disrupt our business and could materially and adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

A significant portion of our customers are PRC citizens resident in China and are therefore subject to the restrictions imposed by the applicable rules and regulations promulgated by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or the SAFE, regarding the conversion of Renminbi into foreign currencies and the remittance and use of such funds outside China. Under the current PRC foreign exchange regulations, each PRC citizen is permitted to convert up to an aggregate of US$50,000 equivalent Renminbi each year for appropriate personal use. Such appropriate use does not include direct investment into secondary stock markets. PRC citizens who intend to convert U.S. dollars exceeding such quota are required to go through additional application and review procedures with the relevant

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commercial banks designated by the SAFE. Despite our emphasis on our customers’ compliance with the relevant rules and regulations in the agreements with customers on our platform, we cannot assure you that our customers will follow the rules and regulations and the provisions in our agreements at all times. Any misbehavior or violation of our customers of applicable laws and regulations could lead to regulatory inquiries and investigations that involve us, which may affect our prospects.

In connection with our customers’ transfer of funds, in March 2016, we received a notice from the SAFE requiring us to review and report situations regarding our customers’ account opening and fund transfers on our platform. Thereafter, the regulator conducted an onsite inspection collecting information on our customers’ compliance with the relevant SAFE rules and regulations since the inception of our business. We submitted the relevant materials as requested by the regulator by the end of March 2016. In December 2016, the SAFE made another visit to our company and we submitted some additional documents per its requirements. As of the date of this report, we have not received any further inquiries or notices from the SAFE regulators. For more details of the notice aforementioned and our measures in response thereto, please see “Item 3. Key Information – Description of Certain PRC Regulations Affecting Our Business.” Since the PRC authorities and the commercial banks designated by the SAFE to conduct foreign exchange services have significant amount of discretion in interpreting, implementing and enforcing the relevant foreign exchange rules and regulations, and for many other factors that are beyond our control and anticipation, we may face more severe consequences, including but not limited to being asked to take additional and burdensome measures to monitor the source and use of the foreign currency funds in the accounts of our customers or suspend our operations pending an investigation or indefinitely. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.

Any future change in the regulatory and legal regime for the securities brokerage industry may have a significant impact on our business model.

Firms in the securities brokerage industry have been subject to an increasingly regulated environment over recent years, and penalties and fines sought by regulatory authorities have also increased. This regulatory and enforcement environment has created uncertainties with respect to various types of products and services that historically had been offered by us and that were generally believed to be permissible and appropriate. Our model of operation and profitability may be directly affected by legislative changes in rules promulgated by government agencies and self-regulatory organizations in various jurisdictions that oversee our businesses, and changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules, such as the potential imposition of transaction taxes.

In addition, to continue to operate and expand our services internationally, we may have to comply with the regulatory controls of each jurisdiction where we conduct, or intend to conduct business, the requirements of which may not be clearly defined. The varying compliance requirements of these different regulatory jurisdictions, which are often unclear, may limit our ability to continue existing international operations and further expand our business internationally. For example, we face significant legal uncertainties as to whether the CSRC would require us to get certain licenses or permits relating to our activities in China given the fact that most of our technology, customer services and administrative teams are based in China, or whether the CSRC would view our current or previous business operations in China as non-compliant with the relevant regulatory regime. See Item 3.D “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business and Industry-We may not be able to obtain or maintain all necessary licenses, permits and approvals and to make all necessary registrations and filings for our activities in multiple jurisdictions and related to residents therein, especially in China or otherwise related to PRC residents.” We could be subject to disciplinary or other actions in the future due to claimed or deemed non-compliant, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations as further described under “-Non-compliance with applicable laws in certain jurisdictions could harm our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.”

Accusations or claims against us may adversely affect our business operations and reputation.

We have been involved in cases or claims such as infringements upon reputation and intellectual property rights allegedly conducted by users on our platform, and portraiture right infringements based on the fact that we list some of our shareholders on our website. For other examples, please see Item 3.D “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business and Industry-We may not be able to obtain or maintain all necessary licenses, permits and approvals and to make all necessary registrations and filings for our activities in multiple jurisdictions and related to residents therein,

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especially in China or otherwise related to PRC residents.” Although the records of investigations or accusations did not necessarily lead to sanctions against us in a direct way, these historical records might be accessed online or offline, which could adversely affect our business operations and reputation, and thus further affect our progress if we decide to enter into new markets in these jurisdictions.

A substantial portion of our business currently relies mostly on collaboration with our primary clearing agent, Interactive Brokers. Our business will be adversely impacted if we are unable to maintain our relationship with Interactive Brokers.

We currently rely largely on Interactive Brokers to execute, settle and clear a substantial portion of the trades of the U.S. and Hong Kong stocks and other financial instruments, and to comply with certain federal, state and other laws, as discussed more fully in Item 4.B “Business Overview-Our Core Products and Services-Brokerage Services.” For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020, and 2021, 78.4%, 74.8%, and 57.4% of our total net revenues were executed and cleared by Interactive Brokers. For consolidated accounts, the information of which is not fully disclosed to Interactive Brokers, we receive commission fees and direct a pre-determined portion to Interactive Brokers. For fully disclosed accounts, every time Interactive Brokers executes and clears a trade, it collects the commissions, deducts its pre-determined portion and returns the rest of the commission fees to us. Customers can also trade on margin and short sell securities on our trading platform. We generate interest income arising from margin financing offered by us to consolidated account customers and earn financing service fees related to the margin financing provided by Interactive Brokers to fully disclosed account customers.

Our agreements with Interactive Brokers are non-exclusive and do not prohibit Interactive Brokers from working with our competitors or from offering competing services. Interactive Brokers currently offers execution and clearing services for other online brokerage platforms and other alternative brokers and also offers competing services on its own. Interactive Brokers could view that working with us is not in its best interest and hence decide to enter into exclusive or more favorable relationships with our competitors. In addition, Interactive Brokers may not perform as expected under our agreements including potentially being unable to accommodate our projected growth in customer base and trading volume. We could in the future have disagreements or disputes with Interactive Brokers or other clearing agents, which could negatively impact or threaten our relationship.

Interactive Brokers is subject to oversight by the SEC, the FINRA, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and other regulatory authorities in the U.S. and other jurisdictions and must comply with complex rules and regulations, licensing and examination requirements. We are an “introducing broker” to Interactive Brokers for fully disclosed accounts, and as such, we are subject to audit by Interactive Brokers and the FINRA with respect to our proprietary and customer accounts and are required to maintain such account information in such a manner as to enable Interactive Brokers and FINRA to specifically identify the accounts from our platform. We have broad indemnification obligations and exposure under our agreements with Interactive Brokers related to the actions and inactions involving the consolidated accounts and fully disclosed accounts or other activities under the agreements with Interactive Brokers.

In the event that our relationship with Interactive Brokers deteriorates, we may need to enter into alternative arrangements with different clearing agents. If Interactive Brokers were to suspend, limit or cease its operations or our relationship with Interactive Brokers were to otherwise terminate, we would need to implement a substantially similar arrangement with another clearing agent or curtail our operations. To date, we have not frequently used any other backup clearing agents for execution and clearing services to the extent we use Interactive Brokers. Our relationships with such clearing agents are subject to a number of risks and may be subject to change or termination with appropriate notice.

We believe that our relationship with Interactive Brokers is critical to our business. If we need to enter into alternative arrangements with a different clearing agent to replace our existing arrangements, we may not be able to negotiate a favorable alternative arrangement. Transitioning to a new clearing agent or increasing self-clearing through TradeUP Securities Inc. (“TradeUP Securities”), formerly known as Marsco Investment Corporation are time-consuming and may affect the user experience or, if our platform becomes inoperable, may result in our inability to facilitate trades through our platform. We would also need to comply with applicable laws regarding execution and clearing services, which would be costly and time-consuming. If we are unsuccessful in maintaining

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our relationships with Interactive Brokers, our operating cost and expenses might increase, which may materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Self-clearing exposes us to significant operational, liquidity, financing and regulatory risks.

We began self-clearing a portion of the trades of the U.S. stocks and other financial instruments in the third quarter of 2019, following our acquisition of TradeUP Securities, and we expect to increase the proportion of such trades that we self-clear in the future. Self-clearing requires us to finance transactions and maintain margin deposits at clearing organizations.

Clearing and execution services include the confirmation, receipt, settlement, delivery and record-keeping functions involved in securities transactions. Clearing brokers also assume direct responsibility for the possession or control of client securities and other assets and the clearing of client securities transactions. However, clearing brokers also must rely on third-party clearing organizations, such as the Depositary Trust Clearing Corporation and its subsidiaries in the United States, in settling client securities transactions. Clearing brokers are also responsible for protecting client assets and complying with relevant customer protecting regulations. Clearing securities firms, such as TradeUP Securities, are subject to substantially more regulatory oversight and examination than introducing brokers who rely on others to perform clearing functions. Errors in performing clearing functions, including clerical and other errors related to the handling of funds and securities held by us on behalf of clients, could lead to regulatory fines and civil penalties as well as losses and liability in related legal proceedings brought by clients and others.

We may be required to finance our clients’ unsettled positions and we could be held financially liable for the defaults of our clients. Although these obligations are collateralized, we are subject to market risk in the liquidation of customer collateral to satisfy those obligations. Default by our clients may also give rise to our incurring penalties imposed by execution venues, regulatory authorities and clearing and settlement organizations.

Regulatory agencies have required clearing and settlement organizations to increase the level of margin deposit requirements and they may continue to do so in the future. Growth in trading activity may lead to higher regulatory capital requirements. We cannot assure you that these capital requirements will be sufficient to protect market participants from a default or that we will not be adversely affected in the event of a significant default.

As a result, self-clearing exposes our business to operational risks, including business and technology disruption; operational inefficiencies; liquidity, financing and regulatory risks; and potentially increased expenses. We may encounter difficulties with self-clearing that lead to operating inefficiencies, technology issues, dissatisfaction amongst our client base, disruption in the infrastructure that supports the business, inadequate liquidity, increased margin requirements with clearing organizations and third-party settlement agents who provide financing with respect to transactions, reductions in available borrowing capacity and financial loss. Any such delay, disruption, expense or failure could adversely affect our ability to effect transactions and manage our exposure to risk. Moreover, any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

If we are unable to develop a diverse customer base and offer new and innovative products and services, our business, financial condition and results of operation may be negatively impacted.

Historically, we generated a significant portion of revenues through the provision of online brokerage services including commissions for execution of trades and interest income or financing service fees arising from or related to margin financing for our customers. Key success factors of the online brokerage industry include expansion of products and services that add value to customers, acquisition of licenses in different jurisdictions and enhancement of user experience. We intend to continue strengthening the innovation, security, efficiency and effectiveness of our brokerage services, including our user-friendly interface, comprehensive functionalities and customer service capabilities and to expand our service offerings to small and medium-sized institutional customers and increase the proportion of revenues generated from them. We have developed customized application programming interface, or API, for our institutional customers. As institutional customers tend to trade more consistently and demand a wider spectrum of services as compared to individual investors, we strive to foster long-term partnerships with them and to grow our revenue streams substantially as a result of greater number of institutional customers utilizing our trading

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platform and services. We cannot guarantee that we will be successful in expanding our customer base, and if we are unable to do so, our growth prospects, financial condition and results of operation may be adversely affected.

We also plan to continue integrating value-added services, including asset management and wealth management services as well as institutional and corporate services to improve popularity and enhance customer stickiness and diversify revenue streams. We aim to provide asset management and wealth management services to a greater number of high net worth individuals as well as institutional and corporate customers. As we provide a wider array of services, including ESOP, asset management and wealth management services, we expect to attract more institutional and corporate customers to engage us to provide such services and in turn generate more revenues. We expect our operating cost and expenses to continue to increase as we provide more innovative and effective products and services. If we are unable to develop products and services that attract sufficient cus