Financial news portals play an important role in the global retail Forex and CFD trading industry, bringing in new clients and keeping traders informed and engaged. In the second part of Forex Magnates’ Special China Series, we present our interview with the Head of the FX168 Finance Group, which operates a number of successful portals on instruments ranging from FX to bullion, providing an inside look at how the financial news business has developed in China and explore the differences within the popular western Forex sites.
Jiang Tai, the Founder & CEO of the FX168 Finance Group
1. Please tell us how your group websites got started?
Our website FX168 was initiated in 2001, when the commercial bank foreign exchange business was getting off the ground in China. In August of the same year, we successfully launched the “Wai Hui Bao Forex Trading Contest” together with the Bank of Communications.
In 2003, with the world famous Forex broker FXCM, we hosted the “FXCM Asia Elite Contest”. It was the first time an international foreign exchange broker was introduced to the Chinese market. In 2005, we signed a contract with CCTV (China Central Television) to provide it with information, data and market quotations on foreign exchange. In the same year we partnered with CBN, the renowned finance media headquartered in Shanghai, to host the “Forex Trading Championship”. Up until then, FX168 had been on a rapid growth path over 5 years, accumulating widespread partnerships from the banking industry to Forex broker agencies, and becoming China’s first stop for Forex trading, a must have for foreign Forex companies starting their business in China.
Starting from July 2005, with the official launch of the RMB exchange rate reform, the Chinese financial market began to see changes. Amid a wave of rising values in the stock market and the real estate market, investment and personal money management became a popular subject of interest. FX168 began its collective operation in 2009, producing and publishing the Blue Book of Personal Investment in the Chinese Forex Market in 2012, and in February 2014, the new FX168 website, “FX168 Finance Site,” made its official debut. Combining the advantages of the three major platforms of FX168’s financial group: foreign exchange, precious metals and futures, the new website has repositioned itself as a “Chinese financial website with global vision,” devoted to providing timely, accurate and complete financial news and investment information services to Chinese investors at home and abroad.
2. What is FX168’s position in the market and current state?
As a leading financial vertical media in China, FX168 boasts approximately 2 million readers a month, with more than 30 editors and journalists working for us. We offer a range of services, including:
- Real-time news service: 24-hour non-stop news updates on our website. Real-time reports of the latest status of the foreign exchange and precious metals markets, as well as other related markets, such as the stock market, the bond market and the energy market.
- Real-time market quote service: Our website covers nearly a thousand investment products from 35 major investment markets, including the basic rates and cross rates, precious metals market and energy market quotes, index movements on the major international stock markets, the latest bulk commodity trading prices, etc, all in real-time.
- Complete data service: Not only do we provide detailed information on when the important economic indicators of a country are to be released, on the same day and in the same week, as well as the prior values and expected values of those indicators, but we also allow users to check the detailed historic data of nearly a thousand economic indicators of major countries all over the world.
- Investment training service: We have a professional team which offers 1 hour of online real-time market reading and investment consulting services from Monday to Friday. Every year, we give almost 300 lectures to different types of financial institutions, including banks, stock exchanges and broker companies, and equip them with nearly 10,000 qualified professionals from our trainees.
- Brand marketing service: Through our website, mobile terminals, offline events and other channels, we provide advertising and brand promotion services to over 500 global clients.
- Competitor monitoring service: Our website has a complete database across the industry, and therefore we can provide customized intelligence monitoring service for organizations. We serve as the first-hand information source of competitor intelligence and public sentiment for these organizations.
3. What do you think defines FX sites in China? Is there a specific difference from western FX sites?
Compared to the counterparts overseas, the Forex websites in China have several unique features:
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- High news refresh rate. The users demand high timeliness of the online news. Hardly ever off time.
- Multimedia representation of news. The traditional text news report can no longer meet users’ requirement. They favor a new form of content representation in audio and video.
- Interactive Q&A is popular. It is a significant element which creates continuous vibrancy to the website.
- One of the most important components of Chinese Forex websites’ content is the movement of RMB rates and relevant policy updates. There is almost a complete gap in western Forex websites.
4. How do you define the characteristics of Chinese FX website readers?
Professional investors only count for a small portion of all readers. The majority are individual investors working full-time, spanning a wide age range, from the young white-collar who has just started working to managers in corporations and businesses, a small part including students and retirees.
All of them are investors with a global vision. They tend to have an overseas background and overseas connections. The other investment markets in China, such as the A shares market, do not meet their needs , and therefore they wish to participate in investment products that are fair, transparent and bi-directional tradable.
They are very concerned about fund security. In light of the special environment and policies of financial regulations in China, the investors are especially concerned about the reliability and independence of information provided by the chosen website, and the security of incoming and outgoing funds at the trading platform.
5. Western FX news sites usually try to attract readers from all over the world. Do you have plans to expand to other languages or do you see no need for that because the Chinese market is so big?
We focus on providing services in the Chinese language, with Chinese investors both in and out of China as our major target clients. We don’t have a plan to expand to other languages. We believe that there is a lot of work to do to just serving the interests of the Chinese investors all over the world.
6. Both Google and Facebook are blocked in China, what tools do you use to attract and keep in touch with readers?
- Maintaining the clients through investment training activities. As mentioned above, we have daily online training courses at fixed hours, which are received by about 350 people every day. In case of big events, the number of simultaneous online listeners could exceed a 1,000. Users nationwide can interact with our instructors and receive our services through live events. We also invite important target users to join our grand annual events.
- Promotion of important information to users via mobile devices. Users have developed a higher dependency on mobile devices, and we have developed our own apps, including FX168’s corporation page on Webchat and Weibo, as well as Facebook. Selected important information is also promoted to users on a regular basis and also directly through different platforms.
- There are also the conventional channels, such as email, 400 customer service line, online customer service system, and message board on the website, allowing our users to contact us at any time.
7. How does FX168 develop relationships with brokers?
From the first day up until now, FX168 has never referred any broker, nor are we planning to start doing this in the future. Our relationship with brokers is mainly about advertisement and broadcasting support. Meanwhile, the target of the services we provide, as mentioned above, includes brokers as well.
In the China Special Series, a bi-weekly review, Forex Magnates brings to the fore recent economic news and developments from the world’s largest economy. The rapidly growing Chinese economy presents traders and brokers with some exciting business opportunities, and here we will shed light on everything one needs, not overlooking the Chinese giant’s emerging trends and opportunities. After presenting trends reflected in the housing market last time, we will gravitate more towards the financial markets with a review of the Alibaba IPO and feature more interviews with major players in the Chinese FX trading realm. Stay tuned.