Starting a Forex brokerage in China: Gold-i's Max Tsen explains

MT4 systems integrator Gold-i recently set up an office in Shanghai, headed by former Ericsson executive Max Tsen, to serve and help develop the burgeoning China Forex startup scene.

With a few months under his belt on the job, we’re now pleased to speak with Max and get his perspectives on what Retail Forex brokers are doing right – and wrong – in building their China operations.


LR: Hi Max, and thanks for joining us today. Please let us know a little more about Gold-i, and what you’re doing in China.

Max: Sure, and thanks for the opportunity to address LeapRate’s audience, which I know has a large following in China.

Gold-iMy name is Max Tsen. I am Gold-i’s Asia Business Development and Operations Executive. I head up Gold-i’s newly opened office in Shanghai and my main role is to ensure we provide high quality technical support to our Chinese clients as well as to help Gold-i to develop and grow in China. As Gold-i’s products and services are already in demand in the region, I also need to focus on recruiting the right people into the business so that we can grow our team in the Shanghai office.

LR: In your view, what’s the most important element of setting up a successful FX brokerage business in China?

Max: The most important element is to set up a stable platform for their users to trade. This is the basic and most important element. Without it, it is not possible to be a successful brokerage. The market is growing quickly and brokers need to think about their current and future needs.

LR: From your experience what is the thing done wrong most commonly by Forex brokers looking to break into China?

Max: The market here is huge and a lot of forex brokers are looking to break into it. However, some of them only focus on looking for users and publishing ads. Unfortunately, this is not enough. Having a stable platform and being able to offer a professional service is very important. Forex brokers with both elements will be successful in this market.

LR: Has the financial market turmoil over the past 6 months or so in China had a negative effect on FX industry growth, or has the volatility increased Chinese traders’ appetite and trading volumes?

Max:  It has not had a negative effect in China. The Chinese financial market is still growing gently. I am glad to see more and more people joining the industry in China as it is going to be bigger, better and more mature.

LR: How does doing business in China differ than in Europe, or in other countries and regions in the Far East?

Max: In China, providing a local service is very important because most Chinese brokers only speak Chinese.  They like to meet face to face, know who they are dealing with and where the office is based. It’s important for any technology partner to understand the local business culture and speak the local language. That’s why Gold-i set up an office in Shanghai – it would be impossible for us to be an effective partner without having a local presence.

LR: What has been the reaction from Chinese brokers to Gold-i opening in China? What do they most like about Gold-i?

Max: Chinese brokers have been looking for a reliable, stable bridge for a long time and I believe we have the best products in the industry to meet their needs. One of our core values is that we always go the extra mile to help our clients – and this means we can provide the very high levels of support which brokers in this region appreciate.

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