Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Can I invest in Hello Inc. from Canada?

Hello Inc. has withdrawn its plans for a US IPO. But you can invest in similar companies.

Hello Inc. has cancelled its IPO plans and will no longer be going public in the US. The company owns Hellobike, a Chinese bike-sharing service backed by Jack Ma’s company, Ant Group. Here’s what we know about the Hello Inc. IPO and how to Learn more about Hello’s withdrawn IPO, and find out how else investors in Canada can back the company.

Note: All dollar amounts on this page are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What we know about the Hello Inc. IPO

On Tuesday, July 27, Hello Inc. announced it was withdrawing its registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and would no longer be going public in the US. The move is believed to be due to increased SEC regulations that require China-based companies to disclose any risks related to the Chinese government interfering with their businesses.

You can view the withdrawal request that Hello Inc. filed with the SEC here.

Hello Inc. originally filed a draft registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on April 23, 2021. It planned to sell American Depository Shares (ADSs) on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “HELO.”

The company had hoped to raise around $100 million from the offering. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited were set to act as lead underwriters for the deal.

American Depositary Shares explained

American Depositary Shares (ADSs) are equity shares of a non-US company held by a US depository bank. Generally, only US residents can have accounts with US depository banks. So, Canadians can’t buy stocks in a company if it’s only selling ADSs. This means that, even if Hello Inc. continued its plans to have an IPO in the US, investors in Canada wouldn’t be able to buy in.

Depository Banks are financial institutions that hold people’s assets (money, securities etc.) for safekeeping. Where stock trading is concerned, depository banks make it relatively safe and easy for US residents to buy stocks in foreign companies that trade on US exchanges like the NYSE or the Nasdaq. This is because a depository bank act as a custodian of stocks until they’re sold, after which it transfers the stocks between investors’ accounts.

Can I buy stocks in similar companies?

Hellobike is one of China’s largest bike-sharing services. Around 183 million people used Hellobike in 2020, bringing in a cool CNY ¥13 billion (around CAD $2.4 billion). Although you can’t buy Hello Inc. stocks, you can invest in other short-distance transportation companies listed on stock exchanges in North America and around the world.

CompanyDescriptionMarket CapitalizationStock info
Uber Technologies, Inc.Offers ride-hailing and delivery services and is a major investor in Lime Electric Scooter Rentals.$82 billionNYSE: UBER
Meituan DianpingBought one of the leading Chinese bike-sharing companies, Mobike, and renamed it to Meituan Bike.$192 billionOTC Markets, Pink Sheets: MPNGF
HKEX: 3690.HK
Lyft, Inc.Offers vehicles for hire, motorized scooters and bike sharing services. Owns Citi Bike, a bike-sharing system based in New York City.$15 billionNasdaqGS: LYFT
Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd.Taiwanese bike manufacturer. In collaboration with the Taipei City Department of Transportation, it offers YouBike, a bike-sharing system in the capital city of Taipei.$$113 billionTWSE: 9921.TW
Stagecoach Group plcOperates buses, express coaches and trams in the UK. Owns Megabus in the US.$482 millionLSE: SGC.L

How to buy shares in a company

You’ll need a brokerage account to buy and sell shares. Here’s how it works:

  1. Compare share trading platforms. If you’re a beginner, look for a platform with low commissions, expert ratings and investment tools to track your portfolio. Narrow down top brands with our comparison table.
  2. Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, like your ID and bank information. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
  3. Search for the company you want to invest in. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol (for example, UBER). Research its history to confirm it’s a solid investment against your financial goals.
  4. Purchase now or later. Buy immediately with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until the stock reaches your desired price. To spread out your purchase, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying at consistent intervals and amounts.
  5. Decide on how many to buy. Weigh your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimize risk through the market’s ups and downs. You may be able to buy fractional shares of companies, depending on your broker.
  6. Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own part of a company! Optimize your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights on directors and management that can affect your stock.

Tax implications of buying US stocks in Canada

Agreements between Canada and the US require Canadians holding US stock investments to pay the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a 15% withholding tax on any dividends earned on their US stocks. Interest earned from bonds or other interest-yielding US investments are similarly taxed at a rate of 10%.

An exception is made for stock investments held in trust exclusively designed to provide retirement income. Such trusts include RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs, LRIFs and Prescribed RRIFs. RRSPs are also exempt from US withholding tax if you own US investments in the form of US stocks, bonds or ETFs.

Investment accounts that do not qualify for this exemption include RESPs, TFSAs and RDSPs.

All income from investments, including foreign investments, must be declared as part of your income on your Canadian tax return. Unless your US earnings are exempt from withholding tax, this means you’ll be double taxed on those earnings — first by the IRS, then by the CRA. However, the CRA may allow you to claim foreign tax credits for any taxes you’ve already paid to the IRS.

Speak with a tax professional to find out what rules and exceptions apply to your circumstances.

Open a stock trading account

You can compare features of stock trading platforms in the table below. Once you’ve decided on the right fit for your needs, click the “Go to site” button to get started.

Name Product Available Asset Types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
OFFER
Wealthsimple Trade
Stocks, ETFs
$0
N/A
$0
Free
Get a $50 bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $100.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
Scotia iTRADE
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
$4.99-$9.99
$9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
$0
$9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Pay no annual account fees.
Buy, sell and trade ETFs, Equities, Options and more with competitive commissions.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$4.95 - $6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 (+$1.25 per contract)
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
$6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 is applicable for online stock, ETF and option trades only. Pay $4.95 when you qualify as an Active Trader (trade 150+ times per quarter).
An intuitive and easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools that help you make smart decisions and trade with confidence.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
$1.50 min. per order
$0
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Extensive trading capabilities and global investment tracking.
Access market data 24 hours a day, six days a week and invest in global stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from one single account.
Questrade
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95-$9.95
$9.95 + $1 per contract
$0
Free
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.
Qtrade Direct Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $8.75
Trade 100 select ETFs free of charge.
Qtrade Direct Investing offers low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options. Trade 100 ETFs free of charge and thousands more for $8.75 or lower.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Online stock trading
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

More on investing

Investing in your 40s: 8 ways to prepare for retirement

Investing in your 40s: 8 ways to prepare for retirement

How to invest for retirement: 8 ways to safeguard your portfolio.

Read more…
How to invest $1 million

How to invest $1 million

Here are the top 5 ways you should invest $1 million.

Read more…
Investing strategy: How growth stocks can make you money

Investing strategy: How growth stocks can make you money

Learn how to strategically find and invest in booming companies.

Read more…
6 places to find investment advice

6 places to find investment advice

Tips for beginning investors and high net-worth individuals alike.

Read more…
What is a stop-loss order?

What is a stop-loss order?

The stop-loss order can help you avoid big losses on your currency holdings.

Read more…
Big data stocks

Big data stocks

Looking to buy into big data companies? Check out this list of stocks.

Read more…

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Go to site