Hi Trent - have wings already developed on the branches you’re pruning?
My experience with winged elm is in the form of seeing how the deer prune them around the yard at my parents place (they live “in the woods”). If chewed back to woody, winged growth (rare, but sometimes they’re real hungry) then the trees seem to respond by dropping the branch altogether in favor of other vigorous areas. If pruned to green shoots they generally throw one strong bud, sometimes 2, but I haven’t seen more than that. I have often thought about trying to collect some of them (there are really great, gnarly chewed up old trees in the woods) but have never tried. I think nature and the deer do a better job.
Now - my statements above only seem to apply to older trees that have been allowed to grow in more natural circumstances. On small winged elms, 1-5 years old, they can grow very similarly to other elms, forming well ramified small trees (1/4-1/2" size trunks). I have not had a chance to see these trees grow up and compare them to their older counterparts though. In all, I would not compare them to Chinese elms. I would compare them to Siberian elms. They grow quickly, prefer strong single buds, and aren’t afraid to randomly drop branches in favor of stronger areas.
In regards to the internode length, some species simply do not respond well to techniques meant to shorten them. This may be one of them.
Can you provide a photo or more details of the tree? Estimated age, previous care, etc?