China tech stocks soared as sources said President Xi Jinping’s top economic aide met tech giants on Tuesday to promote the digital economy.
Chinese tech founders including Qihoo 360’s Zhou Hongyi and Baidu’s Robin Li are attending the meeting with Vice Premier Liu He, which was organised by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), according to the sources, who declined to be named as the information has not been yet made public. The Hang Seng Tech index surged 5.45% as of 7am GMT.
Both Zhou and Li are members of the CPPCC, which brings prominent people in business, the arts and academia to discuss issues with the Chinese Communist Party.
The meeting, which is underway, is being closely watched for remarks by Liu and others for clues as to how far Chinese authorities will go in easing a regulatory crackdown since late 2020 on the once-freewheeling tech sector.
Liu has been at the forefront of efforts by the government to assure the private sector of support.
The sources said about 100 people will attend the meeting, including representatives from internet firms.
The CPPCC Daily said members had gathered material for discussion by talking to experts, company representatives and scholars. The report did not name any companies.
Tech Stocks Rise
Shares in Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech giants rose on Tuesday morning after the newspaper report, as hopes grow for an easing of China‘s unprecedented regulatory crackdown on its once-freewheeling tech sector.
Market sentiment has also been bolstered as Shanghai achieved the long-awaited milestone of three straight days with no new Covid-19 cases outside quarantine zones, which could lead to the beginning of the lifting of restrictions.
Mainland China‘s CSI300 Index gained 0.95% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 2.35% higher as tech firms listed in the city jumped on hopes that Beijing’s crackdown on the sector will be relaxed.
Baidu and Qihoo 360 did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reports late last month said that China’s top leaders would hold a symposium in May with a number of internet companies that would be chaired by President Xi Jinping. But it was not known if Xi would attend the meeting.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard