Chinese stocks nosedived on Monday following growing concerns of new Covid restrictions and a renewed regulatory offensive against big tech companies sapped investor confidence.
Casinos in the gambling hub of Macao have been ordered to close for the first time since February 2020 because of a Covid outbreak, sending shares of their operating companies plunging, and fears of new lockdowns in Shanghai undermined the broader China market.
China’s tech stocks also plunged after the country’s antitrust regulator imposed fresh fines on a batch of A-list companies, rekindling fears that authorities are still not lifting the pressure on the country’s embattled internet giants.
Top government officials had recently signaled an easing of President Xi Jinping’s bruising tech crackdown and pledged support for the internet sector. The change in rhetoric fueled hopes that Beijing would support the private sector in helping to rescue growth at a time when China’s economic outlook is weak.
However, the latest move from the top market regulator sparked a fresh stock sell-off.
Late on Sunday, the State Administration for Market Regulation said it had fined a number of technology companies for violating anti-monopoly rules on the disclosure of transactions. The watchdog released a list of 28 mergers and acquisitions involving Tencent, Alibaba, Bilibili, Sina Weibo, Lenovo, and Ping An Health, that it said had not been reported to the regulator.