Chinese tech stocks opened the new month in green territory, as the revival of Ant Group's initial public offering plan, even at a much discounted size from the record-breaking $35 billion deal expected to occur in November 2020, has brightened the outlook.
Ant's parent company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 9988) ended 4% higher Wednesday, at $173.28 per share. The tech giant has lost billions in market valuation this year: in early September 2020, BABA shares traded at just under $300 apiece. And while Bloomberg reports that Ant's IPO may be postponed again amid an investigation into certain top officials of the city of Hangzhou, where the company is headquartered, investors are hopeful that troubles with authorities are over for China's top e-commerce company and its fintech arm. As Reuters reported, Ant will form a credit-scoring joint venture with several state-backed firms, thus handing over its massive control of user data.
Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU; HKEX: 9888) was lifted 5% to $165.18 per share Wednesday. And while the company is down year-to-date, exactly a year ago its stock sat at about $125 per share, showing Baidu a rare gainer among China's finest. Indeed, during this time, while Alibaba was paying fine after fine and trying to keep a low profile, Baidu celebrated its secondary offering in Hong Kong and advanced toward the monetization of its robotaxis, among other developments.
The third of China's Big Three, Tencent Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TCEHY; HKEX: 0700) also rose 5% today, to $64.56 a share. Also significantly hurt by the regulatory crackdown this year, TCEHY stock is down 8% from the same time last year. In recent week, shares in the company fell to the 52-week low of $53.47 following the tightening in the gaming sector, new data laws, and a stop to certain highly-anticipated mergers. Just recently, Beijing reduced online play time for minors to three hours a week on weekends and holidays. But in spite of Beijing's anti-monopoly policies, the conglomerate continues to stretch its global reach. A Monday report by the Information stated that Tencent is participating in a $1 billion fundraising by Indonesia's logistics startup J&T Express.
China's e-commerce titan No. 2, JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD; HKEX: 9618), closed 3% higher, at $80.78 per share. In fact, JD has also been faring better than some other big techs, its shares down just 3% from a year ago. In part, the gains today may be attributed to the news that it is setting up unions for its workers. Shares in ride-hailing giant DiDi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI) surged 12% on the same news, with DIDI stock ending at $9.20 per share.
To avoid leaving out Pinduoduo Inc. (Nasdaq: PDD) – this e-commerce platform also gained, ending 7% higher, at $106.83 per share. Like Baidu, Pinduoduo is also in the green in a year, now up 18% from its level a year ago.
Other top gainers among Chinese stocks were entertainment platform Bilibili (Nasdaq: BILI) – up 5%, and software company Tuya Inc. (NYSE: TUYA) and fintech company Futu Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: FUTU), both up 15%. China's top housing platform KE Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BEKE) ended 13% higher; many other internet-based companies, as well as some education stocks, were on the uptrend following major sell-offs over the past few weeks.