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China tech stocks have ‘a lot of upside’ and peak regulation is over, fund management firm says

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The Chinese government is unlikely to introduce new regulations for the internet tech sector and there could be more support going forward, according to Jonathan Krane of KraneShares.

“I think we’ve seen peak regulation,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.

He said the rules introduced in recent years were meant to create long-term stability in the sector.

“I think that’s in the past,” said Krane, the founder and chief executive officer of KraneShares. “I do not foresee much regulation going forward.”

He added that the Chinese tech industry makes up a big portion of the economy.

“It’s a very important sector, it’s the consumer of China — so I think you’re gonna see a lot of support around the sector going forward as China reopens.”

Chinese tech stocks have had some difficult years following the regulatory crackdown and amid the ongoing Covid restrictions, though the sector has recovered slightly on reopening hopes.

Time to buy?

Some analysts say valuations for Chinese stocks are looking cheap.

Ramiz Chelat of Vontobel Asset Management said he was relatively optimistic about the internet sector — but added that he was selectively so.

The portfolio manager pointed to companies that are improving market share and operating efficiency.

“We’ve seen JD in particular stand out in this regard,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday, noting that the e-commerce giant has beaten estimates significantly for two consecutive quarters and improved margins in its core business while reducing losses elsewhere.

JD.com‘s decision to step away from Southeast Asia is also in line with its plan to boost profitability, he said.

Meituan

“We think they’ve firmly entrenched their position relative to Alibaba in food delivery, and now have a dominant, you know, 60% plus market share,” he said.

Krane said China internet stocks are a consumer play that will benefit as China reopens and consumers start spending more again.

“We see 2023, as China opens up, these China internet names have a lot of upside to them,” he said.

Disclosures: Vontobel holds JD.com and Meituan stocks; and Ramiz personally holds JD.

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