Outspoken market analyst’s Chinese social media accounts suspended


SHANGHAI, May 1 (Reuters) – The Chinese social media accounts of a Hong Kong-based franc market strategist have been suspended after a series of downbeat comments and mainland stocks fell to two-year lows on lockdowns of COVID-19 and global political tensions.

All content in the WeChat account of Hong Hao, head of research at Bocom International Holdings, has been blocked since Saturday evening. His account was also suspended, WeChat said, citing unspecified violations of its rules.

Hong’s account on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo microblog has also been missing since Saturday.

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Representatives for WeChat and Weibo did not immediately respond to email requests for comment on Sunday.

Negative commentary from market analysts and commentators in China is often censored and comes under scrutiny as the country’s economy and financial markets face headwinds in a year in the making. which Xi Jinping is expected to secure a third term as president.

Hong did not respond to a text message from Reuters seeking comment on the suspensions and a Bocom International representative did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

China’s stock market is among the worst performers in the world this year, with the blue-chip CSI300 index (.CSI300) falling to its lowest level in two years and the Shanghai Composite Index (.SSEC) dropping below the mark of 3,000 last week.

Hong had predicted in March that the Shanghai Composite Index could trade below 3,000 points in the worst-case scenario.

The index fell below that level on April 25 when Beijing resumed mass testing of residents for COVID-19, although the index rebounded to 3,047 points on Friday after China pledged to stabilize the economy and financial markets.

Hong had also attributed a rout of Chinese companies listed in the United States to the Chinese crackdown on tech companies rather than US auditing rules, warning of potential capital flight due to falling confidence in Chinese stocks.

“Shanghai: zero movement, zero GDP,” he wrote on Twitter on March 31, just as the financial and commercial hub entered a citywide coronavirus lockdown.

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Reporting by Jason Xue and Ryan Woo Editing by David Goodman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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