China’s markets are shaking off their casino reputation | The Economist

China's markets are shaking off their casino reputation

Can foreign firms actually win?

IN A WORLD where internet memes can explain market swings, China is second to none. Early in March, with mainland equities down by 15% in two weeks-their steepest fall in years-a video circulated on Weibo, a microblogging site, of a sheep stuck in a fence on a hill and a hiker climbing up to free it. The description of the video, in its meme incarnation, was “the national team comes to rescue me”. The national team is shorthand for big state firms that are believed to stabilise the market by buying shares when they plunge.

This video, though, had a twist. The hiker frees the sheep, only for it to lose its footing and tumble down the hill. Talk of the national team's rescue mission had spread for a few days, but equities continued to tumble, wiping out all gains made since late last year.

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