Why Alibaba, JD.com, and RLX Stocks Dropped Today
As of 11:50 a.m. ET, shares of Chinese companies large and small, from internet giants Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE: BABA) and JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) to tiny e-cigarette maker RLX Technology (NYSE: RLX), are falling across the board, down 6.6%, 8.9%, and 8%, respectively. Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) effectively torpedoed demand for Chinese equities when it passed new rules under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, and declared, “If you want to issue public securities in the U.S., the firms that audit your books have to be subject to inspection by the PCAOB [Public Company Accounting Oversight Board].” Today, giant global asset management firm TCW Group, with $266 billion in assets under management, warned that the situation for U.S. investors in Chinese equities may be fully as bad as that sounds. As CNBC reported this morning, TCW managing director for emerging markets sovereign research David Loevinger observed that for 20 years, the U.S. has been asking nicely for China to permit greater transparency into the finances of its publicly traded companies — but to no avail.