By Emily Bary
U.S.-listed shares of Chinese internet stocks were rallying Tuesday after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced an upsized buyback program in what the Chinese e-commerce giant said was “a sign of confidence about the company’s continued growth in the future.”
Additionally, Reuters reported Tuesday that Chinese regulators asked some Chinese companies that list their shares on U.S. exchanges to brace for more audit requirements . The report, which cited multiple unnamed sources, said that China is contemplating allowing U.S. regulators to look at the audit working papers for Chinese companies that aren’t involved in the collection of sensitive information.
U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies have come under pressure recently, in part because the U.S. is seeking to crack down on the auditing practices of foreign companies that list their shares on American exchanges. Earlier in March, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an update identifying five Chinese companies using accounting firms or branches that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board hasn’t been able to fully inspect and investigate.
Alibaba’s /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA +4.91% U.S.-listed shares surged more than 11% in Tuesday morning trading, while U.S.-listed shares of Bilibili Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207131615/composite BILI -0.14% were up more than 14%. Other big gainers included U.S.-listed shares of Pinduoduo Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208876581/composite PDD +2.69% , up more than 11%; iQiyi Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203657421/composite IQ +3.73% , up more than 13%; as well as Baidu Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209050136/composite BIDU +3.57% and Nio Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204905836/composite NIO +4.47% , each up nearly 5%. Shares of JD.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205122565/composite JD +3.41% are ahead more than 3%.
The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF /zigman2/quotes/205873167/composite KWEB +3.69% is up more than 4% in Tuesday’s session.
Outside of the internet sector, other U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies were gaining as well, including Yum China Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208495167/composite YUMC +2.69% , which was one of the five companies initially identified in the SEC notice. Its shares are up more than 6% Tuesday.