What happened: Shanghai Stock Exchange’s technology innovation board, China’s answer to the Nasdaq, will begin accepting IPO applications as early as March 2019, with listings planned for June. Unprofitable companies will likely be permitted to raise funds, but only those focusing on core technologies, including computing, software, and pharmaceutical drug development, will be welcomed.
Why it’s important: The plan was first laid out by Chinese President Xi Jinping in November in order to make Shanghai an appealing international financial center. Regulators are reportedly considering dramatic steps to make the bourse more attractive, including the removal of profit requirements, loosening foreign-exchange controls, and offering a flexible trading system. Currently, unprofitable companies are prohibited from raising funds on the country’s stock exchanges. However, there will be limitations. Blockchain companies, bike-rental services, and other unproven online platforms will be excluded from listing.