Briefing: China launches STAR Market, first Nasdaq-style tech board

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China launches Nasdaq-style tech board in Shanghai, expects challenges -Reuters

What happened: China officially launched its Nasdaq-style high-tech board, formally known as the STAR Market, on Thursday, a major step toward financial reform in the country. Yi Huiman, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the country’s top securities regulator, presided over the launch ceremony at a financial forum in Shanghai. Chinese vice premier Liu He participated in the launch ceremony to emphasize the importance of the STAR Market. Setting up the new tech board “is a brand new exploration, and there could be various difficulties and challenges,” Yi said.

Why it’s important: The new board was announced in last November by Chinese president Xi Jinping to attract Chinese high-tech companies to raise funds on domestic capital markets. Regulators have significantly lowered the listing threshold for the new board, allowing pre-profit firms to list. So far, 120 companies have applied to list on the board, among which six companies have been approved to go public on the new board and are waiting for final review by the CSRC.