China stock exchange for entrepreneurs launches in Beijing

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Workers install the nameplate of the Beijing Stock Exchange on the Financial Street in Beijing, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. According the local news report, the Beijing Stock Exchange will start trading on Monday, Nov. 15. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING (AP) — A stock exchange set up in the Chinese capital to serve entrepreneurs opened trading Monday with 81 companies amid a crackdown on tech giants that has wiped more than $1 trillion off their market value abroad.

The Beijing Stock Exchange joins others in Shanghai and the southern city of Shenzhen. Mainland exchanges are mostly off-limits to foreign investors, but some Chinese companies have shares traded in Hong Kong, a separate Chinese territory that is open to global capital.

The ruling Communist Party has promised more support for entrepreneurs who generate wealth and jobs but is tightening control over tech companies and pressing them to invest their own money in promoting Beijing’s industry plans.

President Xi Jinping said in September the Beijing exchange would “create a service-innovation-oriented main position for small and medium-size enterprises,” the ruling party’s term for private companies.

Chinese stock exchanges were set up to raise money for state-owned companies, which prompted entrepreneurs to go abroad for capital.

Investors are uneasy about the status of China’s entrepreneurs after the ruling party tightened control on tech companies by launching data-security and other crackdowns last year. Investors have knocked more than $1 trillion off the value of Tencent Holding and other tech giants on Wall Street and the Hong Kong exchange.

Shenzhen added a separate trading board in 2004 for private enterprises. Shanghai added a board for technology companies in 2019.

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