Zhiwu Chen
Prof. Zhiwu CHEN
Chair Professor of Finance
Cheng Yu-Tung Professor in Finance
Director, Centre for Quantitative History
Director, Hong Kong Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences
HKU Council Member

3910 3079 / 3917 1271

KK 1338

China’s Quant Clampdown Risks Damaging Fragile Markets for Years

To lessen market volatility, Chinese regulators began implementing measures that affected quantitative trading strategies. These included rejecting requests to short sell, conducting on-site reviews of trading operations, and temporarily halting transaction capabilities for some firms. The restrictions had a negative impact on funds that relied on algorithmic models as they prevented executions, recalled loaned shares, and introduced unpredictability that computer systems had not anticipated. As a result, these funds experienced performance disparities when compared to wider benchmarks. Prof. Zhiwu Chen, Chair Professor of Finance at HKU Business School, shared his views on A-share market regulation in an interview with Bloomberg.

China Revives Socialist Ideas to Fix Its Real-Estate Crisis

Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, compared China’s new housing strategy to the way Beijing uses its so-called “national team” of state funds to buy equities to try to prop up the depressed stock market. Such efforts have often failed to sustainably bolster the market. Using government money to buy up distressed real estate would be no different, he said, given the country’s demographic challenges and supply glut. Government interventions could also raise uncomfortable questions about social fairness, he said. Buying properties from existing homeowners or developers when the market is weak would amount to using national resources to subsidize owners who have the flexibility to sell, when others don’t, he said. “It turns into an issue of wealth distribution,” he said. “Not everyone in China owns multiple apartments, nor are they ready to sell.”

China could boost demand and ease deflation with cash payments, analysts say

Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said “The biggest deflation factor is the high sense of insecurity among businesspeople, private firms and officials”. He said “No one feels really secure about tomorrow.”

China’s hi-tech manufacturing faces ‘extraordinary pressures’ as 2023 output stalls

Chen Zhiwu, a chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said headwinds such as risks of a global recession and US-China tensions would continue to exert “extraordinary pressures” on China’s hi-tech push. “The US tech war has largely thwarted Chinese tech companies’ [initial public offering] opportunities. Even if these tech manufacturers succeed in going public, the potential sanctions would affect their market valuations,” said Chen. He added China’s weak economic momentum is also weighing on the market’s overall willingness to invest, with hi-tech manufacturing just one element. “The rapid development of hi-tech industries over the past 20 years has provided China with a massive boost to its economic boom, this was partly due to the impact of a stable external environment on investor confidence,” Chen said.

China’s economic ‘recovery is still shaky’ as Beijing looks to get it back on solid footing in 2024

Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said restoring confidence would be key, but that it would take much more than just talk. “The really useful and meaningful way to boost household and private business confidence is to depoliticise both economic policymaking and the business sector,” he said. “Otherwise, the ‘3D’ challenges – deflation, debt and deleveraging – will continue.”



China wants to build ‘first-class’ investment banks – but isn’t telling the industry how

China only entered the investment banking and fund management game in the 1990s, more than two centuries after Wall Street, said Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong.

Fed interest rate stance could help ‘pummelled’ yuan, China could feel ripple effects of 2024 cuts

Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said the pause by the US Federal Reserve, and possible cuts, could be positive for China’s exports but not its financial markets. “The news means more US stock market and bond market upsides in the coming years, possibly luring more capital out from China,” said Chen, adding the US economy could continue to cool further but is unlikely to slip into a serious recession.

China’s economic data again under the microscope, local authorities warned over falsifying statistics

"It's definitely in the government's interest to ensure maximum data reliability" said Chen Zhiwu, a finance professor at the University of Hong Kong.