China encourages elderly vaccination; Hong Kong closes 5% higher

Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese companies rise in pre-market trade

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese technology companies rose in pre-market trade after Chinese health authorities reported a recent uptick in senior vaccination rates.

Alibaba rose 5.6%, rose 7.43% in pre-market trading, while Pinduoduo rose 5.08% and Baidu rose 5.39%. Bilibili rose more than 10%.

Hong-Kong listed tech companies also surged after the press briefing by health authorities — the wider Hang Seng Tech index ended its session more than 7.6% higher.

– Jihye Lee

‘Wrongful practices’ such as long-term lockdowns should be avoided: Chinese official

A Chinese official on Tuesday described long-term lockdowns and related measures as “wrongful” if imposed for long periods.

“Long-term lockdown will not only impact the general public’s normal life and work, it can easily trigger anxiety and such wrongful practices must be addressed and avoided,” said Cheng Youquan, a supervisory official of the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration, at a press briefing.

He said there needs to be “better zoning of high- and low-risk regions” and that a high-risk area can be defined as a single unit or a building. He added that it “should not be arbitrarily expanded to a bigger scope.”

Separately, he said ad-hoc working committees have been established to “deal with the wrongful practice of arbitrary imposition of restrictions.”

— Abigail Ng

Chinese authorities urges elderly to be proactive about vaccination

Chinese health authorities urged its elderly population to show initiative regarding vaccination.

Announcing a “new work plan,” Xia Gang, an NHC official in charge of immunization services, said that the government plans to “optimize services and publicity” to boost national vaccination rates, especially for the elderly.

“I also hope those elderly population, especially those over 80 years old … to please take your own initiative to vaccinate and to protect your own health,” said Xia, according to a translation of Tuesday’s briefing.

“We will earnestly implement the requirements of the state council and carefully organize and implement the vaccination work around the country,” he said.

– Jihye Lee

China says it is ‘closely watching’ virus developments when asked about shift in policy

Chinese health authorities said that officials are “closely watching” the developments of Covid when asked if protests in the region would lead to shifts in its zero-Covid policy.

“China has been following and closely watching the virus as it evolves and mutates,” officials said, according to a translation of Tuesday’s briefing.

– Christine Wang, Evelyn Cheng

Singapore banks’ exposure to crypto ‘insignificant’, says MAS Chairman

Singapore banks’ exposure to cryptocurrency is insignificant, said the chairman of Singapore’s central bank.

In response to a question in parliament, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said banks will be required to hold $125 Singaporean dollars of capital for every $100 of cryptocurrency.

The MAS added that it will follow the framework of international standard-setter Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on treatment of banks’ exposure…

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