By Brent Li

To understand how offshore-listed Chinese stocks did in 2023, we need to look back a year earlier to when the Chinese landscape was pocked with widespread pandemic restrictions that sparked economic turbulence and weakened confidence. A minority initially predicted that despite the challenges of 2022, things were bound to improve during the year. Despite that, skepticism prevailed for most of the year until stocks began to recover in November 2022 with the lifting of lockdowns and hopes for an economic “return to normalcy.”

The late-year rally extended into early 2023, reaching a peak on the final day of the long Lunar New Year holiday. But then things quickly slowed, as Chinese adjusted their outlook and attitudes to conform with an economic downcycle that was a new experience for most following 35 years of breakneck growth.

“Investor enthusiasm at the start of 2023 quickly waned with the growing realization that there was more to China’s economic slowdown than just pandemic restrictions,” commented Doug Young, Bamboo Works Co-founder and Editor in Chief. “The country’s property crisis is one of the biggest drags, and unsustainable debt at the local government level also weighed on market sentiment. Beijing is taking baby steps to address those and other problems, but so far the markets don’t seem to think it’s enough.”

In keeping with our tradition, here is our latest annual review of offshore-listed Chinese stocks based on readership data for our Bamboo Works (BBW) stories.

Annual Stories

BBW published 712 news analyses, fast news, and expert articles in 2023, covering hundreds of companies across nine industries. Based on readership data for and Seeking Alpha, among others, BBW identified the most-read stories in each month of 2023, offering a retrospective of what was most popular during the year.

JanJinkoSolar Profits Soar, But Company Still Lacks Investor RespectJKS.US56,480
FebEV Slowdown De-Juices Ganfeng Lithium’s Profit Potential1772.HK31,942
MarHaidilao cooks up profits with store-slimming ‘woodpecker plan’6862.HK12,394
AprEx-Luckin duo brew up new Cotti coffee brand after sales scandalLKNCY.US89,181
MayAlibaba’s international business set for growing pains with spinoff, separate listingBABA.US54,190
JunEHang ready for takeoff?EH.US65,728
JulFreshippo tries to rock the stodgy supermarket cart with youthful customers, growth storyBABA.US24,546
AugYum China serves up record quarterly results amid Covid recoveryYUMC.US12,882
SeptFutu charges ahead in Singapore in stepped-up global expansionFUTU.US10,155
OctChina’s BYD scores win over Tesla in EV price war1211.HK33,284
NovAnta Sports takes its game to Southeast Asia2020.HK14,394
DecChina has a new e-commerce top dog as global gains lift PDD past AlibabaPDD.US15,946

The most-viewed stories describe the state of China’s economy and Chinese stocks in 2023, with robust growth in the new energy and electric vehicle sectors as major points of interest. Franchised restaurants and weakening consumption were themes for the consumer sector, while Chinese companies also sought to establish more stable footholds in various global regions.

Top Sector: New Energy

Among offshore-listed China stocks, consumer and e-commerce tickers were some of the most valuable by market capitalization, consistently capturing investor interest. This year’s “Top Sectors” analysis also considered the depth of reader engagement to gauge how intensely investors were following specific sectors.

The new energy sector surged during the year, emerging as a bright spot in an otherwise dim economy. 2023 saw a number of major milestones for the sector: China’s solar and wind power capacity surpassed thermal power generation, and the battery and storage industries made notable advances. A surging electric vehicle sector propelled China to the top spot in global car exports. And BYD surpassed Tesla in the fourth quarter to become the world’s largest new energy vehicle seller.

Goldwind (2208.HK; 002202.SZ), JinkoSolar (JKS.US), Ganfeng Lithium (1772.HK), Hesai Technology (HSAI.US), and Nio (NIO.US; 9866.HK) attracted major global investor attention. At the other end of the spectrum, the real estate sector ranked last, attracting interest mostly from stock buyers, reflecting a broader lack of interest in the industry. E-commerce, consumer, healthcare, infrastructure, finance, education, and the social media sectors ranked second to eighth in popularity, respectively, reflecting diverse investor engagement across these fields.

Top Word: Coffee

In addition to understanding investor focus from a broader sector perspective, we’ve also compiled the most attention-grabbing keywords of the year for a more micro perspective.

At this level, coffee dominated the list by a wide margin, followed by bubble tea in second, and fast food in third. Rounding out the list of top five keywords were AI and autonomous driving.

As consumers become more cautious, their focus may be shifting from staples to more value-added products, thus elevating the importance of coffee, bubble tea and fast food, with investors paying greater attention to related public companies. At the same time, future-oriented topics like AI and autonomous driving have also captured attention, as investors envisioned a person with coffee in the left hand, bubble tea in the right, and a mind wondering if AI might replace their job.

Most Anticipated IPO: KK Group

1. KK Group

This trendy retailer made its first sprint towards the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2021 but has yet to list. Among the IPO news reported by BBW, KK Group garnered the most attention, even though it remains uncertain if it will finally make it to market in the Year of the Dragon.

2. Lala Tech

According to Frost & Sullivan, Lala Tech leads China’s digital freight platform market with a total Gross Transaction Value (GTV) of $3.63 billion, giving it 61% market share. Boasting such strong numbers, Lala Tech was looking not only to list, but also to get a strong valuation. After a challenging 2023, it’s uncertain if 2024 and the Year of the Dragon will present better opportunities.

3. Edge Medical

Surgical robots have become a hot investment topic in China’s medical field, with multiple companies already listed and many others getting significant financing. Some companies still had yet to generate any revenue at the time of their IPO filings, but the combination of robotics and healthcare still brought them big interest from global investors.

4. Ubtech

At the end of 2023, Ubtech Robotics finally made its trading debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as the “first humanoid robot stock.” Last year, the five most anticipated IPO applications by offshore Chinese stocks were all on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. But Ubtech was the only one to actually make it to market, reflecting the exchange’s cautious approach to IPO applications.

5. Cirrus Aircraft

Cirrus Aircraft, originally an American aircraft manufacturer, was acquired by China’s state-owned AVIC in 2011. Using the maiden commercial flight for China’s homegrown C-919 narrowbody jet as a catalyst, Cirrus Aircraft aimed to ride an “aircraft fever” wave and applied to list in Hong Kong. As of February 2024, however, its application had yet to receive regulatory approval.

Investor Map

Countries and regionsPercentage
Hong Kong24%
United States16%
United Kingdom4%
South Korea1%

Our investor map didn’t change significantly from the previous year, with Hong Kong still leading with 24% of readers. Singapore and the UK saw slight increases in readership, while Malaysia entered the top 10 for the first time.

The Greater China region, along with Singapore, still accounts for about 50% of total investor traffic, indicating the base of buyers for offshore Chinese stocks is relatively stable. Further analysis of language use reveals a dominance of English, suggesting that English-speaking residents within the Chinese cultural sphere are the main buyers of offshore Chinese stocks.


In February 2024 as this report was being prepared, offshore Chinese stocks began a new rally to start the Year of the Dragon. We hope this momentum will continue, although the new lunar year is still young. Regardless of changes in the broader environment, we remain committed to helping investors worldwide better understand Chinese companies and China, the world’s second-largest economy. It will undoubtedly continue to offer many high-quality investment opportunities. But as the economy enters a new phase of more mature growth, the key will increasingly lie in having the vision to identify opportunities and the courage to seize them.

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