Chinese tech stocks were mostly in the red Wednesday as reports about a cloudy trade outlook took precedence over any enthusiasm over Beijing scrapping several of its COVID-19 restrictions and policies.
Prior to the start of trading, China released trade data for November that showed both imports and exports shrinking at rates not seen in two years. The declines added to skepticism about the health of the Chinese economy, which has been affected by supply chain disruptions and crackdowns on public activity as part of China's "Zero-COVID" policies.
Among the COVID rules being relaxed are travel restrictions which had required people to show proof of a negative COVID test in order to travel to a different part of the country, and people with mild or COVID symptoms, or are asymptomatic, will be allowed to isolate at home instead of at hospitals or other medical locations.
The moves come following protests around China against the COVID policies which have caused upheaval in the country's business environment, and led to shortages and delays in tech product supply chains, in particular.
However, Chinese tech stocks didn't respond positively to the new COVID relaxations, as Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) fell almost 4%, JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) was down by more than 4%, Weibo (WB) fell more than 5% and Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY) gave up 2%.
The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) was also in the red, and down by more than 3%.
China is also reportedly clamped down on local officials' power to close off large city areas and institute so-called "closed loop" environments in metro regions.
Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) shares gave up almost 2% as Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring cut his iPhone estimates due in large part to issues with Chinese contract manufacturer Foxconn, which builds millions of iPhones for Apple.