China to tighten scrutiny of STAR listings

SHANGHAI, April 16 (Reuters) - China’s securities watchdog said on Friday it would tighten scrutiny of listings on Shanghai’s technology-focused STAR Market to ensure tech is their main business.

There have been problems for some applicants and firms under IPO reviews, including a lack of core technology, insufficient scientific and technological innovation capability and low degree of market recognition, China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a press conference on Friday.

Companies engaging in real estate and companies mainly engaging in financial investment business will be barred from listing on the STAR Market, CSRC said.

CSRC also said it would tighten scrutiny of companies engaging in fintech and restrict their listings on the STAR Market.

A growing number of Chinese tech start-ups are cancelling plans to list on Nasdaq-style markets at home, with some eyeing Hong Kong share sales instead, as regulators tighten scrutiny of IPO applicants after the halting of Ant Group’s $37 billion float.

As of Thursday, there were a total of 261 companies listed on the STAR Board, with a total market capitalization of 3.3 trillion yuan ($505.96 billion). ($1 = 6.5223 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)