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SHANGHAI — China shares fell on Monday as surging COVID-19 cases and a lockdown of Shanghai raised fears of a slowdown in economic activities, while tech stocks helped Hong Kong equities rise after two straight sessions of falls.

The CSI300 index fell 0.8% to 4,141.71 by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1% to 3,208.12.

The Hang Seng index rose 1.3% to 21,683.35. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.8% to 7,411.83.

** China’s financial hub of Shanghai launched a planned two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million people on Monday. A record 3,450 asymptomatic COVID cases were reported in Shanghai on Sunday, accounting for nearly 70% of the nationwide total, along with 50 symptomatic cases.

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** Consumer staples lost 2.1%, with liquor makers down 3.5%.

** New energy, semiconductor and non-ferrous metal stocks fell between 1.2% and 1.5%.

** However, real estate developers rose 2.1%, while energy shares jumped 3.2%.

** In Hong Kong, Meituan surged 14.4% after the food delivery giant reported a better-than-expected 30.6% rise in fourth-quarter revenue on Friday.

** Tech companies listed in Hong Kong added roughly 3%, with Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings up 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively.

** Chinese regulators and their U.S. counterparts are working hard to solve an audit dispute affecting U.S.-listed Chinese firms and want to achieve effective and sustainable cooperation as soon as possible, a state-run newspaper reported on Sunday.

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** Last week, the U.S. public company accounting regulator had said recent media speculation about an imminent deal with China was “premature.”

** “There appears to be irreconcilable difference between the US and Chinese regulators regarding the US-listed Chinese companies,” Hao Hong, head of research at BOCOM International, said in a note on Monday.

** “The difference between the best and worst cases for these companies is the time left for them to be delisted. And, the CSRC (China Securities Regulatory Commission) is riding to the rescue.” (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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