Two top Chinese social media platforms have suspended a market analyst’s accounts after he made negative comments.
As reported by Reuters on Sunday, May 1, WeChat blocked all content on Hong Hao’s account late Saturday. Hong Hao is head of research at Bocom International Holdings and is an outspoken Hong Kong-based market analyst.
WeChat said that Hong’s public account had also been suspended, explaining that he violated its rules.
Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of U.S. Twitter, also froze Hong Hao’s account on Saturday. Hong has more than 3 million followers on his Weibo account.
According to Reuters, Chinese authorities are censoring negative comments by market analysts and commentators as the economy and financial markets encounter stiff headwinds.
In March, Hong Hao predicted that the Shanghai Composite Index would fall below 3,000 points. Last week (on April 25), China’s benchmark index plummeted below that mark.
On March 31, Hong raised concerns about the lockdown in Shanghai. He wrote on Twitter, “Shanghai: zero movement, zero GDP.”
According to Bloomberg, Hong appeared regularly on financial channels, such as CNBC and Bloomberg TV. In addition, he had a track record of making accurate predictions about China’s stock market.
Hong has also blamed a rout of U.S.–listed Chinese companies on China’s crackdown on tech companies rather than U.S. audit rules. He warned of capital flight due to weakening confidence in Chinese stocks.
On Friday, April 29, social media circulated that Hong was being penalized for his bearish posts on the local stock market and would be dismissed by the company.
Due to the regime’s crackdown, even some executives at technology companies have to hide the content of their social media accounts.
On Sunday, the South China Morning Post reported that Liu Chuanzhi, founder of Lenovo, reduced his posts on Weibo.
In addition, his daughter, Liu Qing, president of ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, also hid her posts on the same platform.