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Prices of many of the 25 tech companies listed on the STAR Market more than doubled, with one company, Anji Microelectronics Technology, logging a 400 percent advance.
Regulators have approved 25 companies in information technology and other fields for the STAR Market. The market, modeled on the U.S.-based NASDAQ, reflects the ruling Communist Party's desire to channel private capital into its development plans. It gives small Chinese investors a chance to buy into tech industries that until now have turned to Wall Street to sell shares.
Trading kicked off with fanfare early Monday with the city's Communist Party secretary, Li Qiang, and the chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, Yi Huiman, joining to bang a ceremonial gong.
A weekend Cabinet announcement also promised to increase the limit on foreign ownership of insurance companies from 25% and to open pension and asset management to foreign competitors. It gave no timetable or other details.
Washington and other trading partners complain Beijing is dragging its feet on promises to open its financial industries after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.