March 30, 2018 / 1:16 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-China launches new share listing options to attract innovative firms

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BEIJING/SHANGHAI, March 30 (Reuters) - China announced a pilot scheme on Friday to encourage tech, bio-tech and high-end manufacturing firms to list their shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The move paves the way for domestic listings of overseas-listed tech giants such as Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent Holdings, Baidu, Weibo and Sogou.

The scheme, proposed by China’s securities regulator, is aimed at promoting innovation and aiding China’s economic restructuring, according to a statement posted on the State Council’s website.

The plan would allow qualifying overseas-listed companies with a market value of no less than 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) to issue shares or depositary receipts.

The scheme also applies to qualifying unlisted firms with a valuation of no less than 20 billion yuan or fast growing revenues.

Reuters reported earlier in March that China was making plans to allow its offshore-listed tech giants to sell depository receipts on the mainland.

China’s securities regulator will set up a new committee to select and review firms for the scheme, which applies to companies in fields such as the Internet, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, chips, bio-tech and high-end manufacturing.

The State Council, or cabinet, said firms taking part in the scheme should treat domestic and foreign investors equally, and they must disclose differences in voting rights and any special company structure arrangements.

$1 = 6.2730 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting By Beijing Monitoring Desk, Shu Zhang, Samuel Shen and Ryan Woo Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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