* SSEC -0.8%, CSI300 -1.2%, HSI -1.3%
* China semiconductor, rare earth shares jump
SHANGHAI, May 23 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Thursday, almost hitting three-month lows, as investors dumped technology shares amid worries the Sino-U.S. trade conflict was fast morphing into a technology cold war that will victimize a growing number of Chinese companies.
** Hong Kong stocks fell to the lowest level in nearly four months, led by index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd, which was on track for the 6th straight session of decline.
** The CSI300 index fell 1.2% to 3,606.93 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8% to 2,867.48.
** The Hang Seng index dropped 1.3% to 27,346.59, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.6% to 10,431.33.
** Selling was intensive in the technology sector, which dropped 2.5% in China and nearly 3% in Hong Kong.
** Late Wednesday, Reuters reported the U.S. administration was considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision over the country’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, according to a person briefed on the matter.
** Hikvision shares extended steep losses, slumping as much as 5.4%. Another security equipment manufacturer Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co Ltd drops 2.8%.
** After the United States placed Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, British chip designer ARM has halted relations with Huawei in order to comply with the blockade.
** China-listed Huawei suppliers including Luxshare Precision Industry, Shenzhen Sunway Communication Co Ltd , Shennan Circuits and Shenzhen Goodix Technology Co. Ltd. fell. In Hong Kong, suppliers including Sunny Optical Technology, AAC Technologies Holdings Inc and Q Technology (Group) Co Ltd all down over 3%. ** Bucking the broad sell-off, shares of China’s semiconductor firms jump on Thursday, as Beijing rolls out supportive measures to bolster the development of the key industry.
** Shares such as Hunan Goke Microelectronics, Ningbo Kangqiang Electronics Co Ltd and Shenzhen Fine Made Electronics Group Co Ltd all surged, after China said on Wednesday it was making preferential tax treatment available to more chip design and software firms.
** China-listed rare earth firms, including Innuovo Technology Co Ltd and JL MAG Rare-Earth Co Ltd continued to rise sharply, amid speculation the sector could be the next front in the trade war.
** Rising tensions between the United States and China have sparked concerns that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war between the two global economic powers.
Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; editing by Gopakumar Warrier