China Briefs: China Stock Market Rebound, Alibaba in Fortune 500, Cybersecurity, and Retail Sales

After a breath-taking dive, China’s benchmark index, the Shanghai Composite Index, posted its biggest two-day gain since 2008 on Friday, but investors and observers remain cautious.

The Shanghai Composite Index surged 6.1% to 3,934.13 at 11:03 a.m., Bloomberg reported, adding to Thursday’s 5.8% surge, as health-care, industrial and consumer companies advanced.

About 1,422 Chinese-listed companies are currently suspended from trading as of Friday, down from Thursday’s 1,439.

Meanwhile, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) told reporters that the country’s insurers have bought a total of Rmb112.3bn (USD18bn) of equity since the start of the stock market fall.

The total industry figure will be much larger as the regulator increased the limits for insurers to invest in blue chip stocks, an official from the CIRC was quoted by the Shanghai Securities News.

As of 08 July, Chinese insurers have invested Rmb57.4bn (USD9.24bn) in equity and Rmb54.8bn (USD8.82bn) in equity funds.

Several Chinese-listed companies have already suspended share trading to avoid further fall of their stocks.

Beijing also made public a draft on a cybersecurity law that aims to strengthen the Chinese government’s ability to defend versus cyber threats and protect data on domestic users.

It is also seen to increase controls on China’s Internet use. Government officials say that passage of a cybersecurity law is a top priority in 2015 — reflecting President Xi Jinping’s administration’s urgency on national security.

China has been accused of waging cyberwarfare on other countries states but claims to be itself a victim of cyber attacks.

Finally, the 100 biggest retailers in China declared that combined sales rose 26.2% year-on-year to Rmb3.37tr (USD544bn) last year, according to the China General Chamber of Commerce on 9 July.

Organization Vice-President Wang Yao said during an industry exposition in Kunshan City that yearly growth rate for the country’s biggest retailers was 6.4 percentage points higher compared to that of 2013. –