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  • Ernie Diaz

Mutual Admiration Society

We deplore those who would paint China with a broad brush, unless it's us doing the painting. Painting is one of those things Chinese tend to leave to professionals, eschewing DIY projects in general, save one - picking stocks. The number of "how to pick stocks" videos on Douyin, China's TikTok, rivals the number of milk-fed teens doing dumb dances on TikTok, America's Douyin.

Change is in the air, however, as China just officially became the largest market for open-ended mutual funds, $2.7 trillion, up from $1.9t in 2019, bigger than Japan and Australia. Blackrock's rolling into China, and the spate of applications from other giants such as Fidelity, make more sense in light of those numbers.

"The intriguing fact is that China's mutual fund market is still only 9% of America's," says Edward Lehman. "That gap is going to close at a very swift rate. Thanks to foreign-ownership laws, the opportunity to offer open-ended funds to Chinese retail investors is by no means limited to giants such as BlackRock and Vanguard."

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