Shares of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google may have jumped more than 50 per cent this year, but (according to south China morning post) these do not even come close to the gains made by four Chinese tech stocks and the run away succes of bitcoin.

With slightly more than a week to go before the end of this year, here are five hi-tech investments, some more well known than the others, which have bested the performance of those US companies’ shares.

1. Bitcoin

Year to date gain: 1,892 per cent

The first and most in-demand cryptocurrency, bitcoin takes the crown as this year’s top hi-tech investment. Just ask newly minted bitcoin billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who had invested a chunk of their 2008 settlement with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the skyrocketing cryptocurrency.

The price of bitcoin, tagged by investors as “gold 2.0”, has surged about 19 times to about US$18,800 from US$998 in early January, according to recent quotes from the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

The sharp rise in bitcoin prices has not only fuelled the growth of bitcoin mines and trading platforms, but also sparked concerns among central banks and regulators about a bubble waiting to burst.

2. Xunlei

YTD gain: 277.2 per cent

The Shenzhen-based provider of internet services, including network download, video playback, digital content and online games, is among a growing number of small publicly traded companies to benefit from the rapid increase in value of cryptocurrencies.

Xunlei was recently on a tear – its share price rising about six-fold to become one of the best-performing stocks on the Nasdaq

3. BeiGene

YTD gain: 219.4 per cent

The Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company hit a home run this year amid a global boom in the immunotherapy market. It has developed four clinical stage therapies designed to boost patients’ immune system in cancer treatment.

It recently completed building a manufacturing plant in Suzhou Industrial Park, located in the eastern-central coastal province of Jiangsu.

With a market capitalisation of about US$4 billion, BeiGene landed a US$1.39 billion deal in July with American biotechnology giant Celgene that marked the biggest overseas licensing of drugs developed in China to date.

4. Weibo Corp

YTD gain: 166 per cent

The Nasdaq-traded Chinese social media operator, which runs the Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo, had eclipsed its US rival in terms of market capitalisation in February this year.

Headquartered in Beijing, Weibo added 79 million monthly active users year on year in the third quarter to swell its total user base to 376 million – about 46 million more subscribers than Twitter.

Weibo also made a net profit of US$101.1 million in the quarter ended September 30, while Twitter reported a net loss of US$21 million in the same period.

5. Tencent Holdings

YTD gain: 111.5 per cent

The Shenzhen-based internet firm, which ranks as the world’s largest video game company by revenue, has continued its phenomenal run in the Hong Kong stock market amid a series of strategic acquisitions as well as the spin-off of its e-book arm China Literature, which became the city’s most profitable initial public offering in nearly a decade.

In November, Tencent became the first Chinese technology company to top US$500 billion in market value.

A US$1,764 investment in the company’s 2004 public offering would be worth US$1 million, after taking a 2014 stock split into consideration.

That represents a 500-fold rise in the stock value of China’s biggest social network operator.

As this year winds down, tech stocks have posted remarkable gains.

The S&P North American technology index has jumped 38 per cent against a 20 per cent increase for the S&P 500 index.

The Hang Seng Composite Information Technology Index has surged 88 per cent against the broader benchmark’s 33 per cent rise.

Market experts expect to see continued rosy prospects in 2018.


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