Hong Hao: China silences prominent market analyst as economic slump deepens

Over the weekend, Tencent’s (TCEHY) WeChat froze the public account of Hong Hao, managing director and head of research at BOCOM International, the investment banking arm of Bank of Communications, a state-owned bank and China’s fifth largest.

“All content has been blocked. The user is banned from using the account,” a notice posted on the WeChat account said. It added that the account had “violated” government’s internet rules, without going into details. It also did not specify which post had led to the suspension.

Hong’s account on Weibo (WB), which had more than 3 million followers, has also been removed. A search by CNN Business for the account resulted in a message stating that the user “no longer exists.”

Covid lockdowns have taken a heavy toll on the world’s second biggest economy. The latest government survey data — released Saturday — shows activity across manufacturing and services slumping to its lowest level since February 2020. …

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