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Scottish Mortgage trust falls as Beijing slaps new laws on Tencent and gaming rivals

"Another day, another intervention by the Chinese government," said one analyst

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC -

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC (LSE:SMT) and other London-listed funds with a focus on big tech in China got whacked on Thursday by another long-distance blow from Beijing's regulators.

The FTSE 100-listed investment trust is best know in recent years for its highly successful backing of big tech in the US and China, with its recent tilt going even more towards China.

Tencent Holdings Limited (HKG:0700), SMT's fourth-largest holding, was a big faller in Asia this morning, closing 8.5% lower as China continued to wield the rod against its increasingly dominant tech sector.

Chinese media reported that the government has suspended approval for all new online games in the country, with regulators summoning companies into the headmaster's office for a ticking off.

Gaming companies, including market leaders Tencent and NetEase, were told to stop focusing on profits in online gaming and further find ways to restrict children from playing video games and streaming video.

SMT shares fell 1.5% in London in morning trading, while China specialist investment trusts are also beating a retreat, with Fidelity China Special Situations PLC down 1.9% and Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust PLC down 1.5%.

"Another day, another intervention by the Chinese government. I remain concerned that buying the dip in China equities is a dangerous business at the moment," said market analyst Jeffrey Halley at Oanda. 

Over the summer, criticism and new rules and regulations were directed at various areas of the tech sector, including online education, which has chipped away at London's array of funds and investment trusts focused on China and those investing across Asia, many of which have a large weighting to China due to the size and influence of its tech sector.

Last month, the financial market regulator issued a draft of the new rules, which included provisions that internet operators “must not implement or assist” unfair competition online or “disrupt the order of market competition”.

Quick facts: Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC

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Price: 1391.5 GBX

Market Cap: £19.63 billion

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