Chinese stocks have been beaten down in recent months. However, the broad group of China-based U.S.-listed stocks has taken another turn downward, reacting poorly to the recently-completed National Chinese Party Congress.
Held from Oct. 16 to Oct. 22, 2022, the Party Congress saw many new President Xi Jinping allies added. When this meeting of high-ranking Communist party leaders excluded Li Kequiang of from the new list of 205 members, this marked shift worried investors. Liu He, who was vice premier during China’s negotiations with the U.S., was also excluded from the list. Their absences suggest that the country is closing its open trade stance with the U.S. and the West.
More troubling was the not-so-subtle removal of former leader Hu Jintao during the closing ceremony. This was symbolic. Jintao carried some of former CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin’s open-door trade policies. Xi showed he and the party remain intent on abolishing the thoughts of its former leaders.
Recent policies like Zero Covid, as well as escalating aggression toward Taiwan, are likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
When stock markets opened on Oct. 24, 2022, Chinese stocks listed on the U.S. exchange sold off sharply, falling by around 10% or more on average. Falling to 52-week lows, here are seven Chinese stocks investors will want to consider at these incredible prices.
|EDU||New Oriental Education||$23.74|
Let’s start our list of Chinese stocks to buy with e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). Once a $330 stock, BABA stock briefly traded as low as $58.01 on Oct. 24. Bargain hunters took advantage of the post-CCP congress meeting to buy shares. I think traders might bid BABA stock back to $70 in anticipation of Bejing’s Covid policy change. The country ramped up lockdowns in Wuhan. China now has 31 cities in some form of lockdown, which has an impact on 232 million people.
When these lockdowns eventually end, Chinese consumers will be free to spend again. Alibaba has a strong digital commerce platform, serving a diverse customer base. Customers are loyal to the company’s Taobao and Tmall apps. Indeed, for the 12 months that ended June 30, 2022, Alibaba had over 123 million active customers.
Alibaba has long-term technology projects aimed at strengthening its entertainment and commerce units. These include the expansion of short-form videos to encourage shoppers to spend more time on the store apps. I think these projects, along with pent-up demand, could bode well for the e-commerce giant in the quarters to come.
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) has the potential to post a rebound in its core advertising business. Like Alibaba, Baidu is embracing short-form videos. This could be a key catalyst to boost user growth on its website.
That said, Baidu is much more than an online search giant (which it certainly is in China). In fact, this integrated company is a leader in other high-growth areas of the market.
In the autonomous driving market, Baidu is investing heavily in research and development. I think this will lead to a widening of Baidu’s lead in the growing sector.
China may ease regulations against internet firms in the coming months. After Xi won a third term, he and his party have no reason to discourage Baidu from growing. As a result, Baidu’s advertising business should recover as early as this quarter.
In the second quarter, Baidu reported its AI Cloud revenue grew by 31% Y/Y. Robin Li, Co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer, said that “Apollo Go further solidified its position as the world’s largest autonomous ride-hailing service provider.” As the company completes more rides, the government may approve its fully-driverless ride-hailing services across the country. This should lift Baidu’s profit margins. Thus, this is a company with growth potential that extends well beyond its core search engine business.
Bilibili (NASDAQ:BILI) is a video-sharing website. In the last quarter, the firm posted solid revenue growth. Accelerating growth was seen in the company’s monthly and daily active user metrics, which came in 29% and 33% higher, respectively.
Bilibili’s CEO expects to see a robust economy in the back half of 2022. Despite China’s GDP growth slowing, the video-sharing site has significant operating leverage potential. Bilibili is currently executing on converting its user base to paying customers, with diverse products increasing its conversion efficiency. For example, in the last quarter, the company executed integrated marketing campaigns. This helped the company to realize more cross-selling opportunities.
Bilibili certainly has to put in place more cost-control measures in the future, spending thoughtfully to promote margin expansion from its video content. This has been seen already, with the company posting sales and market expenditure declines of 31% year-over-year last quarter. Although these spending cuts could signal a revenue slowdown ahead, it’s also equally likely that this will coincide with a rise in user activity. In such a scenario, the company’s margins could be set to take off.
Like the other stocks on this list, once the Chinese government eases Covid-related restrictions, the company should expect higher user activity.
New Oriental Education (EDU)
Another one of the beaten-down Chinese stocks to buy right now is New Oriental Education (NYSE:EDU). In many respects, this has been one of the hardest-hit Chinese stocks out there, as President Xi clamped down on the online tutoring space harshly over the course of the past two years.
That said, New Oriental is pivoting away from online education. When China suddenly banned such services, citing the high costs incurred on families, EDU stock fell from nearly $200 to $20 between 2020-2021.
On Oct. 26, New Oriental posted earnings of 48 cents a share (non-GAAP), which beat expectations. The company cut its total number of schools and learning centers during the quarter, achieving profitability by launching a new product.
Non-academic courses started small last year. Demand accelerated, helping New Oriental to expand its revenue. For the full year, I expect this segment will grow continuously. In its previous business model, the firm depended on the domestic prep business, which is a highly-seasonal business.
New Oriental has excellent potential to post sustained, higher profit margins. This makes the company an excellent bet for long-term investors at these lower levels.
Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD) runs an e-commerce platform aimed at servicing the traditional agriculture industry in China. The company’s revenue has recovered as business started improving in the second-half of May. To stimulate growth, Pinduoduo offered various promotions to help the recovery of consumption within its value chain.
Pinduoduo is a company with a strong brand. This differentiates it from other firms, weakening the impact of intense competition in this space. Furthermore, Pinduoduo gives customers more choices and more products. Customers get better service, save more money, and enjoy a better shopping experience.
Pinduoduo is also growing its overseas market. As a young company, it is willing to test new markets. By offering value to customers, I think Pinduoduo stands to win more global business. That said, domestic consumption is recovering, and ignoring the impact of new lockdowns in China, the company’s increased engagement with customers is likely to increase transactions over time.
PDD stock has long-term upside potential considering the company’s heavy investments in R&D to strengthen its core capabilities. Investors who accumulate shares on weakness could realize large gains, particularly as consumption data improves over time.
Tencent Holdings (TCEHY)
Tencent Holdings (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) is a Chinese stock that many don’t necessarily think of as solely China-focused, due to its status as a leading multinational conglomerate. The company has invested heavily in a range of Asia-focused businesses, including the likes of Didi (OTCMKTS:DIDIY) and Meituan (OTCMKTS:MPNGY).
While these companies certainly provide tremendous upside growth potential, some investors are worried that the company’s overall portfolio may continue to decline along with the slump in the technology sector. Investors appear to also be worried that the company could divest all or a portion of its stake in these businesses to shore up cash and/or fund its buyback.
Tencent relies on customers increasing their time spent on video consumption, for its core business. Over time, the company has the potential to increase its advertising revenue from such accounts. Video accounts are around 80% of users’ time spent on Weixin Moments. Like Alibaba and Baidu, Tencent is anticipating adding short-form video services in a bid to spur growth.
As margins expand, TCEHY stock might stop falling. However, TECHY stock has lost roughly half its value this year. To demonstrate a rebound in revenue, the company will need to expand its e-commerce live-streaming efforts. While several such efforts have been launched, including live concerts, users will need to build habits around watching such content. Over time, I think Tencent has the ability to capitalize on this new business, by building an advertising business on top of its live video content to increase its revenue.
Vipshop Holdings (VIPS)
Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS) runs the e-commerce website, VIP.com, and is also an online discount sales site.
Like other companies on this list, Vipshop has cut its marketing spending following recent Covid lockdowns. In addition, the company noted that unfavorable weather has hurt its business momentum. Thus, there are macro concerns certainly pushing this stock lower of late.
That said, Vipshop is ahead of other retailers in the live-streaming segment. For more than two years, the company has hosted live streaming events to drive apparel sales. Vipshop is specializing in this category to maximize its profit margins. Last quarter, web traffic for its live-streaming platform stabilized with strong business momentum.
That said, markets are wary. VIPS stock traded as high as $12 in August. It closed below $7.00 last week. At the time of writing, the stock has a price-to-earnings multiple of 7.7-times. This multiple more than discounts any disruption in the coming quarters.
Indeed, Vipshop did not issue strong Q3 guidance. However, contrarian investors may want to start placing bets that this company can grow amid a resurgence in domestic demand. Other acquisitions may also bolster this thesis. In any case, as a discount retailer, Vipshop has the ability to benefit from a market downturn unlike many of the names on this list. Thus, this is among the more defensive Chinese stocks to buy at these depressed levels right now.
On the date of publication, Chris Lau did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.