To be blunt, most investors should probably not broach the subject of Chinese tech stocks to buy. In past years, Beijing imposed a severe crackdown on its technology sector, only laying off the gas just recently. However, with China’s President Xi Jinping’s norm-busting third term, vagaries cloud the country’s market.
It’s almost certain that dissent will not be tolerated, thus killing hopes of economic reform aligned with capitalistic principles. At the same time, many Chinese tech stocks offer great discounts relative to their prior highs. Again, the segment imposes substantial risks. However, those interested in perhaps the ultimate contrarian opportunity may get their chance at incredible bargains.
So, here are the ground rules for the following Chinese tech stocks to buy. Primarily, the focus here is on the opportunity, not so much on the tech component. That is, some of these companies are tech-related, not necessarily tech firms.
However, they all bring something substantive to the table: a discount, high stability, income statement-related performance metrics, or some combination of these attributes. If you’re ready, buckle up for a discussion on Chinese tech stocks to roll the dice on.
|TME||Tencent Music Entertainment||$3.82|
A Chinese Internet company, NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) provides online services centered on content, community, communications, and commerce. At the time of writing, NetEase commanded a market capitalization of $36.4 billion. Unfortunately for longtime stakeholders, circumstances have not favored NTES, which shed nearly 45% on a year-to-date basis. In the trailing month, it’s down more than 27%.
Still, NetEase represents one of the Chinese tech stocks for gamblers to focus on. First, the company offers good value. Presently, NTES trades hands for under 13 times trailing-12-month (TTM) earnings. In contrast, the interactive media industry’s price-earnings ratio pings at over 17 times.
Second, and more impressively, NetEase delivers on the profitability front. The company enjoys a net margin of nearly 20%, ranking higher than over 82% of its peers. As well, the enterprise’s return on equity (ROE) stands at just under 20%. In contrast, the ROE for the sector is only 1.32, implying a high-quality business for NetEase.
ZTO Express (ZTO)
One of the leading express delivery services in China, ZTO Express (NYSE:ZTO) understandably might not fit the role of Chinese tech stocks. However, the company represents both a key enabler and a direct beneficiary of the nation’s e-commerce market. Thus, ZTO relates to tech. Currently, the company features a market cap of $14.2 billion. Since the start of the year, ZTO dropped 39% of its equity value.
If you’re looking to gamble on Chinese tech stocks on the periphery of the space, ZTO is it. Primarily, investors will find shares attractive for their underlying strong cash position. For instance, the company’s cash-to-debt ratio is 1.9 times, ranked better than 79% of the competition. Also, its Altman Z-Score hits 4.62, reflecting low bankruptcy risk. Also, ZTO brings solid income statement-related metrics to the table. Its three-year revenue growth rate stands at 19.7%. Also, its net margin is just under 17%. Both rate above their respective industry median levels.
An operator of a popular e-commerce website, Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS) specializes in online discount sales. At the moment, Vipshop carries a market cap of $4.65 billion. Since the start of the year, VIPS gave up about 17% of its equity value, which isn’t that bad considering the circumstances. However, the underlying business has not responded well to Chinese political rumblings. In the trailing month, VIPS fell 18%.
Still, contrarian investors may want to consider adding VIPS to the speculation portion of their portfolios. First, VIPS provides a great discount for bargain hunters. At the time of writing, shares trade hands for just under 7-times TTM earnings. In contrast, the median P/E for the retail cyclical industry is 14.6 times. Also, VIPS forward PE is 4.6 times, lower than over 95% of the sector. In addition, Vipshop delivers excellent stability on the balance sheet. Primarily, it features a cash-to-debt ratio of nearly 8 times, ranked better than almost 86% of the industry.
A multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate, Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) represents one of the flagship businesses of China’s big tech industry. Therefore, it’s fair to say that it could face increased regulatory pressure down the line. Currently, the company carries a market cap of 2.13 trillion HKD (translating to about $251.7 billion). Shares have dropped nearly 55% YTD. They slipped over 22% in the trailing month.
Despite the steep losses, brave contrarians might still target TCEHY as one of the Chinese tech stocks to gamble on. Perhaps the most attractive element for the business is profitability. The company’s net margin stands at almost 32%, better than 91% of the industry. Also, it features an ROE of 22%, reflecting a very high-quality business. Even with these remarkable stats, TCEHY prices at a discount. For instance, the stock trades 9.2 times trailing earnings. In contrast, the P/E ratio for the interactive media industry is over 17 times.
Tencent Music Entertainment (TME)
Founded in July 2016, Tencent Music Entertainment (NYSE:TME) develops music streaming services for the Chinese market. Presently, Tencent Music commands a market cap of $6.1 billion. Since the beginning of the year, TME dropped over 47% of its equity value. As with other Chinese tech stocks, TME did not respond well to the political situation, dropping over 13%.
Though it’s not everybody’s cup of team, Tencent Music could appeal to contrarian speculators. Primarily, the company offers strong income statement-related performance metrics. For instance, its three-year revenue growth rate stands at 18.7%, ranked higher than almost 70% of the competition. On the bottom line, TME features a net margin of 9.4%. In contrast, the industry’s median stat is 0.74%.
If those factors weren’t enough, Tencent Music also brings a solid discount to the mix. Its forward P/E ratio is 9.15 times. In comparison, the industry’s median forward P/E stands at a lofty 15.7 times.
Noah Holdings (NOAH)
Another name that doesn’t fit directly into the tech space is Noah Holdings (NYSE:NOAH), a wealth management service provider. However, the company does offer three business segments, one of them being internet finance. Therefore, it loosely ties in with Chinese tech stocks.
Currently, Noah commands a market cap of $1.02 billion. Since the start of the year, shares dropped over 56% in equity value. Interestingly, in the trailing month, shares dipped “only” 5%, performing conspicuously better than traditional Chinese tech stocks.
Primarily, Noah’s calling card centers on its fiscal stability. Mainly, the company features a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01 times. In contrast, the industry’s median ratio is 0.24 times. Also, Noah brings solid value to the table. At the time of writing, it trades for 5.3 times TTM earnings. In contrast, the industry median is 10.3 times. Also, its price-sales ratio pings at 1.74 times, lower than the industry median 6 times.
Billed as the leading online destination for automobile consumers in China, Autohome (NYSE:ATHM) provides professionally produced and user-generated content, a comprehensive automobile library, and extensive automobile listing information to automobile consumers, covering the entire car purchase and ownership cycle, per its website.
At the moment, the company carries a market cap of just over $3 billion. Since the year started, ATHM gave up nearly 15% of its equity value, which is not bad at all considering the core industry. However, in the trailing month, ATHM did lose more than 14%.
Still, ATHM could be an interesting play among Chinese tech stocks to buy. Primarily, it’s attractive due to the underlying stability. The company features zero debt, enabling it the space and flexibility to counter negative market trends. As well, Autohome brings a compelling discount to the mix. Currently, its forward P/E ratio is 10.49 times, lower than the industry median of 15.7 times.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto 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.