China A-shares are the stock shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on the two Chinese stock exchanges, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE). Historically, the shares were only available for purchase by mainland citizens due to China’s restrictions on foreign investment. However, since 2003, select foreign institutions have been able to purchase these shares through the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) system. Established in 2002, the QFII program allows specified licensed international investors to buy and sell on mainland China’s stock exchanges.
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