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It’s the best time for investors to look for Chinese stocks to buy, as the country starts to reopen fully. Many Chinese companies were hit hard last year due to strict zero-COVID policies, which substantially decreased domestic demand. Meanwhile, quarantine requirements for foreigners meant that investors weren’t all that excited about visiting and investing in China.
However, China started to phase out its zero-COVID policy in December, and companies are slowly rebounding. The country’s massive population of 1.4 billion people, and a healthy (albeit slowing) economic growth rate, mean these businesses have excellent long-term potential.
With that in mind, here are three stocks that will make the most of this policy change.
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JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) is among the top Chinese e-commerce companies, a massive industry in China. The estimated revenue of this industry is $1.487 trillion in 2023 and is projected to reach $2.375 trillion with a 12.4% CAGR by 2027. The U.S. e-commerce industry is projected to cross $1 trillion this year.
However, JD stock continues to trade cheaply, due to multiple headwinds. First, the perception of the Chinese market remains gloomy. Retail e-commerce sales are starting to show signs of slowing down, and that’s by far J.D.’s largest segment by revenue, providing 930 billion out of 1.04 trillion CNY in total net sales.
Despite these headwinds, JD is poised to deliver a significant rebound as China reopens. The company has many segments, such as JD Health, JD Industrials, JD Property, and JD Logistics, with an extensive warehouse network integrated within its businesses. The addressable market here is in the trillions, making snapping up this significantly undervalued stock at these levels a highly compelling proposition.
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Talking about Chinese stocks to buy as China reopens, Trip.com (NASDAQ:TCOM) has to be on this list. The stock has recently (and deservedly) surged on reopening tailwinds, and there is likely more upside on the horizon, as Chinese people ramp up their travel.
For one, Trip.com benefits from lower fees than its competitors, giving it an edge in terms of customer retention in its main Chinese market. Accordingly, it’s no surprise to see the company’s stock has been on an uptrend since China announced it would allow its citizens to process passports again on Jan. 8. After nearly two years of lockdowns and restrictions, the move has sparked a surge in demand for outbound travel from Chinese tourists eager to resume their overseas trips.
According to Trip.com’s data, between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5, search interest for outbound flights from mainland China increased by 83% compared to the two weeks prior. The most popular destinations included Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia. Trip.com also reported solid bookings for domestic travel during the Lunar New Year holiday in January.
Trip.com’s financial results also reflect its recovery from the slump caused by zero-COVID policies. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the company’s “net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased by 27% from the previous quarter primarily due to the surges of COVID-19 infections in certain regions of China and the seasonality in winter.” However, significant tailwinds remain, such as outbound air ticket and hotel bookings, which increased by 200% and 140%, respectively, year-over-year.
Thus, I believe these trends will translate into a better 2023 for the company. TCOM stock may not have the cheapest valuation, but its long-term upside potential remains robust.
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Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is another giant among Chinese e-commerce stocks to buy. The stock has slid more than 7% below its 2022 close, continuing to trade at bargain levels, despite an increasingly upbeat outlook.
In its December Quarter report, the company’s adjusted EBITDA increased by 16% year-over-year to $7.54 billion, and the company expanded its free cash flow by 15% year-over-year. That’s despite a marginal top-line increase of 2%, signaling substantial margin expansion.
As I’ve discussed with JD, Alibaba is another top e-commerce name that’s likely to see its stock price recover. This current entry point looks especially compelling, when considering its forward price-earnings ratio of 8.9-times is ranked better than 82.76% of its peers. Accordingly, Gurufocus notes the stock is “significantly undervalued” as favorable tailwinds stack up.
On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan 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.
Omor Ibne Ehsan is a writer at InvestorPlace. He is also an active contributor to a variety of finance and crypto-related websites. He has a strong background in economics and finance and is a self taught investor. You can follow him on LinkedIn.
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