But the range of investment opportunities is narrow. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges have officially categorized only 13 listed companies as providing "Internet and related services." And only 108 on the two markets combined are called "software and information technology" companies.
Indeed, government restrictions prevent retail investors from directly buying stakes in the Internet companies that matter most in China. Thus, a mainland investor who uses Baidu every day cannot directly trade the search engine's stock.
Retailer investors seeking overseas-listed shares are legally required to buy through special funds under the government-supervised Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) program, which started in 2006.