Stocks of electric vehicle companies trading in Hong Kong extended gains in the afternoon as the much-anticipated easing of Covid controls in China began to arrive.
At press time, NIO extended gains in Hong Kong to 16.49 percent to HK$81.95, XPeng rose 9.52 percent to HK$28.75 and Li Auto rose 10.51 percent to HK$71.
BYD rose 7.3 percent to HK$191 in Hong Kong, while Leapmotor gained 4.92 percent to HK$20.25.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 7.2 percent, while the Hang Seng Tech Index gained 8.74 percent.
Earlier, Chinese health authorities announced new measures and significantly eased Covid prevention and control, with more emphasis on vaccination and treatment after infection.
In an announcement issued this afternoon, China's National Health Commission announced that the circuit breaker mechanism for inbound flights has been eliminated and that the requirement for inbound passengers to provide two negative Covid tests within 48 hours prior to boarding has been changed to one negative test within 48 hours prior to boarding.
In terms of quarantine time for inbound travelers, the previous "7 days of centralized quarantine + 3 days of home health monitoring" has been adjusted to "5 days of centralized quarantine + 3 days of home quarantine".
For local residents, China will not identify contacts of Covid cases' close contacts, and the isolation period for close contacts will be adjusted from "7 days of centralized quarantine + 3 days of home health monitoring" to "5 days of centralized quarantine + 3 days of home isolation".
In terms of setting the risk levels for different areas, China has eliminated the "medium-risk" areas and only kept the "high-risk" and "low-risk" areas in order to minimize the number of people in lockdown.
For high-risk areas, if no new Covid infections are found for 5 consecutive days, they will be downgraded to low-risk areas.
In case of a Covid outbreak, local governments are not allowed to ask key enterprises that are concerned with the overall situation of the industrial chain and people's livelihood to stop work or production without authorization, the document said.
Local governments are required to set up special working groups to map out the situation of enterprises and industrial parks in their jurisdictions, including private enterprises, and to develop clear plans for the prevention and control of the Covid outbreak.
While relaxing controls, China has increased its emphasis on vaccination and on providing treatment to those infected.
China will develop a program to accelerate vaccination and speed up vaccination coverage, especially for the elderly population, according to the announcement.
The country will accelerate the stockpiling of drugs related to the treatment of post-Covid infection to meet patient medication needs, especially for the treatment of critically ill and elderly patients.
China will strengthen medical resources, develop graded treatment plans, and prepare inpatient beds and critical care beds to increase resources for treatment.