Chinese tech stocks tumbled in Hong Kong as traders looked for signals China will halt its year-long crackdown on the sector. HSBC and Ping An Insurance advanced amid calls to break up the lender’s Asian operations. The Hang Seng Index was little changed at 21,101.89 at the close of trading, after earlier sliding by as much as 2.1 per cent. The Tech Index lost 1.4 per cent, paring an earlier slump of as much as 4.6 per cent amid steep losses in Alibaba Group and JD.com. Financial markets in mainland China will remain closed through Wednesday. Tech stocks surrendered some of the hefty gains from Friday, sparked by optimism China will end its clampdown on internet-platform operators. Mainland media reports over the weekend, however, suggest Beijing’s focus on industry regulations remained steadfast. “Chinese [tech] companies and their investors are basically put on the game of red light-green light,” Redmond Wong, Greater China strategist at Saxo Markets, said in a report. “The hype may not last” as risks have not become asymmetric as some analysts suggested last week, he added. China slump fuels hopes for policy bazooka. Not this time, Swiss banker says In Tuesday’s trading, Alibaba Group Holding crashed as much as 9 per cent before trading 1.8 per cent weaker at HK$100.30. JD.com sank as much as 9 per cent before paring it to 5.9 per cent at HK$249.80. Xiaomi tumbled 4.4 per cent to HK$11.66 after India’s government accused the smartphone maker of tax violations. The Hang Seng Index rose 2.2 per cent last week to snap a three-week losing streak, courtesy of a 16 per cent surge in Alibaba and Meituan. China was considering halting its year-long crackdown, the Post reported, a clampdown that has erased US$1.7 trillion in market value from Chinese stocks in mainland and Hong Kong. Limiting benchmark index losses, HSBC added 2.6 per cent to HK$49.80. Ping An Insurance Group said it supported a debate on the bank’s future amid reports calling for a break-up of the lender’s Asian business. Europe’s biggest lender by assets derives most of its profit from Hong Kong and the Asian region. Ping An added 1.5 per cent to HK$52.15. Elsewhere, Shanghai’s government detected 73 new Covid-19 cases in so-called unguarded low-risk areas on Monday, after logging 58 cases on Sunday. The rebound dashed hopes for a “societal zero-Covid” goal that could lead to a reopening of more factories or end a lockdown of 25 million residents in the commercial hub. Hong Kong’s economy probably shrank 1.3 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to consensus forecasts by economists tracked by Bloomberg. Gross domestic product fell 0.9 per cent from the preceding three months. The government will report the data after trading today. HutchMed slumped by a record 18 per cent to HK$21.15, erasing more than US$500 million of value. The pharmaceutical group controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing failed to win approval for surufatinib , its drug for pancreatic cancer treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration required the firm to conduct more clinical trials.