How to invest in China using ETFs

How do I invest in Chinese stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole Chinese stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs.

On the Chinese stock market you'll find 12 indices which are tracked by ETFs. The speciality of China are the three categories of Chinese stocks: A-stocks, B-stocks and H-stocks.

Besides Hong Kong listed stocks, indices on Emerging Markets or Asia can be invested alternatively.

0.19% p.a. - 0.88% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of China ETFs
on the Chinese stock market, which are tracked by ETFs
on the Chinese stock market
 
The best indices for China ETFs

Performance of Chinese stocks (MSCI China)

1 month: 3.88%
1 year: -7.56%
3 years: 36.20%
5 years: 48.17%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on China

For an investment in the Chinese stock market, there are 12 indices available which are tracked by 21 ETFs. The speciality of investing in China are the different categories of Chinese stocks. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.19% p.a. and 0.88% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

CSI 300

China 2 ETFs 300
The CSI 300 index tracks 300 stocks with the largest market capitalisation and liquidity from the entire universe of listed A share companies in the People’s Republic of China.
Index factsheet

Dow Jones China Offshore 50

China 1 ETF 50
The Dow Jones China Offshore 50 index tracks the largest companies whose primary operations are in mainland China but that trade on exchanges in Hong Kong or the U.S.
Index factsheet

FTSE China 30/18 Capped

China 1 ETF 999
(30.09.21)
The FTSE China 30/18 Capped tracks Chinese companies with large and medium market capitalisation whose shares are listed on stock exchanges in China (A shares) or outside China (B shares, H shares, P chips, red chips, S chips, N shares). The largest company in the index is limited to a maximum of 30 percent of the index capitalization, all other index components to a maximum of 18 percent.
Index factsheet

FTSE China 50

China 2 ETFs 50
The FTSE China 50 index tracks the 50 largest and most liquid Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (H-Shares, Red Chips und P Chips).
Index factsheet

FTSE China A-H 50

China 1 ETF 50
The FTSE China A-H 50 index tracks the 50 largest Chinese A-Shares listed on the Shanghai or Shenzen stock exchanges. Each company will be represented either by its A-share or by its H-share.
Index factsheet

FTSE China A50

China 1 ETF 50
The FTSE China A50 index tracks the 50 largest Chinese A-Shares listed on the Shanghai or Shenzen stock exchanges in local currency.
Index factsheet

MSCI China

China 5 ETFs 740
(30.09.21)
The MSCI China index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese stocks, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange (H-Shares, B-Shares, Red Chips, P Chips).
Index factsheet

MSCI China A

China 3 ETFs 719
(30.09.21)
The MSCI China A index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese A-Shares, denominated in Renminbi ("RMB") and listed on the Shenzhen and/or Shanghai stock exchanges. This index reflects Mainland China A-share securities from a domestic investor’s perspective.
Index factsheet

MSCI China A Inclusion

China 2 ETFs 474
(30.09.21)
The MSCI China A Inclusion index tracks China A-Shares also included in the MSCI Emerging Markets.
Index factsheet

MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect Select

China 1 ETF 730
(30.09.21)
The MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect Select index tracks large and mid cap Chinese securities. The stock selection includes share classes listed in Shanghai or Shenzhen (A-Shares, B-Shares), Hongkong (H-Shares, Red-chips, P-chips) as well as foreign listings
Index factsheet

MSCI China H

China 1 ETF 81
(30.09.21)
The MSCI China H index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese H-Shares, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Index factsheet

S&P China 500

China 1 ETF 500
The S&P China 500 index tracks the 500 largest and most liquid Chinese companies (all share classes including A-shares and offshore listings).
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI China A UCITS ETFIE00BQT3WG13 1,898 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI China UCITS ETF 1CLU0514695690 1,503 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers CSI 300 Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0779800910 1,410 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI China UCITS ETF USDIE00B44T3H88 569 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares China Large Cap UCITS ETFIE00B02KXK85 567 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 UCITS ETF 1DLU0875160326 514 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI China UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00BJ5JPG56 390 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor Hwabao WP MSCI China A (DR) UCITS ETF - AccFR0011720911 193 0.35% p.a. Accumulating France Optimized sampling
Franklin FTSE China UCITS ETFIE00BHZRR147 190 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI China UCITS ETF - AccLU1841731745 165 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Deka MSCI China UCITS ETFDE000ETFL326 123 0.65% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
Xtrackers FTSE China 50 UCITS ETF 1CLU0292109856 108 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares Dow Jones China Offshore 50 UCITS ETF (DE)DE000A0F5UE8 73 0.61% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
Amundi MSCI China UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681043912 63 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
WisdomTree S&P China 500 UCITS ETF USDLU1440654330 59 0.55% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI China A Inclusion UCITS ETFIE00BF4NQ904 52 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor FTSE China A50 UCITS ETFLU0947415054 34 0.40% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
L&G E Fund MSCI China A UCITS ETFIE00BHBFDF83 33 0.88% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect UCITS ETF AccIE00BK80XL30 27 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI China A SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00BKFB6K94 17 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Xtrackers Harvest FTSE China A-H 50 UCITS ETF 1DLU1310477036 13 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
Dow Jones China Offshore 50 -0.86% -18.68% -18.32% -7.44% 10.41%
MSCI China -0.17% -16.20% -15.67% -6.84% 16.67%
FTSE China 30/18 Capped -0.50% -15.20% -14.65% -5.19% -
FTSE China 50 -0.97% -13.68% -14.50% -3.56% -3.20%
S&P China 500 0.94% -8.34% -5.83% 6.17% 39.02%
FTSE China A50 6.88% -8.09% -6.75% 12.41% 47.67%
FTSE China A-H 50 5.56% -8.28% -7.68% 14.44% 42.67%
MSCI China H -0.29% -3.46% -5.57% 18.28% -1.34%
MSCI China A Inclusion 3.24% -2.35% 4.84% 19.16% 70.66%
MSCI China A 3.14% -1.44% 5.09% 19.49% 72.12%
CSI 300 3.59% -2.70% 2.26% 20.33% 80.84%
MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect Select 0.64% -11.32% -8.95% - -
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
Dow Jones China Offshore 50 -15.99% 15.85% 26.72% -14.49% 28.13%
MSCI China -11.25% 17.77% 25.97% -16.66% 35.39%
FTSE China 50 -11.01% 0.79% 15.94% -8.30% 18.24%
FTSE China 30/18 Capped -9.83% 19.47% - - -
S&P China 500 -2.23% 21.25% 31.25% -19.52% 25.45%
FTSE China A50 -2.12% 21.54% 39.87% -22.04% 23.58%
FTSE China A-H 50 -1.43% 17.22% 39.42% -16.66% 23.16%
MSCI China H 5.20% -9.73% 13.30% -9.02% 12.92%
CSI 300 6.09% 32.87% 44.61% -21.41% 16.61%
MSCI China A 6.16% 30.04% 39.77% -27.11% 7.30%
MSCI China A Inclusion 7.55% 30.61% 38.03% -22.62% 12.23%
MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect Select - - - - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.09.21; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

The cheapest China ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

Show all

Speciality

Chinese A-stocks (A-Shares): Stocks of Chinese companies that are listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange and traded in local currency.

This category has been exclusive to Chinese investors. However, professional foreign investors with a special license are able to invest in these stocks under certain restrictions.

Chinese B-stocks (B-Shares): Stocks of Chinese companies that are listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange and traded in foreign currency.

This category has been open for foreign investments. Since the restrictions on A-Shares have been lowered, these shares tend to be losing liquidity.

Hong Kong H-stocks (H-Shares): Stocks of Chinese companies that are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and traded in Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).

This category has been open for foreign investments as well. Most institutional investors prefer H-stocks due to their relatively high liquidity.

 
Alternative investment opportunities

Indices on Hong Kong listed stocks

Besides China ETFs you can invest in ETFs on the Hong Kong stock market. In order to invest in Hong Kong there is 1 index, which is tracked by 1 ETF. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Hong Kong is around 0.65% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
Hang Seng (HSI) Hong Kong 1 ETF 60
(30.09.21)
The Hang Seng index (HSI) tracks the largest and most liquid blue chip stocks listed on the Hongkong stock exchange.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
Lyxor Hong Kong (HSI) UCITS ETF - DistLU1900067940 118 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
Hang Seng (HSI) -1.73% -12.30% -11.60% 7.35% -5.32%
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
Hang Seng (HSI) -2.88% -9.20% 14.27% -7.42% 21.53%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.09.21; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Emerging markets indices with a large share of China

As second alternative you can consider ETFs on emerging markets. Currently, you can invest in 3 emerging markets indices tracked by 16 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on BRIC countries is between 0.14% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE BRIC 50 Emerging Markets
China: 79.99%
(31/08/2021)
1 ETF 50
The FTSE BRIC 50 index tracks the 50 largest stocks of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China).
Index factsheet
FTSE Emerging Emerging Markets
China: 37.50%
(31/08/2021)
2 ETFs 1,850
(30.09.21)
The FTSE Emerging index tracks stocks from emerging markets worldwide.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Emerging Markets
China: 33.94%
(31/08/2021)
13 ETFs 1,418
(30.09.21)
The MSCI Emerging Markets index tracks stocks from emerging markets worldwide.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF 1CIE00BTJRMP35 5,363 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 3,462 0.18% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681045370 2,584 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DistributingIE00B3VVMM84 2,240 0.22% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 1,470 0.23% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDIE00B5SSQT16 1,186 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 1,082 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 1,081 0.49% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - Acc EURFR0010429068 1,021 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets (LUX) UCITS ETFLU0635178014 740 0.14% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 495 0.42% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B3DWVS88 483 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Amundi Index MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DR EUR (D)LU1737652583 317 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares BRIC 50 UCITS ETFIE00B1W57M07 192 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets UCITS ETF AccIE00BK5BR733 144 0.22% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Deka MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFDE000ETFL342 67 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Germany Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
FTSE BRIC 50 -1.29% -17.53% -15.60% -4.82% 11.94%
FTSE Emerging -0.07% -4.49% -1.09% 19.05% 29.18%
MSCI Emerging Markets -0.30% -5.72% -2.37% 19.33% 27.16%
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
FTSE BRIC 50 -12.96% 8.88% 25.09% -4.43% 19.63%
MSCI Emerging Markets 4.54% 8.01% 20.90% -11.48% -
FTSE Emerging 6.51% 4.95% 21.96% -9.38% 15.91%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.09.21; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Asia indices with a large share of China

As further alternative you can invest in indices on Asia. In total, you can consider 5 Asian indices, which are tracked by 13 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Asian indices is between 0.12% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Asia Pacific
China: 33.14%
(31/08/2021)
1 ETF 1,283
(30.09.21)
The MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the Asia and Pacific region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Asia Pacific
China: 38.99%
(31/08/2021)
3 ETFs 1,210
(30.09.21)
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the Asia region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan Asia Pacific
China: 45.03%
(31/08/2021)
2 ETFs 1,106
(30.09.21)
The MSCI AC Far East ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the East Asian region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Asia Pacific
China: 43.31%
(31/08/2021)
6 ETFs 1,154
(30.09.21)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index tracks large and mid cap companies from Asian emerging markets.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East Asia Pacific
China: 50.89%
(31/08/2021)
1 ETF 1,050
(30.09.21)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Far East index tracks the largest companies in China (as accessible through the Hong Kong market), Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1,544 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 1,491 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681044480 1,414 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 1,132 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 541 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 503 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF - AccLU1900068328 483 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan UCITS ETF - AccLU1900068161 323 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI EM Asia Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 315 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI EM Asia Swap UCITS ETF 1DLU2296661775 269 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF - AccLU1781541849 214 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 195 0.23% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
HSBC MSCI EM Far East UCITS ETF USDIE00B5LP3W10 24 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -0.91% -9.95% -8.92% 10.53% 23.58%
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East -0.47% -10.30% -9.18% 10.66% 27.77%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan -0.43% -7.09% -5.67% 14.91% 27.44%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 0.13% -7.18% -5.37% 14.96% 31.06%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan -0.80% -6.44% -4.34% 17.14% 27.33%
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East -2.78% 19.38% 21.66% -12.53% 25.59%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -1.62% 14.54% 20.95% -11.69% 24.08%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 1.98% 16.79% 20.75% -12.01% 24.70%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 2.22% 13.42% 20.32% -11.47% 24.22%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 3.04% 11.51% 20.31% -10.40% 19.27%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.09.21; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.