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: 11.16%
1 year: -6.18%
3 years: -5.77%
5 years: -9.55%

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 24 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 1,074
(30.11.22)
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 7 ETFs 713
(31.01.23)
The MSCI China index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese stocks (A shares, H shares, B shares, Red chips, P chips).
Index factsheet

MSCI China A

China 3 ETFs 813
(31.01.23)
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 501
(30.11.22)
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 721
(30.11.22)
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 2 ETFs 77
(31.01.23)
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 2,696 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers CSI 300 Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0779800910 2,417 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI China UCITS ETF 1CLU0514695690 1,395 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI China UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00BJ5JPG56 1,047 0.28% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI China UCITS ETF USDIE00B44T3H88 834 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares China Large Cap UCITS ETFIE00B02KXK85 646 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers MSCI China UCITS ETF 1DLU2456436083 593 0.30% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 UCITS ETF 1DLU0875160326 477 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor MSCI China UCITS ETF - AccLU1841731745 432 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Franklin FTSE China UCITS ETFIE00BHZRR147 271 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI China A (DR) UCITS ETF - AccFR0011720911 235 0.35% p.a. Accumulating France Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI China A SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00BKFB6K94 163 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Xtrackers FTSE China 50 UCITS ETF 1CLU0292109856 103 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi MSCI China UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681043912 79 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares Dow Jones China Offshore 50 UCITS ETF (DE)DE000A0F5UE8 62 0.61% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
HSBC MSCI China A Inclusion UCITS ETFIE00BF4NQ904 59 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
ICBCCS S&P China 500 UCITS ETF USDLU1440654330 50 0.55% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect UCITS ETF AccIE00BK80XL30 43 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI China UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE0007P4PBU1 40 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor FTSE China A50 UCITS ETFLU0947415054 38 0.40% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI China UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BL977C92 38 0.28% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
L&G E Fund MSCI China A UCITS ETFIE00BHBFDF83 20 0.88% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers Harvest FTSE China A-H 50 UCITS ETF 1DLU1310477036 8 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi ETF MSCI China UCITS ETF USDLU1681044050 5 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
S&P China 500 9.47% 23.75% -3.04% -9.39% 12.45%
MSCI China A 7.79% 15.45% -6.42% -9.29% 23.22%
Dow Jones China Offshore 50 10.37% 42.81% 3.10% -9.12% -9.87%
MSCI China A Inclusion 7.83% 15.31% -6.41% -8.71% 33.52%
FTSE China 50 9.40% 41.87% 0.20% -8.58% -13.89%
FTSE China 30/18 Capped 9.89% 38.56% 1.85% -8.40% -4.23%
MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect Select 9.14% 27.41% -1.36% -8.14% -
MSCI China 10.00% 39.39% 2.02% -7.78% -6.76%
CSI 300 9.07% 17.85% -4.64% -7.39% 29.28%
FTSE China A50 8.61% 22.94% -3.60% -6.28% 26.86%
FTSE China A-H 50 9.12% 26.48% -3.60% -5.33% 19.30%
MSCI China H 7.79% 26.59% 1.44% 0.42% 7.39%
Index   2023
in %
2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
MSCI China H 7.79% -2.93% 3.78% -9.73% 13.30%
MSCI China A 7.79% -21.83% 12.08% 30.04% 39.77%
MSCI China A Inclusion 7.83% -21.72% 11.52% 30.61% 38.03%
FTSE China A50 8.61% -16.70% 3.40% 21.54% 39.87%
CSI 300 9.07% -19.91% 11.68% 32.87% 44.61%
FTSE China A-H 50 9.12% -16.20% 1.98% 17.22% 39.42%
MSCI China All Shares Stock Connect Select 9.14% -19.10% - - -
FTSE China 50 9.40% -15.07% -14.06% 0.79% 15.94%
S&P China 500 9.47% -20.11% -1.67% 21.25% 31.25%
FTSE China 30/18 Capped 9.89% -18.16% -13.60% 19.47% -
MSCI China 10.00% -17.46% -15.64% 17.77% 25.97%
Dow Jones China Offshore 50 10.37% -14.05% -22.84% 15.85% 26.72%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31.01.23; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

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 73
(30.11.22)
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 162 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) 7.87% 37.05% 1.66% -4.17% -11.40%
Index   2023
in %
2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
Hang Seng (HSI) 7.87% -8.38% -6.44% -9.20% 14.27%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31.01.23; 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 21 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on emerging markets is between 0.14% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE BIC 50 Emerging Markets
China: 84.49%
(30/11/2022)
1 ETF 50
The FTSE BIC 50 index tracks the 50 largest stocks of the BIC countries (Brazil, India, China).
Index factsheet
FTSE Emerging Emerging Markets
China: 33.14%
(30/11/2022)
2 ETFs 1,993
(30.11.22)
The FTSE Emerging index tracks stocks from emerging markets worldwide.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Emerging Markets
China: 30.40%
(30/11/2022)
18 ETFs 1,374
(31.01.23)
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 4,474 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M63177 3,450 0.18% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DRLU1437017350 2,690 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681045370 2,379 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DistributingIE00B3VVMM84 2,040 0.22% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDIE00B5SSQT16 1,691 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4L5YC18 1,450 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0480132876 1,244 0.23% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets (LUX) UCITS ETFLU0635178014 983 0.14% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USDLU1681045453 930 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - Acc EURFR0010429068 884 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107645 675 0.49% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B3DWVS88 499 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Amundi Index MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF DR EUR (D)LU1737652583 332 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFIE00B469F816 313 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets UCITS ETF AccIE00BK5BR733 309 0.22% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF 1DIE000GWA2J58 159 0.18% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares BRIC 50 UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00B1W57M07 128 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF - Acc USDFR0010435297 122 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Deka MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETFDE000ETFL342 79 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Germany Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE000KCS7J59 71 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
FTSE BIC 50 10.33% 38.66% 3.45% -16.70% -21.39%
MSCI Emerging Markets 6.24% 11.70% -1.36% -9.63% 5.75%
FTSE Emerging 5.38% 10.78% -1.27% -8.72% 7.51%
Index   2023
in %
2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
FTSE Emerging 5.38% -12.40% 7.64% 4.95% 21.96%
MSCI Emerging Markets 6.24% -15.28% 5.39% 8.01% 20.90%
FTSE BIC 50 10.33% -24.06% -17.37% 8.88% 25.09%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31.01.23; 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 4 Asian indices, which are tracked by 11 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: 28.63%
(30/11/2022)
1 ETF 1,249
(31.01.23)
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: 34.64%
(30/11/2022)
2 ETFs 1,185
(31.01.23)
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: 41.69%
(30/11/2022)
3 ETFs 1,072
(31.01.23)
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: 38.94%
(30/11/2022)
5 ETFs 1,131
(31.01.23)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index tracks large and mid cap companies from Asian emerging markets.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 1,889 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1,255 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681044480 1,144 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 967 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF USDLU1681044563 771 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Pacific Ex Japan UCITS ETF - AccLU1900068328 470 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 408 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan UCITS ETF - AccLU1900068161 304 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 182 0.23% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Lyxor MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF - AccLU1781541849 164 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00BKPX3K41 13 0.74% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 6.93% 17.07% -1.27% -8.76% 10.94%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 8.62% 24.25% 0.29% -8.27% 5.32%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 6.32% 16.70% -1.52% -7.79% 8.64%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 6.68% 15.51% -0.56% -4.23% 10.64%
Index   2023
in %
2022
in %
2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 6.32% -14.78% 1.91% 13.80% 19.40%
MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan 6.68% -12.62% 3.78% 11.51% 20.31%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 6.93% -15.09% 1.48% 16.79% 20.75%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 8.62% -15.91% -2.74% 14.54% 20.95%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31.01.23; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.