SHANGHAI, June 23 (Reuters) - China tech firms listed in Hong Kong rose on Thursday, after Chinese President Xi Jinping signalled support to the country's leading payment and fintech firms in the latest indication that Beijing is easing its regulatory crackdown on the sector.
Xi chaired a top-level meeting on Wednesday that approved a plan for the healthy development of China's large payment firms and the fintech sector, state media reported.
The Hang Seng Tech Index .HSTECH shed gains after rising as much as 2% earlier in the session.
Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 9988.HK rose more than 2%. Fintech giant Ant Group is an affiliate of Alibaba.
"This is not unexpected, but gives a clear regulatory direction," Kuang Yuqing, founder of Lens Company Research said, adding that it could help speed up listing process for Ant Group.
Ant has been working with financial regulators for months on a broad revamp. Reuters had reported last week, citing sources, that China's central bank had accepted Ant Group's application to set up a financial holding company, a key step to finish the restructuring and reviving its debut.
(Reporting by Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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