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Stock Symbols in China and US

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One major difference between US and Chinese (including Hongkong) stocks are the stock ticker symbols. The US markets use the abbreviation of English names, e.g., MSFT for Microsoft, ADBE for Adobe, F for Ford, T for AT&T, etc. While Chinese use numbers 601398 for Industrial & Commerce Bank of China, 601988 for Bank of China, etc. Maybe Chinese really like the number better? While American don’t? I think China adopted the number system because they learned that from Hongkong. But why did Hongkong Stock Exchange use the numbers at the first place?

I found a tip if you want to look for ticker when you can not type in Chinese. Using Yahoo Finance (Chinese version), try the first letters of the Chinese names, i.e, type “zgyh”, which stands for Zhong Guo Yin Hang, Bank of China. It will leads you to the BOC stock page. Sweet, huh?