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Investment Words in Chinese

(Foreword: There is a photo getting hot on the internet these days which shoots a Chinese sold banana boy starting to trade stocks. I don`t know if he`s really good at it or all of this just indicates the market is crushing soon. All I know is all Chinese people are crazy about the stock trading these several months and it`s getting hotter!)


What are Chinese people going crazy about in the capital market recently? If you think its real estate, then you are way out of date. Now the stock market is where the money is going. Although most of time, the stock market in China is messy, there are some moments, which make people start investing heavily. The last bull market in China was back to 2007 and another bull market has just come. Even if you are not interested in investment at all, it’s not bad to have some basic knowledge about stock market in case your Chinese friend can’t help talk about how much he or she earned from this bull market. So today we will forget these grammars or structures for a while and walk into a finance class in Chinese.

Firstly, of course you need to know the key word ‘stock’, which is ‘股票(gǔ piào)’ Literally ‘股(gǔ)’ means ‘share’ and ‘票(piào)’ means ‘ticket’. I guess back to the beginning of stock market, a share was a paper contract. That’s why Chinese use ‘票(piào)’ to name stock. The measure word for ‘股票(gǔ piào)’ is ‘支(zhī)’- ‘一支股票(yī zhī gǔ piào)’.

There are two stock exchanges in China. The first one is 上海证券交易所(shàng hǎi zhèng quàn jiāo yì suǒ)- Shanghai Stock Exchange. The other is 深圳证券交易所(shēn zhèn zhèng quàn jiāo yì suǒ)- Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The main index one is 上证综合指数(shàng zhèng zōng hé zhǐ shù)- Shanghai Composite Index and 深证成分指数(shēn zhèng chéng fèn zhǐ shù)- Shenzhen Component Index. The open time for these two Exchanges are Monday-Friday, 9:30am-11:30am; 1pm-3pm.

In the Chinese stock market there are two types of shares: A-股(gǔ) – A-share and B-股(gǔ) – B-share. A-share is only open to internal investors, which means if you don’t have a Chinese passport you can’t invest in A-share. But B-share is open to all investors, so you will be able to invest no matter your nationality. If you are really interested in A-share, there is QFII, which means you can find an oversea qualitied institution and authorize it to invest for you. Here are some investment terms that you can learn.

涨停(zhǎng tíng)-limit up/跌停(diē tíng)-limit down. A share market has limit-up and limit down. Both are 10%. If a stock is on limit up or limit down board, it can still be exchanged.

开盘价(kāi pán jià)-the opening price/收盘价(shōu pán jià)-the closing price.

涨(zhǎng )-increase/跌(diē)-decrease

熊市(xióng shì)-bear market/牛市(niú shì)-bull market

长线(cháng xiàn)-long term/短线(duǎn xiàn)-short term

上市公司(shàng shì gōng sī)-public company

The good news is since the stock market developed in western countries most of these words are like their English counterpart. You just need to translate them directly. But there are also some unique phenomenas you can only find in China. For example, the colors in stock chart.


If you look at these photos, you should be able to tell which color represents stock increase in China. Yes, it’s red-红(hóng), if you may have not noticed. Although in most countries, green-绿(lǜ) is the color for stock increase, China chose our traditional lucky color. I still remember when I was young, red represented a stock decrease as other countries. But in China, a lot of people complained it was strange to have red for a negative thing given the culture. Now you can tell how much Chinese like red! For the last but not the least, let’s learn a phrase about red: 开门红(kāi mén hóng), which literally means ‘the opening red’. It’s used to wish someone or something get successful (red) since the very beginning. It’s not just for stock, but also for all situations.

Hope you learn some useful phrases and vocabulary for when you need to talk about the stock market in Chinese. No matter you play stock market or not, I wish you a 开门红(kāi mén hóng)! See you next time.

Vera Zhang

After graduating from East China Normal University in 2005, Vera Zhang (张晓丽) started her career in teaching Chinese as a second language. Her first teaching job was teaching high school Chinese in Philippines and realized how much she loved this job. In 2007, she came back Shanghai and spent 7 years in ChinesePod. During that, she also went to America to learn language learning knowledge and curriculum editing by teaching in a high school. Now she works in a start-up company and has developed a new Chinese learning app-HelloChinese. She hopes she can share her knowledge in Chinese and make Chinese learning easy and fun.

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