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Baidu and SINA Shares Fall as Weak Manufacturing Data Sends Shanghai Composite Index to Lowest Level in Nearly 4 Years

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 24, 2012) -  Chinese stocks slumped last Thursday after weak economic data sent the Shanghai Composite Index to its lowest level in nearly four years. The Shanghai Index fell to its lowest level since February 2009 after the HSBC Flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index signaled a 11th month of contraction in September. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for Chinese Internet stocks and provides equity research on Baidu.com, Inc. ( NASDAQ : BIDU ) and SINA Corp ( NASDAQ : SINA ).

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China's gross domestic product has contracted for six consecutive quarters. The country's GDP in the second quarter expanded 7.6 percent, which was the smallest growth in three years. Tensions between China and Japan, the second and third largest economies in the world, over disputed islands could pose a major threat for their bilateral trade market, which has grown to over $340 billion in the last decade.

"There's concern the islands incident may escalate and exports may be impacted," Jianghai Securities Co. analyst, Xu Shengjun, said by phone Bloomberg reported. "The economic data don't look good. The stock market won't improve in the near term with these concerns."

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Baidu is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. The company dominates China's online search engine market with an 80 percent market share, followed secondly by Google. The company recently gained some new competition after Chinese internet software company Qihoo introduced their own search engine on August 16.

SINA's digital media network of SINA.com (portal), SINA.cn (mobile portal) and Weibo.com (social media) enable Internet users to access professional media and user generated content in multi-media formats from the web and mobile devices. The company recently announced the appointment of Charles Chao as chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer.

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