Photo taken on April 30. Duan Hongliang is a postgraduate student from Tongji University. He started investing stock since this March, and earned 7,000 RMB (estimated about 1,100 USD) (Photo/Xinhua)
Chinese language? Mechanical engineering? Finance? It doesn't matter what students are majoring in, the bull run of China's stock market is attracting many of them to trade stocks, often using their parent's money, despite having limited knowledge of what they are doing.
A survey by the Xinhua Daily Telegraph shows that 31 percent of respondents are investing in the stock market, with 26 percent having spent at least 50,000 yuan ($8,000). Some high school students are also installing stock game apps to get an early taste of investment.
Ke Yong, a student at the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), asked for 10,000 yuan from his parents to buy shares. His mother sent the money without hesitation, and it paid off. Ke boasts a profit rate of 20 percent and his mother has volunteered twice to offer him funds for more shares.
Ke's mother, a full-time housewife, believes her son, who is majoring in international trade, is her trusted private fund manager, although Ke is aware of the financial risks.
Ke is not alone in taking advantage of parents' wealth. The survey shows that 76 percent of respondents use their parents' money, and 83.5 percent of parents know their children are investing in the stock market and support it.
The newspaper says parents generally have a low expectation of the returns and regard it more as a sort of "tuition fee" for their children to learn about markets.
Nan Ge, 19 and a finance major, also bought shares with money from his mother. "You are studying this field, so you should get experience in it," she told him.
Stock market obsession
On a campus in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, the stock market has replaced girls as the top nighttime conversation topic in a male dormitory room, local media report.
For veteran investors, China's stock market has been overhyped. Li Shen, who began investing in the stock market at age 10, only got back his investment last year. Li warned his friends to stay away from what he called a "ruthless market."
New investor Nan Ge said he uses his smartphone to check the stock market when in class and sometimes doesn't follow his teacher. "The stock market consumes too much of my energy," said Nan.
Another young investor, Liang Rui, said she feels campus life has changed since all her friends began posting news or analysis of the stock market on the social networking app WeChat.
"There's a high level of speculation, people are radical, and everyone is in a rush for money," Liang said. "I don't think it's good to put so much effort into the stock market."