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Hong Kong shares end lower as tech stocks weigh

Aug 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended lower on Thursday, dragged by internet stocks as China further tightened its regulatory oversight on the country’s tech sector.

The Hang Seng index fell 2.1% to 25,316.33, while the China Enterprises Index lost 2.6% to 8,916.02 points.

** Chinese tech giant Alibaba fell 5.5% to a record low of HK$162, its seventh straight session of losses.

** Chinese internet platforms must crack down on the spread of online rumours and guard their “fields of responsibility”, state media outlet The People’s Daily wrote in a commentary published Thursday.

** On Wednesday, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology rebuked 43 apps for breaking data transfer rules.

** The list included an e-reading app owned by Alibaba, Tencent’s WeChat, as well as others managed by travel giant Trip.com, and video streamer iQiyi.

** Food-delivery giant Meituan plunged 7.2%, the biggest decliner on Hang Seng, pulling the benchmark index down 114 points.

** Tencent shed 3.4%, after rising as much as 3.3% earlier in the session following an upbeat quarterly profit outlook.

** The internet industry should brace for more regulations and uncertainty, and Beijing ultimately wanted to forge a long-term sustainable path for the sector, Tencent said in a call after the company’s results.

** Financial stocks fell in Hong Kong, with the sub-index down 1.6%.

** A sub-index tracking energy firms lost 2.7%, while a property-focused one fell 2.0%.

** Chinese medicine products maker Sino Biopharmaceutical rose 2.5%, the biggest percentage gainer on the Hang Seng.

** The company expects first-half profit to jump more than 500%, helped by a rise in revenue and gross profit margin. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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