During our most recent Impulso podcast, we discussed what happened in the first half of 2023. The episode happened to be recorded on 30 June, the last year of the half year. 

A lot of the headlines that people worried about, such as recession, collapse of SVB and other banks, allegations against Adani, did not lead to doomsday. Instead, they became episodes of our (fast fading) collective memory. 

Tech seems to have seen a resurgence, driven by US big techs’ better than expected Q1 performance, the buzz about generative AI, and of course, the anticipation that the end of stubborn inflation is finally in sight. 

That recovery, however, is very uneven, in H1 2023:

  1. Nasdaq went up 32.74%, which in fact is its best H1 performance in 40 years (since 1983); 
  2. This is compared to 16.38% increase in S&P 500 and almost flat performance of NYSE composite; 
  3. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which represents international investors’ confidence in Chinese equity, went down 6.1% instead; 
  4. Hang Seng Tech Index, a bellwether of Chinese tech stocks, went down even more, by 7.61%. 


When it comes to individual (major) tech stocks, we can see that:

  1. US major techs are doing well – NVIDIA tripled, while Meta rose by 130%; 
  2. Two Latam companies, Nu Holdings and Mercado Libre, rallied at similar levels of Meta and Amazon respectively; 
  3. In Southeast Asia, GoTo gained 15.79%, Sea Group close to 10%, while Grab remained flat; 
  4. This is nonetheless a much better performance compared to Chinese techs: most declined, with Meituan and Pinduoduo shedding about 30% and 40% of their value respectively. 

Investors, while hoping for the best, remain very worried about China’s economic recovery and geopolitics. 

This half year, however, marks the revitalization of Chinese ecommerce giants’ global ambitions. Temu, TikTok Shop, Alibaba, and SHEIN are intensifying their competition in rich markets, and that fight might spill over to Southeast Asia and Latin America as well. 

Momentum Works will follow this space very closely. Stay tuned with our TheLowDown blog, The Impulso Podcast and insights reports to keep updated! 

You can also engage Momentum Academy for leadership briefings and China immersion to get a good understanding about what’s happening. 

Have a good second half of 2023!

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].