“Under the Dome,” a viral two-hour documentary on air pollution in China, served as catalyst for several Chinese stocks to soar past the daily trading limit. The documentary was released on Feb 28, garnering 100 million views and sparking debates across the Chinese community.
On Monday, Forbes noted significant increase in trading among stocks in sectors involving pollutant treatment, air quality monitoring and green technology. Several of the players in this arena rose to as much as 10 percent, with some trades passing the daily limit. Forbes saw increases particularly from Sail Hero, Top Resource Conservation Engineering, LongKing Environmental and Create Technology & Science.
Sail Hero produces pollutant monitors, Top Resource Conservation Engineering provides equipment for renewable energy, LongKing Environmental manufactures desulfurization facilities for boilers and furnaces, and Create technology & Science produces industrial and corporate purifiers.
It was highly surprising for China to allow the release of “Under the Dome,” a documentary attacking China’s feeble stance in implementing environmental policies. Forbes noted the documentary’s “candor” was highlighted by showing some of China’s government officials being vocal about the bureaucratic challenges they face in implementing environmental laws.
Thomas Tang, a Hong Kong-based analyst, said the documentary per se did not affect the rudiments of listed stocks.
“Investors’ confidence is impacted by the government’s supportive attitude for environmental protection and related industries, new policies possibly speeding up, and the public’s heightened awareness of environmental issues,” Tang told Forbes. These three factors are all implications seen in “Under the Dome.”
“Under the Dome” Sets Political Agenda
The release of “Under the Dome” was very timely. It was released two weeks before China’s top political advisers and legislative bodies sit for the annual meeting of the national People’s Congress and the Political Consultative Conference. Chai’s documentary had been significant in setting the agenda for discussion among attendees of the annual conference, according to China Daily.
“Under the Dome” was perceived as a politically charged documentary, with some critics pointing its strong connection with President Xi Jinping’s pollution and anti-corruption campaign. Some were saying the documentary served as a stark warning of the impending overhaul of China’s economy that will see mass layoffs in the near future.
Even before her viral self-funded documentary, Chai was already famous in China due to her career at China Central Television. If there is anything that hooked the Chinese community to her documentary, it was her propensity to speak based on personal experience. Her daughter had to undergo an operation for brain tumor immediately after being born. The baby underwent such ordeal even before Chai saw her for the first time. This heartbreaking experience had inspired her to do the much talked-about documentary.
“If I am alone, I have life of decades. But I have a daughter and this is about life continuity,” Chai was quoted as saying.