Cathie Wood is more optimistic than pessimistic about China

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By Elaine Chen and Carol Massar


Cathie Wood said she’s more optimistic than pessimistic about China in the long run.

“I’m not pessimistic about China longer run because I think they’re a very entrepreneurial society,” the head of Ark Investment Management said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio Tuesday. “Sure, the government is putting more rules and regulations in, but I don’t think the government wants to stop growth and progress at all.”

“What I will say, though, is I’m a little more optimistic about the United States and other economies, so it’s more of a relative sort of thing,” she added. And the more insular China becomes, the less competitive it will be in areas such as artificial intelligence.

Data overnight showed that Ark’s Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (Ticker ARKQ) bought ADRs of JD.com on Monday after the firm sold Chinese stocks for months amid Beijing’s clampdown on private companies.

Wood said the firm sorted through Chinese companies to see which ones are doing things the government likes, and is now consolidating positions in firms that are focused on groceries, logistics and manufacturing. Logistics is a big part of JD.com, she said.

It’s been a dramatic year for Wood and Ark after their exchange-traded funds beat most of the U.S. market last year. The main fund, the ARK Innovation ETF (ticker ARKK), is down 4% this year after returning 149% in 2020. Skeptics have become more vocal against the fund, with firms including Michael Burry’s Scion Asset Management revealing short positions in it.

In the interview Tuesday, Wood also defended Tesla Inc, saying her analysts were “blown away” by the electric-vehicle maker’s AI day last week.

“Every passing day, especially the more we learn about their AI expertise and how they’re really driving the space so to speak much faster than I think anyone else is right now, we believe they have the pole position,” she said.

The recent drop in car sales in the U.S. is not only because of a chip shortage, but “the beginning of a massive transformation towards electric,” she said. “A lot of individuals are not buying cars because they know anything they buy now is going to depreciate much more quickly now that electric vehicles are taking off.”

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