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Jan 11, 2018

Fighting fake news: How Fosun International won at the IR Magazine Awards – Greater China 2017

Viral news story caused market cap tumble

Mini-profile taken from the Award-Winning IR – Asia 2017 report details why Fosun International was the judges’ choice for best crisis management in the self-nomination section at the IR Magazine Awards – Greater China 2017.

In July 2017, Hong Kong-listed Fosun International faced a fake news crisis when an anonymous article went viral on Chinese online media stating that the company had ‘lost contact with its chairman, Guo Guangchang’. The next day, its market cap had lost HK$10 bn ($1.3 bn). 

The fact that the IR team had a daily monitoring strategy in place allowed it to spot an unusual uptick in short positions in the days preceding the rumors. A crisis communication program was immediately put in place complete with relevant materials and logistics, as well as a co-operation plan with the PR team. 

Fosun was able to quickly curb the freefall of its share price thanks to a two-pronged strategy. First, it released a bilingual statement about the chairman’s whereabouts (he was actually presenting at a conference in Shaanxi that morning) with follow-up calls with key investors, analysts and the media. 

The firm then set out to turn the crisis into an opportunity with a large-scale media strategy, which included flying the chairman back to the Shanghai office and live-streaming a conference call hosted by a sell-side analyst. It was agreed with the analyst that his first question would be: ‘so, where are you Mr Chairman?’

The interview, which was seen by more than 50,000 online viewers including hundreds of investors, allowed the chairman to discuss the company’s current market position, its challenges and opportunities. By the end of the day, Fosun’s share price had regained most of its lost value, limiting the decrease to 0.17 percent.

This profile came from the Award-Winning IR – Asia 2017 report, coming soon.

Candice de Monts-Petit

Candice de Monts-Petit

Candice de Monts-Petit joined IR Magazine as a senior editor in 2012. Prior to this, she worked in investor relations, first as an IRO for oil and gas firms in Paris and Moscow and subsequently as an IR consultant in London. She graduated in business...