Welcome to Muddy Waters Research
The Chinese have an old proverb, “浑水摸鱼” (muddy waters make it easy to catch fish). In other words, opacity creates opportunities to make money. This way of thinking has been part of Chinese culture for centuries, and it is institutionalized in the modern PRC.
Western investors and their regulatory systems are inherently unprepared for muddy waters environments. Moreover, Harvard-educated Chinese analysts based in New York usually have little more in common with Chinese company managers than you do. As a result, many sub-par Chinese companies find ways to game the system and trade at inflated values. At the same time, a number of well-run and well-positioned companies are underappreciated because their managements, often abandoned by RTO or IPO sponsors, are awkward to foreign investors.