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Shuli Ren

A Bubble Scarier Than Big Tech Is Brewing in China

Valuations in the food and beverage sector have skyrocketed as institutional investors pile in.

What goes up...

What goes up...

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac

In China, an even scarier bubble than Big Tech is brewing. It's engineered not by the nation’s notorious mom-and-pop investors, but professional stock pickers.

These days, even a soy sauce maker can be valued at 100 times earnings. And this is no penny stock: Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food Co. is a blue chip with an $81 billion market cap. From pig farmers to manufacturers of China’s famous fiery liquor, the food and beverage industry has surpassed banks as the heavyweight in the benchmark CSI 300 Index. On average, the sector has rallied 60% this year.