What are "B shares"?
The proper name of "B Shares" is "Domestically Listed Foreign Investment Shares", which used to be referred to as "Renminbi Special Shares." The reason why they are also called "B shares" is because the other category of shares, "Renminbi-denominated Ordinary Shares for Domestic Investors", is known as "A shares." B Shares are issued in the form of registered shares and carry a face value denominated in Renminbi. B shares are subscribed and traded in foreign currencies (US$ on the Shanghai Stock Exchange or Hong Kong dollars on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange) and are listed and traded in securities exchanges inside China. B shares were only accessible to foreign investors until February 19, 2001 when the China Securities Regulatory Commission ("CSRC") decided to allow PRC domestic residents to buy and sell B shares on the secondary market.