SHANGHAI, March 13 (Reuters) - China's securities regulator has fined a group of stock traders more than $173 million for market manipulation, including via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in the first cross-border case of its kind involving the scheme.
Tang Hanbo and another person, Wang Tao, made 41.9 million yuan ($6 million) in illicit profits by manipulating shares of Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co Ltd through trading accounts in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement published on Friday.
Tang and others also made 250 million yuan manipulating other stocks in mainland China, it said.
The combined penalties amounted to 1.2 billion yuan ($173.76 million), it said.
Tang and Wang could not be reached for a comment.
The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme, launched in late 2014, allows foreigners to access China's mainland "A" shares through the Hong Kong exchange (HKEx), and mainlanders to access Hong Kong shares through the Shanghai exchange, subject to daily quotas.
Late last year, mainland and Hong Kong authorities launched an extension of the connect scheme that links the bourse in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen with the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The CSRC has pledged to strengthen cooperation with Hong Kong's securities regulator to prevent and crack down on manipulation, and promote the healthy operation of investment links between the two markets. ($1 = 6.9059 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)