(Bloomberg) -- China will work to improve financing for firms on the country’s Star Market and increase support for mergers between companies on the tech-heavy board.

The regulator on Wednesday released an eight point plan to help the market. It also pledged to prioritize the listing of firms with breakthroughs and strengthen supervision, according to a statement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The plan was released in conjunction with the annual Lujiazui forum. 

China announced the official launch of the Nasdaq-like STAR board at the same forum in 2019, with the first batch of firms debuting in July the same year. Trading has remained sluggish in the past few years, and the benchmark STAR 50 index is down about 50% since its inception.

Authorities are stepping up efforts to boost the nation’s $8.9 trillion stock market following three consecutive years of losses. Beijing has put emphasis on capital market stability, at a time when it’s also contending with challenges from powering up the world’s second-largest economy. 

Wu Qing, who was appointed head of the CSRC in February, said earlier at the Lujiazui forum that the regulator will boost support for innovative firms and encourage mergers and reorganizations among listed companies. Wu also vowed to beef up monitoring of high-frequency trading and deal with risks in the capital markets as early as possible.

China has so far taken aim at quantitative trading, tightened rules for initial public offerings and pledged to crack down on fraud and market manipulation. 

The nation’s cabinet also issued guidelines in April to tighten listing criteria, beef up oversight of delistings and trading activity to promote the “high-quality development” of the capital markets. 

While the measures lifted onshore shares from a five-year low, momentum has waned in the past few weeks with major benchmarks now down about 4% from their recent high in May. Trading activity also cooled off, with average daily market turnover shrinking for a third month in June.

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