Chinese stocks were suffering huge declines prior to the New York Stock Exchange shutdown due to an alleged “technical issue,” fueling concerns whether the NYSE was actually halted due to the free fall in China.

Companies in China fell 20% from a May high and, right before the NYSE shutdown, the Hang Seng Index plunged its most since the 2008 financial crisis.

“The Hang Seng Index fell 5.8% to 23,516.56 at the close today, the biggest drop since November 2008, after slumping as much as 8.6%,” Bloomberg’s Kana Nishizawa wrote.

Overall, China’s stock market plunge has wiped out around $3.2 trillion since June 12.

“Investors are disappointed and afraid that the Chinese policy makers lost control of the market,” Mari Oshidari, a Hong Kong-based financial strategist, said. “With no end in sight to the plunge, sentiment has turned cold.”

“With liquidity drying up in the mainland, the Hong Kong market is being sold instead –- the only thing it can do is just quietly take the storm.”

The global economy is so dependent on China that if the country were to completely implode, a world-wide recession would likely result.

Not long after China suffered huge losses on Wednesday, the New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading due to an alleged “technical issue.”

“NYSE/NYSE MKT has temporarily suspended trading in all symbols,” the NYSE said in a statement. “Additional information will follow as soon as possible.”

Art Cashin, director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC it had been a “bumpy day” before the stock market was shut down.

“We had some technical problems even before the opening,” he said.

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