|A sign for STAR Market, China's new Nasdaq-style tech board, is seen after the listing ceremony of the first batch of companies at Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) in Shanghai, China July 22, 2019. (Photo by=REUTERS/Stringer)| [Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] SHANGHAI : China's securities regulators punished 19 institutional investors as authorities tighten scrutiny over price-setting behaviors under a more liberalized listing system. China launched the tech-focused STAR Market in Shanghai in mid-2019, the same with the introduction of a U.S.-style, registration-based initial public offering (IPO) system in that market. The Securities Association of China (SAC) said late on Friday that a joint probe recently with the Shanghai Stock Exchange over STAR IPOs had exposed issues with 19 institutional investors. The problems included weak internal controls, the inadequate rationale for price settings, non-compliance with stipulated procedures and improper storage of working papers, the SAC said in a statement, without identifying the companies. SAC said regulators will strengthen supervision and step up penalties against misbehavior to maintain order for IPO price-setting and protect investors. China has already replicated the registration-based IPO system to Shenzhen's start-up board ChiNext, and aims to gradually roll out the mechanism to the rest of China's stock market, which still uses a system based on regulators' approvals.