One of the market's best-kept secrets is that Chinese stocks have been storming back into favor lately. Let's not all look at once, now. You wouldn't want to jinx it.

With investors finding few growth opportunities domestically, it's only natural to seek out markets abroad where there are at least some semblances of growth. China seems to fit the bill for now.

Just consider the meteoric rise of eLong (NASDAQ:LONG). Last month, shares of the online travel site were trading as low as $3.74. That is an insane price, considering that the company's balance sheet recently packed $5.83 per ADS in cash and equivalents. Logic has bounced back like a slingshot. eLong closed at $6.80 last night.

Four for the high road
It's not just eLong storming back into the market's fancy. There are several Chinese growth stocks that have doubled off their 52-week lows.


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Home Inns & Hotels (NASDAQ:HMIN)




China Finance Online (NASDAQ:JRJC)




Shanda Interactive (NASDAQ:SNDA)




Let's start with China Finance Online. The provider of stock market research in China is probably a fair proxy for investor sentiment. Wall Street clearly underestimated the company last month, when it was expecting a quarterly profit of just $0.15 a share. China Finance Online came through with earnings of $0.28 a share. The loss of a third-party data provider will pinch the company in the near term, but buoyancy in Shanghai will often lead to buoyancy in both investor interest in premium research and shares of China Finance Online.

Home Inns & Hotels closed at $14.03 last night, narrowly doubling off its $7 floor. The chain of value-priced lodging establishments was a market darling until its bottom line stopped keeping up with the company's top-line gain. But travel is going to be a major part of China's miraculous turnaround. Portals like eLong and (NASDAQ:CTRP) will benefit, but opportunists looking to cut out the middlemen should warm up to Home Inns, as it has ramped up its capacity over the years.

Shanda is a pioneer in online gaming. This is a sector that is growing quickly, despite fears that the Chinese government will crack down on Internet cafes and connectivity in general. It's too late for that. The country's youth is flocking to multiplayer diversions, and companies like Shanda are riding the wave. It is telling that one of the few IPOs to successfully make its market debut in recent months is Shanda rival (NASDAQ:CYOU).

Then we have Baidu, which doubled from its November lows this morning. A pair of notable analysts upgraded shares of China's leading search engine last month. Despite the global slowdown, Baidu's still moving in the right direction. Revenue and earnings rose by 58% and 31% respectively during last year's final quarter.

Like a bull in a China shop
No rally lasts forever. China isn't immune to the worldly malaise. Some of the stocks have even raced past the fundamentals. China Finance Online has been on a tear, even as analysts have been talking down the company's near-term profit prospects. Baidu is another stock that has climbed even as Wall Street guesstimates have been inching lower in recent months.

However, this is a market that also shouldn't be ignored. Even if it's perfectly natural for these flying stocks to take a breather, the world's most populous nation is still early in its growth cycle. Steps back will likely be followed by two steps forward. It's how investors get around these days.

Searching for more? Check out these recent headlines: is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. China Finance Online, Shanda, and Baidu are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a huge fan of China's growth stocks and has recommended several as newsletter picks. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.