Chinese shares tumbled on Wednesday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunging 1.98 percent to dive below the 3,000-point psychological mark.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 1.98 percent to finish at 2,972.53 points. The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 10,292.52 points, down 2.63 percent.
Total turnover on the two bourses shrank to 583.97 billion yuan (93.35 billion U.S. dollars) from 638.81 billion yuan on the previous trading day.
Shares of 247 companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges gained over 5 percent with 46 shares hitting the 10-percent daily increase limit, while shares of 63 firms dropped by over 5 percent.
Heavyweights, including insurance, brokerages and banks, led the losses. Citic Securities lost 9.06 percent to finish at 28.2 yuan per share, Ping An Insurance slumped 7.13 percent to 60.71 yuan per share and Bank of Communications dropped 5.35 percent to 5.84 yuan per share.
Agriculture-related shares bucked the trend and prevented the benchmark index from more losses, as China concluded a rural work conference on Tuesday, vowing to push forward agricultural modernization through reform and innovation.
China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's top stock market regulator, announced it was investigating market-rigging involving shares of 18 listed companies last Friday.
The ChiNext Index, China's Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, gained 1.55 percent to finish at 1,519.8 points.