iPhone Chases China Window, Oct Launch Likely

October China launch likely for iPhone 6

With Alibaba’s blockbuster IPO nearly in the past, attention will turn over the next few weeks to tech giant Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and the mystery surrounding the lack of a launch schedule for its new iPhone 6 in China. While Alibaba is a story of hype, the iPhone 6 saga is quickly becoming a tale of intrigue, as everyone tries to guess what’s happening behind the scenes to delay this other highly anticipated event. China’s own media are helping to fuel the suspense, with a new report from the Xinhua central news agency providing clues about what looks like a tangle with China’s censors. Continue reading

Alibaba Prices High, Set For Turbulent Trading

Alibaba set for solid debut

With Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) blockbuster IPO nearly in the history books, I wanted to take this opportunity to explore what’s ahead for the company as it gets set to break numerous records with its New York listing. One good indicator of what lies ahead would be the performance for shares of other Chinese tech firms that have listed over the last 12 months. But such comparisons have limited value, since Alibaba is clearly in a far different class from all these other companies, following a pricing of its shares that makes it more valuable than such global corporate giants as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Disney (NYSE: DIS). Continue reading

Canadian Solar Joins China Solar Financing Club

Canadian Solar joins solar power building club

Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) has joined a growing field of Chinese solar panel makers entering the risky business of speculative development in China, with its launch of a new locally-based fund for solar power construction. The move follows the establishment of self-financed vehicles for similar speculative construction by rivals Trina (NYSE: TSL), Yingli (NYSE: YGE) and wind power equipment maker Ming Yang (NYSE: MY), as they try to create more demand for their products. Continue reading

News Digest: September 19, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on September 19. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) IPO Prices At Top Of Range, Raising $21.8 Bln (English article)
  • NDRC Announces Fines For 12 Japanese Auto Parts Makers In Antitrust Probe (Chinese article)
  • LeTV (Shenzhen: 300104) Film Unit Raises 340 Mln Yuan In B-Series Funding (Chinese article)
  • SMG to Merge BesTV (Shanghai: 600637) and Shanghai Oriental Pearl (English article)
  • Regulator Orders Online Video Sites To Stop Distributing TV Apps – Source (Chinese article)

Wanda Eyes Mega-IPO In HK

Wanda files for $6 bln HK IPO

Hong Kong may be disappointed about losing the world’s biggest Internet IPO with the imminent trading debut of Alibaba in New York, but it’s getting a nice consolation prize with word of a major new listing plan by top commercial property developer Wanda Group. The Wanda reports are getting much less coverage than they might normally due to Alibaba fever, which will see the Chinese e-commerce leader raise more than $20 billion when its shares start trading on Friday in New York. But at up to $6 billion, the IPO for Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties will still qualify as one of the world’s biggest offerings for 2014. Continue reading

Weibo Stumbles In Mobile, Inflates Big Vs

Weibo: engaged in follower inflation?

A couple of separate reports are shining a spotlight on some of the shenanigans happening at former social networking (SNS) superstar Weibo (Nasdaq: WB), and also on its dimming prospects as it gets overtaken by more nimble, innovative rivals. The first and more entertaining of those reports details how Weibo routinely inflates the number of followers for some of the most popular people on its service through use of phantom “zombie” accounts. The second details a worrisome trend that says the number of mobile users for Weibo dropped sharply in August, hinting at problems ahead in this high-growth area. Continue reading

Weibo: Conspiracy Theorists Chat Up Microsoft Defection, iPhone 6 Delay

Execs speculate on Zhang Yaqin’s jump to Baidu

Conspiracy talk was buzzing through the microblogging realm this past week, as numerous executives weighed in on 2 major news events in the China tech world. One of those saw Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) finally unveil its new iPhone 6, only to mysteriously yank China from its global launch map without any explanation. The other saw executives speculating on the significance of and reasons behind the surprise defection of Zhang Yaqin, a longtime China-based Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) executive who abruptly left the company for a job at leading Internet search company Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU). Continue reading

News Digest: September 18, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on September 18. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • China’s Wanda Commercial Properties Plans Up To $6 Bln HK IPO (English article)
  • Seagate (NYSE: STX), Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) In Strategic Cooperation Deal (Businesswire)
  • Daojia Completes $50 Mln Funding Led By JD.com (Nasdaq: JD), Macquarie (PRNewswire)
  • Coolpad Cuts 10 Pct Of Workers, Diverts Resources To Channel JV (Chinese article)
  • China Central Bank Injects $81 Bln Into Big Banks To Support Economy: Reports (English article)

Toyota Falls Under Antitrust Microscope

Toyota’s Lexus under antitrust microscope

The volume continues to grow in a war of words between China and the west over a series of antitrust probes against multinationals, including the latest reports that Beijing is targeting Japanese car giant Toyota (Tokyo: 7203) with yet another such investigation. Toyota’s Lexus division is just the latest company to fall under Beijing’s microscope for its pricing policies, following similar investigations into most of the world’s top luxury car makers. Leading US smartphone chip maker Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOMO) is also being investigated, and so is leading global software maker Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). Continue reading

Feiyu IPO Fuels Gaming Migration To HK

Game operator Feiyu files for HK IPO

Much of the world is fixated on the upcoming IPO of e-commerce giant Alibaba in New York, but a far smaller new listing plan by mobile game developer Feiyu Technology is shining a low-key spotlight on a recent jump for such listings in Hong Kong. Many have said that Hong Kong should be the most attractive offshore listing ground for Chinese venture-backed IPOs, since the former British colony is closer geographically and culturally than the currently favored site of New York. But strict listing rules on profitability and ownership structure have kept most Chinese venture-backed tech firms looking to New York instead. Continue reading

Shanghai Street View: Media Malaise

21cbh.com busted for extortion

A few weeks ago I praised Shanghai’s laggard media for uncovering one of the biggest stories of the year, so it seems fitting that this week I take another look at our local media’s return to the spotlight for far less positive reasons.

For those who don’t follow the industry so closely, the rare moment of glory for Shanghai’s media I’m referring to came back in late July. That’s when undercover TV reporters from Shanghai Media Group (SMG) exposed that a range of unsavory practices at Husi Food, a US-owned meat supplier to such major global brands as McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), KFC (NYSE: YUM) and Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX).
Continue reading