Shanghai and most major Chinese cities lack organized outdoor food centers and night markets, which are a colorful and popular part of daily life in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. But now that’s changing here in Shanghai, which is rolling out ambitious plans for a series of such centers modeled on the famous Shihlin night market in Taipei.
This kind of move seems long overdue, and could kill many birds with a single stone. Most importantly it would help to rid the streets of annoying hawkers, and it would also remove a source of noise and congestion that is irritating for nearby residents. It would also tackle the problem of food safety, since concentrating such hawkers in supervised centers would make it easier to monitor their quality. Continue reading →
New reports are saying that leading Internet firm Tencent (HKEx: 700) is quietly halting development for its largely ignored microblogging service, in what would amount to a rare admission of defeat in its core social networking services (SNS) business. The move would be long overdue, as Tencent’s microblogging service, a variant of US leader Twitter’s (NYSE: TWTR) service, was never really a major player in China. So in that sense I have to at least congratulate Tencent for finally conceding defeat in the space to Weibo (Nasdaq: WB), the Twitter imitator founded by leading web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA). Continue reading →
The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on July 23. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
Tencent (HKEx: 700) Halts New Development For Microblog Service (Chinese article)
Two more US-traded Chinese firms are on the cusp of de-listing, with online game operator Giant Interactive (NYSE: GA) and chipmaker RDA Microelectronics (NYSE: RDA) just announcing they have wrapped up buy-out deals that will pave the way for their imminent privatization. These 2 de-listing stories were announced months ago and are completely expected. But the bigger underlying story is the lack of major new privatization announcements in the last half year. In a similar development, major new IPOs by Chinese firms in New York have slowed considerably since a boom of offerings in April and May, indicating the broader deal-making market may be entering a new, more stable phase. Continue reading →
It’s been more than a year since a major food safety scare hit western fast-food operators in China, so we were probably overdue for the latest scandal that is now consuming leading chains KFC (NYSE: YUM) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD). Frankly speaking, Chinese consumers are probably so jaded about food safety scandals by now that I don’t know if these latest 2 will really have much long-term impact on either company.
The most disgraceful element this time is the fact that the supplier at the heart of the latest scandal is a foreign-owned firm. Up until now, most of the suppliers who provided tainted food to big foreign supermarkets and restaurant chains were domestic Chinese firms, which usually have lower quality control standards. Thus this latest scandal could really do some damage to the broader image of foreign-owned companies, which are generally seen as more trustworthy than their Chinese peers. Continue reading →
China’s regulators have become involved in mediating a growing number of business disputes, reflecting the recent rise of a new generation of multibillion-dollar private sector companies that are rapidly growing beyond their traditional roots. In most cases, companies that began as Internet firms and high-tech manufacturers have encroached into a wide range of new areas like banking, TV and telecoms services, raising the hackles of big state-owned firms that previously dominated those sectors. Continue reading →
The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on July 22. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
Yum (NYSE: YUM), McDonald’s Apologize As New China Food Scandal Hits (English article)
Mobile Internet Users Pass Desktop Users For First Time – CNNIC (Chinese article)
Huawei’s H1 revenue Up 19 Percent Year-On-Year At $22 Bln (English article)
More than half a year after putting itself up for sale, US publishing giant Forbes Media has found a suitor in a group with strong China ties even though none of its members are actually Chinese. The announcement comes as a slight surprise because Fosun International (HKEx: 656), one of China’s biggest private equity firms, had been rumored as a frontrunner in the bidding for the US publishing giant. Some media are saying that price was the determining factor in the end, as Fosun may have been unwilling to pay the high premium that Forbes wanted. But the stigma of potential ownership by a Chinese company may have also influenced the final decision by Forbes, which wants to maintain its independent image while also staying active in the China market. Continue reading →
Nearly 2 months after its listing in New York, e-commerce giant JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) is trying to keep up its positive momentum with announcement of a relaunch for Paipai.com, the C2C service it acquired as part of its Tencent (HKEx: 700) tie-up earlier this year. While the announcement contains a bit of detail about JD’s plans, it makes no mention of the main target of this new campaign, which is Alibaba’s industry-dominating Taobao service. That said, I’m hopeful we could see Paiapi shake up the stagnant C2C space, much the way that Alibaba did nearly a decade ago when Taobao challenged and eventually defeated then-leader eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY). Continue reading →
The latest news is decidedly cloudy from 2 of the world’s biggest food and beverage operators in China, with beverage leader Coca Cola (NYSE: KO) and fast-food giant Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) fighting battles on different fronts. Yum has just reported financial results that show a nice jump in same-store sales for its flagship KFC restaurants during the second quarter. But the year-ago figures were extremely depressed due to several one-time factors, meaning current same-store sales are probably still below levels from 2 years ago. Meantime, media reports say Coke is offering generous incentives to attract foreigners to work in Beijing due to the city’s heavy air pollution, reflecting a recent broader problem faced by many multinationals. Continue reading →
The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on July 19-21. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
Forbes Media Sells Off Most Of Company To HK Investor Group (Chinese article)
Paipai Re-launch to Bring JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) Experience to C2C (PRNewswire)
SouFun (NYSE: SFUN) Announces 5-Year Plan with a New Flagship Website Fang.com (PRNewswire)
SCA And Vinda To Integrate Hygiene Business In China (Businesswire)