LeTV Plans Global Steps Into HK, US

LeTV prepares for global expansion

Hong Kong is quickly emerging as the preferred starting point for China’s tech companies eager to move outside their home market, with word that video sharing operator LeTV (Shenzhen: 300104) is planning a service launch in the former British colony later this year. Such a move would make LeTV the first of China’s online video and Internet TV firms to test out an overseas market. If the reports are true, LeTV could discover the outside world offers some interesting opportunities, but also major challenges as it goes head-to-head with local players and also global giants like YouTube and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Continue reading

Weibo: JD.com, NQ CEOs Resume Blogging After Long Pauses

JD, NQ top execs blog again after long pauses

Three of China’s shyest tech CEOs have made rare appearances on their microblogs over the past week, emerging from the shadows after difficult periods for at least 2 of their firms. Liu Qingdong, CEO of e-commerce giant JD.com, was the first to come out of his shell, ending a 19 month self-imposed silence. He was followed by NQ Mobile’s (NYSE: NQ) CEO Lin Yu, whose microblog had gone silent since a scandal last year that saw the security software maker came under a short seller attack. Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) CEO Pony Ma also made a relatively rare posting on his microblog, though in this case his appearance was mostly promotional as he trumpeted another major milestone for his company’s popular social networking services. Continue reading

News Digest: April 17, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on April 17. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • Citic Pacific (HKEx: 267) In $36.5 Bln Deal To Buy Parent’s Main Business (English article)
  • China Cellphone Shipments Drop 24.7 Pct In Q1 – MIIT (Chinese article)
  • Alibaba Could File Prospectus For US IPO Next Week – Sources (Chinese article)
  • Yingli (NYSE: YGE), Sailing Capital Form 1 Bln Yuan Renewable Energy Fund (PRNewswire)
  • Taxi App Didi Dache Lands $700 Mln in New Funding – Market Talk (English article)
  • Latest calendar for Q1 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

JD Shuffles Boardroom, Alibaba Profit Soars

JD makes boardroom adjustment

There’s a flurry of news out today on China’s 2 leading e-commerce firms, led by a new IPO filing and major boardroom adjustment at JD.com as the nation’s second largest player prepares to raise up to $1.5 billion through a New York listing. Meantime, industry leader Alibaba has reported impressive earnings for the fourth quarter of 2013, as it also heads towards a major New York listing as soon as later this year. JD’s boardroom change looks most interesting to me, as it’s a bit unusual to see such major movement in a company’s top ranks so close to an IPO. That leads me to wonder if this is the first in a series of moves leading to the eventual marginalization of JD founder and CEO Liu Qiangdong. Continue reading

Guangdong Strikes Cast Shadow Over Manufacturers

New strikes at shoe, microwave factories

A time of year typically known for labor unrest is taking a worrisome twist, with major new strikes occurring at top microwave oven maker Galanz and shoe making giant Yue Yuen (HKEx: 551), whose clients include Nike and Adidas. These latest signs of labor unrest in the important Pearl Delta manufacturing hub come just weeks after workers staged another strike at an IBM (NYSE: IBM) factory being sold to Chinese PC leader Lenovo (HKEx: 992). The fact that these industry leaders are seeing such major problems so early in the year hints at even bigger problems for smaller factories, which are struggling under the weight of soaring costs and sagging export orders. Continue reading

Shanghai Street View: Bird Flu Takes Flight

Bird flu? What bird flu?

What a difference a year makes. Many of us have been out and about these last couple of weeks enjoying the springtime weather, taking in cherry blossoms and celebrating the end of winter. Amid the spring fever, few people seem to recall that Shanghai at this time last year was a far different place, gripped by fear as the new and unknown H7N9 strain of bird flu swept through the city. Continue reading

News Digest: April 16, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on April 16. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • Nike Shoemaker Yue Yuen (HKEx: 551) Says 1,000 China Workers On Strike (English article)
  • JD.com Submits New Forms To SEC, To Trade Under Symbol JD (Chinese article)
  • Alibaba Profit Grows Ahead of Initial Public Offering (English article)
  • Online Recruitment Firm Lietou.com Lands $70 Mln Series C Funding (English article)
  • Private Aircraft Operator NetJets Nearing Official Launch In China (Businesswire)
  • Latest calendar for Q1 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

Citic Enters US With Brokerage Stake Buy

Citic enters US with brokerage tie-up

Financial conglomerate Citic Group is quickly emerging as a company to watch, as it consolidates its various domestic operations to assemble a compelling investment alternative to China’s stodgy state-run banks. But the company isn’t limiting itself to the domestic market, and has taken a new step onto the global stage through a new equity tie-up with US brokerage BTIG. (company announcement)

The deal looks particularly interesting because Citic isn’t doing it directly through its publicly traded Citic Securities (HKEx: 6030; Shanghai: 600300) unit, but instead is forming the tie-up using its recently acquired CLSA brokerage unit based out of Hong Kong. Industry watchers will recall that Citic Securities acquired CLSA in a 2-step process that saw it take a small stake and then eventually buy out the brokerage completely. If that pattern is any indicator, many may be wondering if Citic could follow the same pattern with BTIG, which is a mid-sized US brokerage that would be easily digestible by a big name like Citic. Continue reading

Mobile Game Maker Chukong Joins IPO Queue

Chukong files for NY IPO

Signs of weakening sentiment haven’t stopped the flood of Chinese tech firms lining up for new listings in New York, and now we can add mobile game maker Chukong Technologies to the list of new IPO candidates. If anything, recent signs of weakening sentiment may make companies that have already done much of the preparatory work for IPOs accelerate their plans, meaning we could see quite a few new listing applications in May. That’s what Chukong is planning, according to media reports saying the firm has made its first non-public filing for an IPO with the US securities regulator. (Chinese article) Continue reading

Web Pioneers Should Consider Retirement

China Internet titans should consider stepping down

Web portal Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU) was in the headlines last week as founder and longtime chief executive Charles Zhang discussed a major restructuring for one of China’s oldest Internet companies to ensure its long-term survival. (Chinese article) His disclosure put Sohu alongside most of China’s other major Internet companies in announcing such plans, as each seeks to chart a new course in a rapidly changing environment. Continue reading

News Digest: April 15, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on April 15. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • BTIG Announces Strategic Investment by Citic Securities’ (HKEx: 6030) CLSA (Businesswire)
  • Yingli (NYSE: YGE) To Build, Sell 300 MW Solar Plants In Deal With United PV (PRNewswire)
  • Glencore Xstrata (London: GLEN) Sells Copper Mine To Chinese Group For $5.85 Bln (English article)
  • LeTV (Shenzhen: 300104) Prepares To Enter HK, Eyes US – HK Media (Chinese article)
  • Game Maker Chukong Technologies Makes First Filing For US IPO – Source (Chinese article)
  • Latest calendar for Q1 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)