Alibaba Tussles With Rivals Over ‘Double-Eleven’ Trademark

Alibaba claims trademark for ‘Double-Eleven’

I’m not a big fan of “events” like the upcoming November 11 Singles’ Day, which are often created by companies in an attempt to boost sales. But in this case the latest reports on the upcoming date are providing a bit of controversy and entertainment, with word that e-commerce leader Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is taking steps to protect trademark rights to a shopping event that it single-handedly created. In this case, media are reporting that Alibaba is saying that it owns the rights to the “Double Eleven” trademark, and is telling media to reject related advertisements from rivals like JD.com (Nasdaq: JD). Continue reading

Sun Sets On Motorola As Lenovo Purchase Closes

Lenovo closes Motorola buy

There was never really much doubt that Chinese PC leader Lenovo (HKEx: 992) would ultimately close its purchase of Motorola Mobility, the former cellphone giant that has rapidly become irrelevant in a sector where change occurs at lightning speed these days. Lenovo has just announced that it closed the purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), some 9 months after first announcing the deal. Now the real work will begin for Lenovo as it tries to figure out what exactly to do with Motorola, including the small possibility that it could retire the company’s storied name. Continue reading

Hilton, Wanda In New China Budget Plays

Hilton rolls out Hampton in China

There’s a bit of buzz in the travel space today, with word of major new initiatives in the hotel and airline sectors for global hotelier Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) and domestic real estate titan Wanda Group. The former will see Hilton roll out the welcome mat for one of its main low-cost brands in China, taking aim at names like Home Inns (Nasdaq: HMIN) and China Lodging Group (Nasdaq: HTHT). The latter move has Wanda’s talkative founder Wang Jianlin discussing a potential new airline launch, as his company also makes a big push into the travel and leisure sector. Continue reading

News Digest: October 31, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on October 31. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) Tussle Over “Singles Day” Trademark (Chinese article)
  • Virtual Network Operators Begin Offering 4G Mobile Service (Chinese article)
  • Lenovo (HKEx: 992) Closes Motorola Mobile Purchase From Google (HKEx announcement)
  • Hilton (NYSE: HLT) In Deal For Major Expansion of Hampton Hotels In China (Businesswire)
  • Bank Of China (HKEx: 3988) Announces Q3 Results (HKEx announcement)
  • Latest calendar for Q3 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

Baidu Maintains Lock On Search Revenue

Baidu dominates search revenue market

Online search leader Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) has just become the first of China’s “big 3″ Internet companies to release third quarter results, showing it’s not in any danger of losing its overwhelming share of China’s search advertising revenue anytime soon. Many media like to focus on the fact that Baidu has seen its dominance in China’s search market fall sharply over the last year, as newer rivals backed by Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU) and Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU) have collectively grown to take nearly half of the market by traffic volume. But while Baidu’s share of traffic may be sinking, it still holds the lion’s share of money that advertisers pay to search engines in China. Continue reading

China Tech IPOs Soar In 2014, Due For Pullback

Tech IPOs post banner returns in 2014

In the absence of big company news so far this week, I’ve decided tolook at the scorecard for the flood of technology IPOs over the last 12 months and what it might say about what’s ahead into next year. The record so far looks quite good in general, especially for companies that made a flurry of New York offerings at the end of last year and whose shares have mostly doubled or more since then.

But one notable exception to the trend is mobile games, as 2 of the 3 major players to make recent listings are now squarely in negative territory. That doesn’t bode well for a 3 upcoming similar listings, 1 in New York and 2 in Hong Kong, which appear to be stalling due to the cool investor sentiment. Continue reading

Weibo: Zuckerberg Charms China At Tsinghua, Xiaomi Events

Facebook’s Zuckerberg visits Beijing

Chinese tech executives have been buzzing for much of the past week over Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was working hard to charm many of China’s high-tech elite on a semi-official visit to Beijing. Zuckerberg was in town to attend an event at the prestigious Tsinghua University, often called the MIT of China. But he also found time to visit smartphone sensation Xiaomi, where he received abundant praise from company officials led by the increasingly influential and high-profile CEO Lei Jun.

Separately, 2 homegrown Chinese tech legends also received widespread praise and admiration, as Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) veteran Chen Tong and Zhang Xiangdong, president of recently listed mobile game maker Sungy Mobile (Nasdaq: GOMO), both announced they would leave their longtime employers. The departures of this pair also drew a certain degree of reflection and nostalgia, as many noted the passing of the Internet from an earlier generation of technology enthusiasts to a new, younger group of more marketing-savvy, seasoned business people. Continue reading

News Digest: October, 30, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on October 30. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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Alibaba’s Ma Eyes New Partner In Apple’s Cook

Alibaba, Apple weigh electronic wallet tie-up

The headlines are buzzing today with news about newly listed Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), led by word that the e-commerce giant may explore an electronic payments tie-up with global gadget leader Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). I’ll be quite frank and say that such a tie-up would seem destined for disaster, based on the previous experience between Alibaba and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), its only other major partner in a similar past tie-up.

Meantime, Alibaba has also announced a spin-off of its fledgling online travel business, posing the interesting possibility of some major acquisitions as it tries to quickly expand the unit and also presenting a challenge to sector leaders Ctrip (Nasdaq: CTRP) and Qunar (Nasdaq: QUNR). Lastly there’s the largely technical news bit that Alibaba’s stock broke through the $100 mark for the first time in the latest trading session, putting it nearly 50 percent above its IPO price, as investors eagerly await the company’s maiden earnings report set for next Tuesday. (earnings calendar) Continue reading

Struggles Continue At Shanda, Perfect World

Shanda Games CEO resigns

More signs of turbulence are coming from the troubled online game space, with word that the CEO of Shanda Games (Nasdaq: GAME) has resigned and Perfect World (Nasdaq: PWRD) has overhauled its R&D division to breathe new life into the company. There’s quite a lot of back story to these latest news bits, including a strategic equity alliance announced by the 2 companies at the start of the year that later fell apart for unexplained reasons. The bigger story is the fierce competition in China’s online game market, which has left companies like Shanda and Perfect World struggling to grow and has dampened investor enthusiasm for new gaming IPOs. Continue reading

Shanghai Street View: Creative Problem Solving

Retirement areas: good home for dance troupes
Retirement areas: good home for dance troupes

Separate news items this week got me thinking about 2 major headaches for many ordinary Shanghai citizens, and my own creative solutions for the problems. One issue involves the all-too-familiar problem of unwanted noises in our bustling city, while the other involves the bothersome security checks at our subway stations.

There are many sources of unwanted noise in our city, but one of the most common is the loud music that often comes from karaoke singers and dancers who hold their activities in large public spaces. The issue of subway security is also a controversial one, as the city walks a fine line between trying to keep our subway system safe while avoiding bottlenecks and too much passenger inconvenience. Continue reading