China’s regulators have never been known for moving fast on anything, and that case seems to apply even more when it comes to allowing foreign players into emerging markets like third-party payment services. More than 2 years after China began awarding licenses for its domestic companies to offer such, foreign companies are still waiting for equal rights in the lucrative domestic market. But now US e-commerce giant eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) is saying it could soon become the first foreign licensee to enter the market, providing both a big opportunity but also a major challenge as it seeks to catch up to Chinese rivals with more than a 2-year head-start. Continue reading
After a disastrous round of talks last month that broke down almost as soon as they began, China and Europe look set to try again with a new round of negotiations to resolve their dispute over the EU’s claims of unfair state-support for Chinese solar panel makers. Much has changed since the failed round of talks in late May, including a growing number of individual European leaders who want to resolve this dispute through negotiations rather than trade wars. As a result, this new round of negotiations will take place between top-level government officials, an important change for both practical and symbolic reasons that I’ll explain shortly.
More than a month after I predicted that education services provider New Oriental (NYSE: EDU) could become the next US-listed Chinese company to privatize, media are buzzing with comments and other rumors that indicate such a bid could indeed be in progress. I made my remarks in late April after New Oriental reported relatively solid quarterly results that failed to impress US investors who have become wary of many Chinese companies after a series of accounting scandals. (previous post) That lack of investor appreciation has led a growing number of US-listed Chinese companies to launch privatization bids, and I predicted that New Oriental could become one of the next to joint that list. Continue reading
The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on June 19. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
- Mengniu (HKEx: 2319) Adds Another Deal With Offer For Carlyle’s Yashili (English article)
- EU Trade Chief To Discuss Solar Dispute In Beijing (English article)
- Software Developer SkyTech to IPO in HK – Source (English article)
- Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU) To Roll Out Portable Wi-Fi Router Device (Chinese article)
- Huawei, Responding To Rumors, Says No Plans To Buy Nokia (Helsinki: NOK1V) (English article)
Campbell (NYSE: CPB) maybe a household name in the west, but its famous soup cans are unknown in China where homemade broths are the norm and instant soups are a foreign concept. But that could change soon, with word that Campbell has purchased a Danish cookie company with a strong presence in China. Normally I’d say this purchase alone doesn’t mean that Campbell will necessarily use Denmark’s Kelsen as a platform to roll out its soups in China. But in this case Campbell seems to be making extra effort to highlight the China angle in its announcement of the deal, which makes such a move seem more likely. Continue reading
Huangpu District has the stately Bund, Jing’an has the upscale West Nanjing Road shopping area and Luwan has the trendy Xintiandi. And then there’s Hongkou, which is trying to find its way onto city tourist maps with new plans for an area of bed & breakfast-style hotels (B&Bs) converted from old shikumen houses. Continue reading
Media are all abuzz that trendy smartphone maker Xiaomi may be preparing to launch an Internet TV, after a photo was leaked showing boxes of the packaging for such a product in a warehouse. Of course it’s always possible the photos are doctored and were created by someone trying to stir up gossip about this up-and-coming company co-founded by the marketing savvy Lei Jun. But I’ve had a look at the photo, which features stacks of boxes with the words “Xioami TV – L47M1-AA 47-inch” printed on them, and have to say the pictures look authentic, meaning the rumors may be true. (English article; Chinese article) Continue reading
The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on June 18. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
- eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) To Become First Foreign Financial Payments Licensee (Chinese article)
- China Solar Stocks Rally On Aid Hopes (English article)
- Central Huijin Boosts Stake in Bank Of China (HKEx: 1398) (HKEx announcement)
- Campbell (NYSE: CPB) Buys Cookie Maker Kelsen, Eyes Growth in China (Businesswire)
- Ambrx, Zhejiang Medicine Co To Commercialize Ambrx Breast Cancer Drug (PRNewswire)
A few interesting news bits on the medical front are spotlighting both the opportunities and risks that drug and medical equipment makers face in developing the China market. On the opportunity side, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) has announced an expansion of its relationship with Simcere Pharmaceutical (NYSE: SCR) to introduce its drugs into China. Meantime, homegrown medical equipment maker Mindray Medical (NYSE: MR) is also banking on the market’s potential with its newly announced acquisition of a US ultrasound equipment maker. But US drug giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is also finding the market contains some risks, as it comes under fire for double standards related to its product recall policies in China. Continue reading
It’s been relatively quiet in China these last few days due to the Dragon Boat holiday, so I thought I’d start the new week with a look at Rupert Murdoch’s ongoing divorce with Wendi Deng and what it might mean for his flagship New Corp (Nasdaq: NWSA) in China. Many believe that Deng, a China native, was one of the main forces behind Murdoch’s previous bullishness on China, leading News Corp aggressively try to develop the market in the decade from 2000 to 2010. But the company has sharply reversed its China approach over the last 3 years, perhaps reflecting the deteriorating marriage between Murdoch and Deng. Continue reading
It’s a relatively slow day for financial news, so I thought I’d take a look at a very low-key IPO getting ready to launch in New York by a small Chinese microlender named China Commercial Credit. This particular offering is so small, set to raise about $18 million, that it normally wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But what’s interesting is that this is the first US listing of this size that I’ve seen by a Chinese lender, and could perhaps auger a wave of similar listings by a new generation of private Chinese banking firms. Continue reading