New Energy

Latest financial news about New enery in China.
Doug Young has lived and worked in China for 15 years, much of that as a journalist for Reuters specialized about Chinese companies

NEW ENERGY: Tesla Takes Its Time With China Plant

Bottom line: Tesla’s announcement that its China plant is three years away puts a clear and realistic timeline on its intentions, which include strong growth in the market banking on supportive policies by Beijing.

Tesla gets realistic about China car production

Anyone who was hoping that electric car superstar Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) would start cranking out its products in China anytime soon will have to think again. Founder and celebrity CEO Elon Musk has poured cold water on all the speculation about his company imminently building a China manufacturing base by saying local production is at least 3 years off. That’s just a single data point, but it’s quite a significant one considering all the talk that’s been swirling around these days.

That talk dates back a couple of years, when reports first emerged that Tesla  was interested in such a move. One of the stumbling blocks all along has been the ownership issue, since China now limits foreign ownership of any car-making joint venture to 50 percent. But that looks set to change, which had fueled speculation that Tesla would step on the gas pedal once it got the green light, pardon all the car metaphors. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: ReneSola, Canadian Solar Focus on Plant-Building as New US Tariffs Loom

Bottom line: Diversification moves away from manufacturing by Canadian Solar and ReneSola could bring more stability to the companies, while panel makers are likely to take a big hit from new US anti-dumping measures.

ReneSola, Canadian Solar in new diversification moves

A trio of solar energy stories are in the headlines that underscore difficulties panel makers are facing due to a recent glut that looks quite typical in this highly cyclical sector. Two of the stories reflect a trend that has panel makers trying to diversify into the less cycle-prone business of solar plant building, with major new developments from Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) and ReneSola (NYSE: SOL). The third has a research house predicting demand for the panels, which are the main component of such plants, could dive by up to half in the US this year, following a major new anti-dumping ruling by Washington.

Again, all of this shows that the world is still swamped with too much solar panel-making capacity and is in sore need of a downsizing. The main obstacle to that is coming from China, where many companies have slipped into the loss column but refuse to slim down due to resistance from local interests intent on staying in the business come hell or high water. It’s a bit unclear who will blink first in this battle to stay in business, though in this kind of war the market usually determines who emerges as victor. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: BYD Wins Hometown Business, Launches Monorail

Bottom line: BYD’s new order from Shenzhen shows its continued reliance on state support for new energy vehicle sales, while its new monorail product could become a cash cow in 1-2 years if the technology works well.

BYD gets new order from Shenzhen, launches monorail

Futuristic transport company BYD (HKEx: 1211; 002594) is in a couple of headlines as the new work week begins, seeking to show its potential and justify why people like billionaire investor Warren Buffet should buy and hold its shares. One headline has the company announcing a major new contract for its core electric vehicles from its hometown government of Shenzhen. The other has the company formally launching its newest business helping cities build monorails.

I’ll admit I wasn’t even aware of the company’s monorail plan, which apparently is aimed at providing cheaper mass transit alternates for big cities to traditional subways and light rail. The idea certainly sounds interesting, though we would probably require a more seasoned urban transport expert to talk about the pros and cons of such systems. Still, it does show the company is trying to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Solar Panel Makers Face New Storm From India

Bottom line:  India is unlikely to levy anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panel makers, despite the likelihood that it will launch an investigation.

India set to launch anti-dumping probe on Chinese panels

The news just seems to be getting worse and worse for China’s embattled solar panel makers. First the group was hit a few years back by anti-dumping tariffs from the US and Europe, and more recently the highly cyclical industry has gone into a downturn that has pushed a growing number of players into the red. As if that wasn’t bad enough, media are reporting that India may be getting set to launch an anti-dumping investigation against the group.

The news has been spooking investors somewhat, but not as much as you might expect. In fact, most of the solar shares have been on a rally for the last month, and have pulled back a little in light of this news from India. Perhaps that’s because some are saying an anti-dumping probe will take at least a few months to complete, and also that it’s far from clear that India will actually rule against the Chinese companies. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Tesla EV Plan Lands in Shanghai — Again

Bottom line: Tesla is likely to announce a new $9 billion electric car joint venture in Shanghai within the next two months, which could begin production as the industry starts to gain traction in the next 1-2 years.

Tesla on cusp of electric car JV

Almost a year to the day after media reported an imminent deal that would see electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) set up a plant in Shanghai, new reports are emerging saying the long delayed deal will finally be announced. Anyone sensing a bit of “boy who cried wolf” with the latest reports is probably justified in feeling slightly skeptical. But I would quickly add this time perhaps we could finally see an announcement. It may not be as imminent as the reports are indicating, but perhaps within the next month or two.

Anyhow who feels compelled can go back and look at the reports a year ago, at which time I also predicted an announcement could be coming in the next month or two. (previous post) I tend to probably believe such reports a bit too much, mostly because China is a famously leaky place for such news. But that leakiness means that talks for deals often get out when they’re still in the relatively early stages, whereas in the west most such leaks don’t occur until the deal is nearly done. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Tencent in High-Powered Mapping Investment with Europe’s Here

Bottom line: Tencent’s new investment in Nokia’s former mapping unit Here reflects the Chinese herd mentality to pile into new technologies, but also looks like a relatively savvy way to enter the space by pairing with experienced partners.

Tencent ties with mapping giant Here

Internet giant Tencent (HKEx: 700) doesn’t want to be left behind in the race with rivals Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) and Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) into self-driving new energy cars that may someday dominate the streets of both China and the world. That appears to be the message from the latest headlines, which have Tencent involved in a somewhat complicated deal that will give it a small stake in a high-powered mapping company that counts car giants BMW, Daimler and Audi as its main investors. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: LeEco Gets Pre-CES Shock with Faraday Defections

Bottom line: The departure of 2 recently hired executives from Faraday Future hints at chaos and uncertainty that has spread from struggling backer LeEco, a situation that only looks set to worsen.

Faraday Future execs depart

Cash-challenged online video company LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) is getting an early shock in the run-up to the world’s largest consumer electronics show, with word that two top executives have defected from its Faraday Future electric car unit. Anyone reading about these company for the first time is probably scratching his or her head, trying to figure out what exactly online video and electric cars have in common and why a relatively young Internet company like LeEco would be in this business. But that’s exactly the problem. Read Full Post…

VIDEO: Embattled LeEco Sued in HK as Bills Pile Up

Bottom line: A new Hong Kong lawsuit against LeEco by a small creditor over unpaid bills could mark the start of a new wave, which could ultimately snowball into a new crisis as its partners scramble to get back money they’re owed before it’s too late.

HK newspaper sues LeEco for unpaid debt

I’ve been skillfully avoiding writing about the embattled LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) for the past month, even as the former online video high-flyer landed at the center of a storm that could ultimately result in its downfall. So a small story in the latest headlines, involving a lawsuit against the company over unpaid bills, looks like a good opening to take a quick look at a high-tech tale that consumed the Chinese headlines for much of last month. Read Full Post…

CONSUMER: Embattled Gree Goes Goodwill Hunting with Big Raises

Bottom line: Gree’s new largess to employees with an across-the-board raise is an attempt to win back public good will, following setbacks for chief executive Dong Mingzhu in her attempt to defy shareholder wishes. 

Gree’s Dong Mingzhu offers Christmas largess

I don’t usually write about Gree (Shenzhen: 000651), but an unusual storm of controversy around the home appliance maker nicely summarizes several tendencies that make Chinese companies both entertaining but also frustrating for westerners like myself to observe. The company’s main claims to fame are its air conditioners, and also its colorful chief executive Dong Mingzhu, who is often called China’s most powerful businesswoman.

Dong was doing a bit of goodwill hunting in the latest headlines, with word that Gree has decided to boost wages for all of its 70,000 employees by a 1,000 yuan ($145) each per month, a relatively large figure that probably equates to raises of 10 percent or more. The bigger subtext is that this raise comes after a series of personal setbacks for Dong, making the move look like her attempt to win back public approval and restore confidence in her leadership. Read Full Post…

IPOs: NetEase Media Eyes NY Listing; ZTO, Recurrent Energy Vanish

Bottom line: NetEase could abandon a newly announced New York IPO plan for its media arm if it can find a suitable buyer, while a previously announced New York listing plan by ZTO Express could be revived before year-end.

NetEase news unit makes filing for NY IPO

What’s shaping up as a quiet year for Chinese IPOs in New York has just gotten a small boost, with word that online gaming giant NetEase (NYSE: NTES) has made an initial filing to list its respected but financially-challenged news portal business. Meantime, rumors are building for what’s likely to be one of next year’s biggest offerings from Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and owner of the Alipay e-payments service. But in this case, Ant is shooting down the latest buzz that specific plans are in place for a Hong Kong IPO next year. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Tesla Takes New China Hit with Driver Death Lawsuit

Bottom line: A Beijing lawsuit against Tesla over an accident that killed the driver of one of its cars is quite possibly baseless, but will add to a recent string of negative publicity for the company and China’s problem-plagued new energy vehicle sector.

Tesla sued over driver death in China

Electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TLSA) is in the negative headlines in China driving into the new week, following reports of a Beijing lawsuit against the company over the death of a driver of one of its cars. I’ll be quite direct and say that the lawsuit looks a bit dubious and perhaps unrelated to Tesla’s technology, though it’s also possible that Tesla’s carefully worded statement is designed to give that impression. But even if the lawsuit is baseless, this kind of negative headline is the last thing that Tesla needs in a problem-plagued market that it once hoped would fuel its difficult drive into profitability. Read Full Post…