Tag Archives: Microsoft

Get the latest financial and business news of Microsoft in China, overview of Business expert Doug Young based in China (Shanghai).

SMARTPHONES: Huawei Unseats Apple, Eyes the Cloud

Bottom line: Huawei could overtake Apple as the world’s second largest smartphone seller in the next 1-2 years, while it could also pose a challenge in global cloud services over the next 5 years.

Huawei takes a shot at the cloud

We’ll begin the new week with a couple of items from Huawei that show how the company that began as a telecoms network builder looks set to unseat fading PC giant Lenovo (HKEx: 992) as China’s global leader in consumer tech. The first of those has one research house releasing data that show Huawei’s smartphones surpassed Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) for two consecutive months in June and July to become the world’s second largest brand. The second has a Huawei executive discussing his plans for the company’s cloud computing services, saying he wants to become a global top 5 player.

The first headline shows that Huawei is not a company to be taken lightly, which means that people should pay close attention to the second headline. In my years of covering Huawei, the company has proven to be quite focused and determined, and pours large amounts of money into product development to make sure it can meet its goals. It focused its early efforts on building traditional telecoms networks, but more recently has moved to enterprise networks and consumer devices like smartphones and notebook computer. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Whatsapp Goes Spotty in China, Headed for Shutout?

Bottom line: China’s apparent partial blockage of some Whatsapp functions for brief periods is unlikely to end with a total blockage, mostly because the service is used almost exclusively by foreigners.

Whatsapp temporarily blocked in China

Foreign media are buzzing about what appears to be the blockage of some functions on Whatsapp, with the obvious implication that a full blockage of the the popular instant messaging app could be next. This particular story has a few interesting angles, led by the fact that Whatsapp isn’t used by very many Chinese and also that it’s owned by social networking giant Facebook (Nasdaq: FB).

There are a also a number of precedents to go by, none of which looks too positive for the future of Whatsapp. Just about every other major global social networking app has been blocked in China by now, including Facebook itself, as well as Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Japan-listed Line (Tokyo: 3938). But there are a few notable exceptions that have been allowed to keep operating in China, one of which is Whatsapp and two others being the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) owned Skype and LinkedInRead Full Post…

INTERNET: Tencent Moves Up Value Chain, Opens Seattle Lab

Bottom line: Tencent’s soaring market value reflects its leading position as a developer of social networking products, and its concurrent ability to monetize those products.

Tencent opens A1 lab in Seattle

It seems that Internet titan Tencent (HKEx: 700) can do no wrong these days, at least based on a recent run-up in its share price. Just a couple of weeks after China’s Internet wunderkind passed US banking giant Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to become the world’s 10th most valuable company, Tencent has just passed another milestone to become officially become worth more than $300 billion. (English article)

Of course all of this is just movement based on investor belief that the company’s prospects look rosy. In this case I would have to agree, though I might also argue the 10 percent rise in its share price over the last month may look a little too aggressive. At the same time, Tencent has also just announced its opening of an artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Seattle, joining Internet rival Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) in the race to see who can delve the fastest into an area that’s become a daily buzz word for Chinese media. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Baidu’s AI Obsession Spawns New Silicon Valley Center

Bottom line: Baidu’s opening of a new artificial intelligence lab in Silicon Valley is the latest move in its AI obsession, which is likely to end in failure and a quiet pullback in around two years due to mediocre execution.

Baidu in new Silicon Valley R&D lab

I’m officially dubbing Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) chief executive Robin Li the “two-year attention span man”, with word that the company is setting up a new Silicon Valley office in the rush to build up its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. If any one of China’s “big three” Internet chiefs deserves the title of “short attention span” man, it’s most definitely Robin Li. As far as I can remember, Li has been a “flavor of the moment” guy who fixates on the latest daily hot trend, most often to jettison the idea around 2 years later when it falls out of fashion. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Huawei, Microsoft in Symbolic Cybersecurity Alliance

Bottom line: A new PR campaign by Huawei and Microsoft to ease Washington and Beijing cybersecurity concerns that are hurting their cross-border business will have limited impact, and what’s really needed is better technology to prevent against hacking.

Huawei, Microsoft in odd new alliance

The growing paranoia in Beijing and Washington over cybersecurity threats is creating odd bedfellows of two of the world’s leading tech companies on opposite sides of the Great Firewall of China. That pairing is bringing together software giant Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), one of the biggest China boosters among US tech firms, with Huawei, a globally ambitious Chinese company that would desperately like to enter the lucrative US market for telecoms networking equipment. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: September 14, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on September 14. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • China Postal Savings Bank $8.1 Bln IPO Mostly Covered by Cornerstone Investors (English article)
  • LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) Launches Smartphones in Russia (Chinese article)
  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Huawei Join in Cybersecurity Message (English article)
  • NetEase (Nasdaq: NTES) Plans to Spin Off News Unit for IPO or Sell for $300 Mln (Chinese article)
  • Second-Hand Car Site Guazi Raises $250 Mln, to Spend 1 Bln Yuan on Ads (Chinese article)

INTERNET: Microsoft in New China Tack with MSN Spin-Off

Bottom line: Microsoft’s spin off of its MSN China portal to a management-led group looks similar to the sale of its cellphone patent portfolio to Xiaomi, and is aimed at handing off underperforming assets to strategic partners.

Microsoft spins off MSN China

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) chief executive Satya Nadella is making one of his biggest strategic moves in China two years after taking over as head of the company, with word that the software giant is spinning off its local MSN web portal to a management-led group. This particular development actually first surfaced back in May, when reports emerged that Microsoft planned to closed down the Chinese version of its MSN portal that is a central part of its global Internet strategy. Apparently those reports were premature, and the company instead will continue to operate this meager part of its China Internet presence through a third-party partner. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: August 30, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on August 30. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) MSN China Portal in Management-Led Buyout (Chinese article)
  • Russo Bros in Talks With Huayi Bros (Shenzhen: 300027) for Partnership (English article)
  • Baoneng (Shenzhen: 000690) Pays 882 Mln Yuan for 26.4 Pct of Dating Site Baihe (Chinese article)
  • Minsheng Bank (HKEx: 1988) Announces Interim Results (HKEx announcement)
  • Private-Equity Firm General Atlantic, Ctrip (Nasdaq: CTRP) in New $400 Mln Fund (English article)
  • Latest calendar for Q2 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

SMARTPHONES: Xiaomi Eyes US, Following Microsoft Alliance

Bottom line: Xiaomi could launch in the US within the next 12 months and benefit from its recent tie-up with Microsoft, but it will face a big uphill battle due to stiff competition, lack of name recognition and unexciting models.

Xiaomi eyes US — again

Following several recent false starts, fading Chinese smartphone sensation Xiaomi is saying it’s aiming to enter the tough US market soon. We’ve heard similar talk before, and at one time such a move would have been quite exciting and controversial when some were comparing Xiaomi to a China’s homegrown answer to Apple (Nasadq: AAPL). But Xiaomi’s star has faded considerably over the last year, partly due to intense competition in China but just as much due to a reputation for shoddy quality and unexciting phones. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Meitu Eyes HK, US Ad Firm Media.net Goes to China

Bottom line: Meitu’s Hong Kong IPO plan is likely to get a positive reception due to strong sentiment for Chinese tech companies, while a plan to list US-focused Media.net in China via a backdoor IPO is likely to fail  due to numerous obstacles.

Meitu eyes HK listing by year end

A couple of IPO stories are in the headlines, including what could become the largest listing for a Chinese tech firm this year by Meitu, operator of an app that helps users make self-enhanced selfies. The other deal looks quite unusual, and has a Chinese investor group buying US advertising services startup Media.net, with plans to list the company in China through a backdoor-style process. In all my years covering China this is the first time I’ve seen this kind of deal, which looks both interesting but also quite speculative.

Each of these deals is quite different, and both have one or two notable points. Meitu looks most notable not only for its size, which could be up to $1 billion, but also for its location. IPOs for this kind of high-tech company have traditionally come in New York, and more recently on China’s Nasdaq-style ChiNext board, but are seldom seen in Hong Kong.  Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Alibaba Pushes Cloud, Finance Outside China

Bottom line: New global initiatives by Alibaba’s cloud and electronic payments affiliates look smart by targeting Chinese customers abroad, but may only stand a 50-50 chance of longer-term success due to fierce global competition.

AliCloud global expansion moves ahead

Following lackluster results for initiatives involving its core e-commerce business outside China, Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is pushing ahead on the global stage with new moves for 2 of its other areas with big growth potential. One of those has the company unveiling a global strategy for its cloud services unit, AliCloud, which includes a tie-up with former Taiwan smartphone superstar HTC (Taipei: 2498). The other involves Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate, which is rolling out its core Alipay electronic payments service in Europe. Read Full Post…