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: 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…

INTERNET: Baidu Maps South America as Rio Games Near

Bottom line: Baidu’s rapid expansion of its global mapping services is mostly targeted at Chinese traveling abroad, and is unlikely to attract many local users because better services are already available in most markets.

Baidu maps South America
Baidu maps South America

Still suffering from a spate of negative news at home, leading search engine Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) is trying to draw attention to the more upbeat subject of its global expansion that is slowly inching forward. The company has squarely focused its global drive on emerging markets, and is continuing that trend with word that it’s launching new editions of its mapping services for most of South America. Baidu has already launched a version of its core search business in Brazil, and many will probably view this move to launch mapping services in 13 countries as a prelude to future launches for search service in those markets. Read Full Post…

TELECOMS: Inspur Wins Big New Partner with Ericsson Tie-Up

Bottom line: Ericsson’s new tie-up with Inspur looks like a savvy move to gain a foothold in the nation’s fast-growing market to supply infrastructure to power Internet-related products and services.

Ericsson ties up with Inspur

Chinese IT services firm Inspur has just scored a major new partnership, with word that it’s forming a new tie-up to offer cloud and other Internet-based services with global telecoms equipment leader Ericsson. (Stockholm: ERICb). The new tie-up adds to a growing stable of similar alliances between Inspur and big-name foreign partners, following previous tie-ups with IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO).

We should begin by pointing out that this kind of tie-up isn’t that uncommon for big foreign high-tech names, since Beijing often prefers that such companies form joint ventures for doing business in the vast Chinese market. That drive for tie-ups has accelerated over the last year, following Beijing’s roll-out of a new national security law that requires foreign high-tech product makers to work with Chinese partners when selling to the government or big state-owned companies. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Baidu’s Woes Grow, A China Opening for Bing or Yahoo?

Bottom line: Baidu will suffer more damage to its revenue and profits after new actions by China’s Cyberspace Administration, creating a potential opportunity for Bing or even Yahoo in China’s lucrative search market.

Baidu’s search woes offer opportunity for Bing, Yahoo

The woes for Internet search giant Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) continue, with word that China’s Internet censor is ordering the already hobbled company to cleanse itself of inappropriate sites in its search results. But whereas previous crackdowns have focused on politically sensitive content, this latest crackdown focuses on sites of companies that may be engaged in fraud or making inflated or bogus claims. The entire situation looks set to make a major dent in Baidu’s growth story, and could even see the company’s revenue shrink as it finds a new equilibrium. Read Full Post…

SMARTPHONES: Microsoft Puts Smartphone Bets on Xiaomi

Bottom line: Microsoft probably took a 10-20 percent stake in Xiaomi as part of the pair’s new alliance, and could use the Chinese company as its primary vehicle for participating in the mobile devices market.

Xiaomi lines up with Microsoft

The high-tech world is buzzing today with news of a major new tie-up between Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and struggling smartphone maker Xiaomi, in a pairing that has interesting implications on many levels. At the biggest level, this alliance looks strikingly similar to an earlier one that ultimately saw Microsoft purchase the core smartphone business of former global leader Nokia. At another level, the alliance could give Xiaomi a powerful ally to help revive its fading fortunes, including a partner that could help it to move into the lucrative but difficult US market. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: June 2, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on June 2. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Japan’s SoftBank Plans to Sell $7.9 Bln in Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) Stock to Cut Debt (English article)
  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Sells Patents to Xiaomi, Builds ‘Long-Term Partnership’ (English article)
  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Seeking Up To $221 Mln by Selling Lenovo (HKEx: 992) Stock (English article)
  • Jaunt, SMG and CMC Launch Virtual Reality Venture Jaunt China (Businesswire)
  • Michael Kors Acquires Greater China Licensee for $500 Mln (Businesswire)

MULTINATIONALS: Microsoft CEO Treks to China, Settlement Coming?

Bottom line: A Beijing visit by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hints that a settlement will soon be announced in the 3-year-old anti-trust probe against the company, which could include a fine of more than $1 billion.

Microsoft’s Nadella back in China

Just weeks after Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook came to China on a trip partly aimed at damage control, Microsoft’s (NYSE: MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella is in Beijing on a similar mission involving a long-running anti-trust probe against the world’s biggest software company. The trip, and the fact that it was probably leaked by Microsoft, hints that the nearly 3-year-old probe against the company is nearing completion and we could soon see China announce corrective action against the company. A similar series of events unfolded before last year’s anti-trust settlement of a similarly long Beijing probe against US telecoms chip giant Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM). Read Full Post…

MULTINATIONALS: Seagate Joins China Tech Train with Sugon Tie-Up

Bottom line: Seagate’s new partnership with Sugon is the latest tie-up designed to give a major western hardware maker continued access to China’s IT services market, even as such partnerships sharply raise the risk of IP theft.

Seagate in new China tie-up

The steady stream of US tech firms bowing to Beijing’s tough new rules for doing business in China has just gained a new member, with word that data storage specialist Seagate (Nasdaq: STX) has just formed a new local joint venture. This particular tie-up comes just a half year after Seagate’s new partner, a company called Sugon (Shanghai: 603019), formed another similar cloud computing partnership with VMWare (Nasdaq: VMW), a unit of data storage giant EMC (NYSE: EMC).

The new Seagate alliance and slightly older VMWare venture come as most major US high-tech hardware makers, including the likes of IBM (NYSE: IBM), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), have all formed similar tie-ups in a new love affair with Beijing. Of course I’m being slightly facetious in calling it a love affair, since these companies really didn’t have any choice in the matter. Read Full Post…

CELLPHONES: Stubborn Lenovo Clings to Broken Motorola Name

Bottom line: Lenovo’s decision to tweak the Motorola name is a desperate move to revive the brand, and only postpones an inevitable write-off the company will need to make for the failed acquisition.

Lenovo tweaks Motorola name

In a move that smells of desperation, struggling smartphone maker Lenovo (HEx: 992) has decided to tweak its Motorola brand name whose sales have tanked since being acquired by the Chinese company in 2014. The move will see Lenovo retire the formal Motorola name and simply refer to the brand by its shorter and trendier Moto moniker. More precisely, the brand will become known as Moto by Lenovo.

This particular move isn’t so significant from a financial perspective, since Lenovo isn’t ready yet to ditch the iconic but faded US brand it acquired for nearly $3 billion in 2014. But the reality is that Motorola lost its trend-setting image long ago, and Lenovo’s attempts to reclaim the brand’s luminary past have been a resounding failure. Read Full Post…