Tag Archives: Sina

Sina latest Business & Financial news overview of Doug Young, the Expert on Chinese companies, (former Journalist and Chief editor at Reuters)

ENTERTAINMENT: Wanda, CMC Kick Up New Soccer Deals

Bottom line: Wanda’s new FIFA sponsorship is an opportunistic and savvy move both politically and financially, while CMC’s new smaller soccer investment also looks like a good play to win goodwill from Beijing.

Wanda, CMC in new soccer plays

China’s recent fascination with global sports deals continues, with word of major new tie-ups involving 2 big fans of President Xi Jinping’s recent call to improve the nation’s poor performance in soccer. The larger deal has an opportunistic Wanda Group signing on as China’s first top-tier sponsor of FIFA, the world soccer body whose reputation has suffered lately due to a major corruption scandal. The second deal has the acquisitive China Media Capital (CMC) investing in in SoccerWorld, a British operator of sports stadiums.

Both deals have a strongly political element, since Chinese President Xi Jinping is personally a big soccer fan and has appealed to China’s private sector to help improve the nation’s performance at the world’s most popular sport. Some of China’s other top corporate leaders have also answered that call, including Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) founder Jack Ma, leading web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) and electronics retailing giant Suning (Shenzhen: 002024). Read Full Post…

China News Digest: March 3, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about Chinese companies were carried on March 3. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Qualcomm (Nasdsaq: QCOM) Fined $7.5 Mln in US for Bribery in China, Denies Charges (Chinese article)
  • Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Said to Be in Talks for Caixin Stake (English article)
  • Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) Reports Q4 and Fiscal Year Results (PRNewswire)
  • Deadline Expires for Minsheng Bank (HKEx: 1988) in Talks for HK Broker Quam Stake (HKEx announcement)
  • Ele.me Says Working with Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) on Take-Out Dining, Denies Merger (Chinese article)
  • Latest calendar for Q4 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

INTERNET: Sina Board Shrinks, Sale Ahead?

Bottom line: Sina’s latest board reduction to just 5 members looks like a strategic move by Chairman and CEO Charles Chao, as he prepares a sale that will give him a major executive position at his company post-merger.

Sina board shrinks to just 5 members

The share price isn’t the only thing shrinking these days at leading web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA). The board of one of China’s oldest Internet companies has also just undergone a major reduction, with 2 of its 7 members leaving without any sign of replacements. I’m not extremely familiar with Sina’s board and its dynamics, but it does seem like 5 members is quite small for a company of Sina’s size and could reflect a power play by longtime Chairman and CEO Charles Chao.

Such a play could be prelude to the sale of Sina to a rival, with e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) as the most likely candidate. I’ve been predicting such a sale for a while now, and this latest move looks like the latest signal that Chao could be clearing out board members who might oppose such a deal. With just 5 members left on the board, Chao would only need 2 to agree with him to approve a deal that he would personally negotiate. Read Full Post…

E-COMMERCE: Moutai Scandal Wipes Shine Off Vipshop

Bottom line: Vipshop shop shares could see some upside if the company improves its public relations and its revenue and profit growth stabilize at current levels.

Vipshop dogged by fake liquor scandal

A scandal involving pirated liquor is cooling down former e-commerce high-flyer Vipshop (NYSE: VIPS), in an episode reminiscent of a much larger brouhaha that devoured sector leader Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) almost exactly a year ago. In this case, the scandal involving fake Moutai liquor has been dragging on for more than 2 weeks now, and the latest development has Vipshop apologizing for its lack of transparency in handling the incident.

Some are saying this particular scandal could just be the tip of the iceberg, and that numerous other fake products could be lurking on Vipshop’s website that specializes in bargains for lesser-known brands. But in my view, slowing growth is the real cause for concern among Vipshop investors, many of whom are taking advantage of this news as an excuse to sell their stock. Read Full Post…

ENTERTAINMENT: Sina Scores in Soccer, LeTV in Baseball

Bottom line: Sina’s new deal to broadcast the video channel of the Manchester United soccer team looks like a good bet, while LeTV’s new deal to broadcast US baseball games is more likely to strike out.

Sina tries soccer with Man United

Leading web portal Sina (Nasdsaq: SINA) and online video giant LeTV (Shenzhen: 300104) have just announced 2 new sporting deals, extending a recent streak of similar investments by media companies in search of exclusive content. The first deal will see Sina become the official broadcaster in China for Britain’s Manchester United soccer club, while the second will see LeTV’s sports division get similar rights for live broadcasts of US Major League Baseball (MLB).

Both moves are really just licensing deals, though each could become an important new revenue source for Sina and LeTV as they search for exclusive content to lure viewers to their services. From a quantity perspective, LeTV is the big winner in this new round of deals since it will gain rights to hundreds of baseball games played in America each year. But Sina is the winner from a quality perspective, since soccer is far more popular in China than baseball, which is relatively unknown among average Chinese. Read Full Post…

FUND RAISING: Weibo Backs Video, 58.com Unleashes Guazi

Bottom line: Weibo’s investment in mobile video app Miaopai looks like a smart move to build on its recent momentum, while 58.com’s spin-off of its Guazi used car service is mostly a management restructuring.

58.com spins off Guazi used car site

A couple of web-related fund-raising stories are in the headlines today, though their relatively small size reflects investor sentiment that is rapidly fading towards these money-losing Internet companies. The bigger of the 2 deals has short video app Miaopai raising $200 million, in a funding round led by China’s Twitter-like Weibo (Nasdaq: WB). The second has leading online classifieds site 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) spinning off its Guazi used car businesses, in a move aimed at giving the company more flexibility to raise money for its future growth.

The $200 million figure is one of the largest we’ve seen in recent months, but is well below mega-fundings in the first half of this year when China’s stock markets were rallying and fundings of $1 billion or more were almost ordinary. But the flow of money has slowed sharply in recent months as investors get impatient for profits, forcing a number of former rivals into mergers to accelerate their drive to profitability. Read Full Post…

News Digest: November 26, 2015

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on November 26. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Ganji Founder to Yang Haoyong Leaves as 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) Co-CEO, Joins Guazi.com  (PRNewswire)
  • Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) Leads $200 Mln Investment in Mobile Short Video App ‘Miaopai‘ (English article)
  • UnionPay, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Said to Reach Apple Pay Agreement for China (English article)
  • Qunar (Nasdaq: QUNR) Reports Q3 Financial Results (GlobeNewswire)
  • Xiaomi’s $45 Bln Valuation Seen `Unfeasible’ as Growth Cools (English article)

INTERNET: After Youku Tudou Bid, Weibo Next on Alibaba’s Menu?

Bottom line: Alibaba could make a bid for Weibo in the next 6 months, in a deal that would share many similarities with its newly launched blockbuster offer for Youku Tudou.

Weibo next on Alibaba’s M&A menu?

China’s Internet is buzzing over the industry’s biggest acquisition to date with Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) offer for Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU), but that deal could presage an even higher-profile one that sees the fading Twitter-like Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) follow a similar fate. Or even more intriguing, Alibaba could make a potential play for Weibo’s parent and founder Sina (Nasdaq: SINA), in a move that would spell the end for China’s leading web portal and one of its oldest Internet firms.

There would be many similarities between such a deal and the Alibaba offer for leading online video site Youku Tudou deal announced late last week. Investors appear to also believe such a deal could possible, based on stock reactions to the blockbuster deal that would see Alibaba pay $4.6 billion for the more than 80 percent of Youku Tudou it doesn’t already own. Weibo shares leaped 13.4 percent after the deal was announced, second only to Youku Tudou’s own 22 percent jump. Read Full Post…

News Digest: August 20, 2015

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on August 20. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Huayi Bros (Shenzhen: 300027), Ping An Bank in 30 Bln Yuan Entertainment Tie-Up (Chinese article)
  • Lenovo (HKEx: 992) Joins Smartphone Compatriots for ’Make in India’ (English article)
  • Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) Reports Q2 Financial Results (PRNewswire)
  • Fund Piles Into Baofeng Tech (Shenzhen: 300431), Becomes Top Shareholder (Chinese article)
  • Tuniu (Nasdaq: TOUR) Takes Over JD.com’s Online Travel Business After Tie-Up (Chinese article)
  • Latest calendar for Q2 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

MEDIA: Phoenix New Media Stumbles on Inability to Adapt

Bottom line: Phoenix Satellite and its new media arm will continue to sputter due to China’s slowing economy and a lackluster move into mobile advertising, and founder Liu Changle should consider selling the company.

Slow move to mobile saps Phoenix New Media

Things aren’t looking too good these days for Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite (HKEx: 2008), a former rising star in China’s tightly controlled media market that has stumbled badly due to its inability to adapt to a changing industry landscape. Phoenix warned of a major profit decline last month due to a soft TV ad market (previous post), and now its younger Phoenix New Media (NYSE: FENG) unit is also showing signs of distress due to a heavy reliance on portal advertising delivered over traditional desktop computers.

The new quarterly earnings report from Phoenix New Media does contain one bright spot, namely a 124 percent increase in revenue from advertising services offered over smartphones and other mobile devices. (company announcement) But that part of the business is still quite small, with the result that Phoenix New Media reported overall advertising revenue growth of just 7.2 percent, and overall revenue growth of 2.9 percent during the second quarter of this year. Read Full Post…

MEDIA: Luxury Slowdown Clips Phoenix’s Wings

Bottom line: Sputtering demand for luxury goods and cars is likely to hamstring Phoenix Satellite TV’s earnings for at least the next year, as the company increasingly loses ground to new media rivals.

Sliding luxury demand undermines Phoenix

The recent slowdown in China’s luxury goods market is claiming one of its first victims in the media realm, with Phoenix Satellite TV (HKEx: 2008) warning that a sudden chill in luxury ad sales has wiped out its profits in the first half of the year. The news certainly doesn’t bode well for traditional media companies, which are a favored place for luxury goods makers to advertise. Car makers are another major source of ad revenue for these older media companies, and rapidly slowing sales in that sector also means that names like Phoenix and even some new media high-flyers like Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) and Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) could be looking at a difficult period ahead. Read Full Post…