Tag Archives: Weibo

latest Financial News of Sina Weibo , by Doug Young, expert of Chinese Business (former Reuters journalist in China).
SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) Business and Financial report

SMARTPHONES: Pepsi Smartphone Set to Fizzle in China

Bottom line: A new Pepsi-branded smartphone set to launch in China next week could get an initial boost from strong publicity, but will quickly fizzle due to lack of special features to distinguish it from others in the crowded market.

Pepsi phone coming to China

An entertaining new twist to China’s overheated smartphone story is coming from the soft drink sector, with word that global beverage giant Pepsi (NYSE: PEP) is preparing to enter a crowded space that hardly needs any new entrants. The headline looked somewhat strange to me, though nothing surprises me these days in a market where names like industrial equipment supplier Sany (Shanghai: 600031) and air conditioner maker Gree (Shenzhen: 000651) have all jumped on the smartphone bandwagon.

Such a bandwagon approach is quite typical for China, where local companies are always quick to join the latest trends even if they have little or no experience in the business. But foreign names are usually a little more savvy, and this particular instance was the first I could recall of a major foreign brand joining this kind of silly herd mentality that often ends in failure and big losses for the associated company. Read Full Post…

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…

INTERNET: JD.com in Share Buy-Back, Metro Tie-Up

Bottom line: JD.com’s new share repurchase program looks like a good use of cash due to likelihood of a rebound for its stock, while its tie-up with a top Korean peer also looks like a good way to target Chinese consumers who like imported goods.

JD launches share buy-back

After amassing huge quantities of cash through a series of IPOs and other fund-raising activities, Chinese Internet companies are rapidly discovering a new use for those idle funds by buying back their own stock. The latest such move has JD.com (Nasdaq: JD), the nation’s second largest e-commerce company, announcing a new plan to buy back up to $1 billion worth of its shares, on the belief they have become undervalued in a recent sell-off.

JD was also in the headlines for another new tie-up with a major Korean retailer, announcing the opening of a flagship store to offer imported goods from South Korean e-commerce giant Lotte.com. This particular move is part of an ongoing drive by Chinese e-commerce firms to offer more imported goods to local consumers who are often wary of domestic products that are fakes and suffer from poor quality. Rival Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) has embarked on a similar drive, announcing its own new tie-up with Germany’s Metro Group the same day as the JD announcement. (company announcement) Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Despite Sell-Off, NY Offers Best Value for China Internet Listings

Bottom line: Premier Chinese Internet names should eschew China’s stock markets and continue to make IPOs in New York, where they can gain more accurate valuations and greater access to global capital markets.

NY offers best value for China Internet listings

Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) achieved a dubious milestone late last week, when they officially closed at their lowest price since the company’s record-breaking IPO nearly a year ago. The big rise and subsequent fall of Alibaba’s stock was part of a broader sell-off of US-listed Chinese shares, sparked by an equally large drop on China’s domestic stock markets.

The US sell-off once again cast a spotlight on the question of whether some of China’s most promising private companies should pursue such offshore listings or make IPOs at home where their names are more familiar. Despite occasional volatility like last week’s sell-off, such offshore listings remain the best choice because they provide companies with relative stability and far more accurate valuations than what their peers are getting in China’s immature markets. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Baofeng Slides on Earnings, Ridiculous Valuation

Bottom line: Baofeng Technology’s meteoric rise and current crash reflect the irrational trading mentality in China’s stock markets, where price manipulation is rampant and shares are still likely to face an additional correction of up to 30 percent.

Aggressive buying, selling power Baofeng stock

I wrote about online video player maker Baofeng Technology (Shenzhen: 300431) in June when it was breaking numerous records during China’s stock market boom, so now it’s only fair that I follow up with what’s happened since the market began to correct last month. Not surprisingly, Baofeng’s stock has been leading the correction, having fallen by the daily 10 percent limit in the last 5 sessions.

Analysts are crediting a weak earnings report released last week for the sell-off of Baofeng stock, after the company said its profits tumbled 70 percent in the second quarter. But it’s probably more accurate to blame the ridiculous valuation for Baofeng shares, which even after the 50 percent drop over the last week are still trading at a meteoric price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 250. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Microblogs Slump, Financial Services Surge in H1

Bottom line: Internet-based financial services should continue to boom over the next few years, while a rapid decline in microblogging could start to ease now that Weibo has consolidated its position as market leader.

Weibo consolidates microblogging market

China’s Internet data tracker has just released a slew of figures for the first half of the year, painting a rosy picture for companies like Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and others that are moving aggressively into online financial services. At the other end of the spectrum, microblogging continued its rapid decline, as marginal players retreated and industry leader Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) consolidated its position.

On a broader level, I was surprised to see the growth rate in overall Internet users slow sharply in the first half of this year, even as the number of people accessing the web over their mobile phones continued to post strong growth. I also took the time to tally up the subscriber totals for China’s big 3 telcos in the first half of the year, which shows that the dominant China Mobile (HKEx: 941; NYSE: CHL) gained share on its 2 smaller rivals as it aggressively promoted its year-old 4G service. Read Full Post…

News Digest: July 9, 2015

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on July 9. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Group Buying Site Meituan Prepares to Raise $1 Bln, Value Doubles in Half Year (Chinese article)
  • Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) Increases Investment in Singapore Post by $138 Mln (Chinese article)
  • LeTV (Shenzhen; 300104) Suspends Shares, Prepares for Smart Device Investment (Chinese article)
  • Ctrip (Nasdaq: CTRP) VP Jiang Hao Resigns, Become eLong (Nasdaq: LONG) CEO (Chinese article)
  • Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) in Strategic Tie-Up with Guinness World Records (Chinese article)

INTERNET: Weibo Takes New Shot at E-Commerce

Bottom line: Weibo’s new micro-showcasing e-commerce initiative looks well-conceived and could stand a good chance of success, but the company needs to move faster if it wants to compete over the longer term with more aggressive rivals.

Weibo & E-Commerce in China

Weibo launches new e-commerce initiative

After posting profits in the last 2 quarters, early social networking (SNS) leader Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) is aiming to bolster its longer-term residence in the black with a new drive into the lucrative but also highly competitive e-commerce space. The move looks a bit late, since many were hoping for quicker moves into e-commerce for Weibo 2 years ago after its landmark tie-up with sector gorilla Alibaba (NYSE: BABA).

But the cautious Weibo was never one to move too quickly, and in this case its newest initiative actually looks quite well conceived and customized to fit the usage patterns of its subscribers. That means it could have a good chance of success, perhaps helping to lift the company’s sagging stock. But that said, Weibo will still have to vie with similar services from a faster-moving Tencent (HKEx: 700), which is aggressively rolling out e-commerce services tied to its popular WeChat social networking (SNS) platform. Read Full Post…

News Digest: July 8, 2015

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on July 8. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • China Stock Slump Spreads as Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) to JD.com Whipsaw Investors (English article)
  • Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) Enters E-commerce Business (Chinese article)
  • Wanda Cinema (Shenzhen: 002739) Line H1 Revenues Up 41 Pct to 3.48 Bln Yuan (English article)
  • Uber’s China Rival Didi Kuaidi Said to Raise Funds From Ping An, Capital Int’l (English article)
  • Alipay In 130,000 Offline Stores, as Ant Financial Gets $45 Bln Valuation (Chinese article)

INTERNET: Baidu Still Recovering From Putian Spat

Bottom line: Resolution of Baidu‘s dispute with a one of its top clients, combined with declining profits, reflects a new reality that is seeing its pricing power erode as it faces growing competition from both search and non-search service providers.

Exec confirms Baidu settles Putian dispute

A new report is confirming that leading search engine Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) has quietly settled a dispute with one of its major advertisers, which shaved nearly 15 percent off the company’s stock at the time. But the dispute is clearly have some lasting damage on Baidu’s share price, reflecting the reality that new challenges from rival search engines and also from non-search services like Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) WeChat may be undercutting Baidu’s ability to command huge premiums for its advertising services.

Baidu’s misery in China’s stock Markets

Adding to Baidu’s misery is the recent plummet in China’s stock markets, which has fueled a concurrent drop in overseas-listed Chinese tech stocks like Baidu. That sell-off saw Baidu’s shares dip more than 5 percent in the last 3 trading days of last week. That fall shaved off nearly $4 billion from its market value, as its shares reapproached levels last seen during the stand-off with the Putian Healthcare Industry Chamber of Commerce that broke out in late March. Read Full Post…

CELLPHONES: Technology Issue Gives Xiaomi New Headache

Bottom line: Xiaomi’s newest technology headache, if true, could delay the launch of its fifth-generation phone, further sapping its momentum and making it difficult to reach its 2015 sales target.

Xiaomi reportedly hits technology glitch

The once invincible Xiaomi is starting to look increasingly mortal, with reports that the smartphone high-flyer may have to delay the launch of its newest model due to technical reasons. I’m not too knowledgeable on the technical issues in this instance, but the potential new delays for the release of the Xiaomi 5 appear to be related to fingerprint recognition technology that the company plans to build into the new models.

If these latest reports are true, the delays could put a big crimp in the Xiaomi’s ambitious sales plans this year as it attempts to maintain its breakneck growth. Maintaining that kind of growth looks increasingly difficult due to all the technical issues, combined with intensifying competition in Xiaomi’s core China market. That competition is causing the company to abandon the online-only sales model that helps it keep costs down, which will ultimately undermine its profit margins. Read Full Post…