Tag Archives: Youku

VIDEO: New Alibaba-Backed Alliance Hints at Sina Acquisition

Bottom line: A new alliance between Youku Tudou, Weibo and UCWeb, combined with reports of the imminent resignation of Youku’s CEO, point to a sale of Weibo parent Sina to Alibaba within the next 6 months.

New alliance hints at Sina sale

Two new developments involving several Alibaba-backed (NYSE: BABA) assets are hinting at a major new shakeup in the firm’s online video and social networking (SNS) division, which could include an acquisition of stalwart web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) that I’ve been predicting for a while. This particular series of corporate shuffles is quite complex, but does seem to hint that Alibaba is trying to rationalize and synergize some of its major web-based entertainment and SNS assets outside its core e-commerce business. Read Full Post…

VIDEO: Wanda Moves Into Online Video, China Telecom Checks Out

Bottom line: China Telecom’s sale of its online video business looks like an exit from the space under its new chairman, while Wanda’s purchase of an online movie site could mark the start of a major new round of investment in online video.

China Telecom sells TV189 online video unit

Just days after search giant Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) abandoned plans to spin off its iQiyi video unit, 2 more online video headlines are reflecting the rapid changes taking place in the space. The larger will see China Telecom (HKEx: 728; NYSE: CHA), the smallest of China’s 3 telcos, sell its online video unit TV189 to a hotel operator called Besttone Holdings (Shanghai: 600640) for 3.9 billion yuan ($580 million). The smaller will see the fast-growing Wanda Group buy the online movie site Mtime for $280 million. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Baidu Pays $1.3 Bln Price for Transparency

Bottom line: Baidu’s long-term revenues will decline by 15-20 percent from current levels as a result of a cut-back in sponsored links and new transparency policies that will scare away some of its advertisers. 

Baidu cuts Q2 revenue outlook

What’s the cost of being honest, or at least a little more honest? If your name is Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), apparently the answer is about $400 million, which is how much China’s leading search engine has just lowered its latest quarterly revenue forecast after taking steps to become more transparent. Put differently, the figure is about one-eighth of Baidu’s previous revenue forecast for the quarter, meaning it would translate to lost revenue of about $1.3 billion of the $10.25 billion it generated for all of last year. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: June 9-13, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on June 9-13. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • iKang (Nasdaq: KANG) Management, Meinian Withdraw Buyout Offers on Yunfeng Bid (Chinese article)
  • XpressWest, Seeking to Build US High-Speed Rail, Ends Deal With China Group (English article)
  • Youku Sues LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) for Unfair Competition, Seeks 6 Mln Yuan (Chinese article)
  • JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) Shares Drop 5.6 Pct on Short Seller Attack (Chinese article)
  • China’s 4G Subscriber Base to Surpass 700 Mln in 2016 – Govt Think Tank (English article)

TELECOMS: China Mobile Surrenders to WeChat, Youku

Bottom line: China Mobile’s retirement of its Internet-based texting and video services reflect its inability to compete with private providers of such services, and underscores its growing position as a slow-growth network operator.

China Mobile shutters Internet text, video services

In a move that was long overdue, leading wireless carrier China Mobile (HKEx: 941; NYSE: CHL) has thrown up the white flag with a symbolic surrender to WeChat, Youku and the many other private companies that have steadily stolen its new business opportunities. In this case the surrender comes in the form of formal retirements for China Mobile’s Internet-based Fetion texting service, and also its lesser known mobile video product.

Fetion was once hugely popular in China, allowing users to send SMS text messages for free by routing them over the Internet. China Mobile was an early innovator in creating that kind of “over the top” (OTT) service that took advantage of the mobile Internet. But more recently it has rapidly lost that position to more nimble private companies like Tencent (HKEx: 700) and Youku. Read Full Post…

BUYOUTS: Youku Bids Adieu to NY, Wanda Properties Eyes HK Exit

Bottom line: A flurry of new de-listing activity shows that well-funded privatizations will continue despite market volatility in China, and could also spread to undervalued private companies listed in Hong Kong.

Wanda Commercial Properties eyes buyout

The headlines are brimming with new moves in the buyout wave that has swept over off-shore listed Chinese stocks, which are privatizing in droves due to disappointing valuations. Leading the news are 2 former high-flyers, online video site Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU), which has formally completed its buyout by e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA); and property giant Wanda Commercial Properties (HKEx: 3699), which has announced it is exploring a potential buyout less than 2 years after its Hong Kong IPO.

That pair are joined by 2 smaller stories involving ongoing privatizations by budget hotel operator Homeinns (Nasdaq: HMIN) and the shriveling Ku6 Media (Nasdaq: KUTV). Media are saying that Homeinns has already lined up a Chinese listing vehicle to resume its life as a publicly traded company after it de-lists from New York. And Ku6 has announced it has formally signed a buyout agreement that will result in its own de-listing. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Alibaba Finds New Can of Worms at Youku

Bottom line: An internal review that netted a Youku Tudou executive for suspected abuse of position was likely linked to the company’s pending purchase by Alibaba, and could be followed by more similar internal actions by China’s big tech companies this year.

Internal probe nets Youku VP

E-commerce leader Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is quickly learning that major M&A can be a tricky business, as 2 of its largest purchases deliver headaches with the exposure of problems at acquired companies. First there were a series of accounting irregularities and a criminal investigation against an official at its Alibaba Pictures (HKEx: 1060) unit purchased in 2014, and now newly acquired online video unit Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU) is providing yet more headaches.

The latest problems are related to a single executive, with reports that a company vice president named Lu Fanxi has been taken away for questioning by police on suspicion of using his position for personal gain. This kind of activity is quite common in smaller Chinese companies, and Alibaba itself uncovered similarly inappropriate behavior by salespeople and fraudulent merchants at its B2B marketplace unit in 2011. Read Full Post…

GUEST POST: How Netflix Can Win in China

By Jeffrey Towson

Netflix looks for best China entry

There are at least three ways Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) can win in China. And they are realistic options that have worked for others.

But first, a few points about the situation in Chinese online streaming.

Point 1: The China entertainment market is rocketing upwards, and it will soon be the largest in the world. This huge opportunity is fueling a major fight between China’s cash-rich Internet and media giants. This hyper-competition is also creating a window of opportunity for Netflix because it has valuable things to offer to these competitors as they slug it out.

Point 2: Online media in China is very political and likely no foreign company will have control of a license or broadcast rights. So Netflix needs to be realistic about what is possible.

Point 3: The other big issue is the strong local competition. If Netflix wants to win in online streaming in China, they need to be prepared to fight for a long time.

Read Full Post…

INTERNET: JD Marches Towards Profits, Ties With Tuniu

Bottom line: JD.com’s latest results show it could reach profitability on an operating basis later this year, while its new tie-up with Tuniu looks like a well-conceived plan that reflects a growing wave of equity tie-ups among Chinese Internet firms.

JD’s loss narrows, ties with Tuniu

China’s second largest e-commerce firm JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) has been busy wowing investors these last few days, starting with its latest quarterly ressults that shows it is making strong progress in moving towards sustainable profits. Meantime, the company has also become the largest individual stakeholder in online travel site Tuniu (Nasdaq: TOUR) through its participation in a deal that saw Tuniu raise $500 million by selling shares to a larger group of investors.

Wall Street greeted the pair of news stories with mildly positive reaction, bidding up JD.com shares by 2 percent after the reports came out. The stock has rallied nearly 50 percent this year and is 77 percent above its IPO price from a year ago, as investors grow more bullish on this company that is China’s biggest challenger to the much larger Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). Tuniu shares also got a nice lift from the news, rising 4.5 percent. Read Full Post…

IPOs: SNS Firm Momo Kicks Off Year-End Listing Rush

Bottom line: Mobile SNS firm Momo is likely to raise far less than the $300 million it has targeted for its IPO, as it kicks of a mini-surge of loss-making Chinese tech firms racing to list in New York by year end.

Momo kicks off year-end IPO rush

A record year of fund raising for Chinese firms on Wall Street could still have some life left, with word of another major offering plan by Momo, operator of mobile-based social networking (SNS) service. The company’s plan to raise up to $300 million would have looked ambitious at this time last year, when New York IPOs by Chinese firms were just starting to gain momentum after a nearly 3 year deep freeze. But that kind of target has become the norm in the current climate, and I expect we could see a flurry of similar-sized offerings over the next 5 or 6 weeks before the final curtain comes down on a banner year for Chinese tech IPOs in 2014. Read Full Post…

News Digest: October 28, 2014

The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on October 28. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Smartisan Cuts Prices By 1,000 Yuan, Smartphones To Start At 1,980 Yuan (Chinese article)
  • China Telecom (HKEx: 728) 4G Coverage To Reach 100 Cities By Next Year (Chinese article)
  • ZTE (HKEx: 763) Mobile Devices Q3 2014 Revenue Up by 40 Pct Year-on-Year (Businesswire)
  • Mobile SNS App ‘Blink’ Completes $20 Mln Series A Funding (English article)
  • Youku (NYSE: YOKU) Looks To US For Videos To Stream To Chinese Users (English article)
  • Latest calendar for Q3 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)