Alibaba Raises Stake in Cainiao Holdings, Pushes Growth
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) announced today that it has boosted Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd. with new funds to continuously improve intelligent logistics and strengthen the infrastructure of its business operation system.
Alibaba has invested 23.3 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) in the way of capital raising and buying old stock, as reported by various media. Its stake in Cainiao increased from 51% to 63% with this move. Cainiao's other existing shareholders also participated in the new round of financing, expressing the long-term prospects and strong support for Cainiao, as reported by various local media.
As cited by Sina News, the chairman and CEO of Alibaba, David Zhang, said, "Logistics is the core element of Alibaba's business operation system, and also the guarantee that we can provide customers with the best service and effectively promote the new retail strategy. Whether in China or in the global market, Cainiao gives full play to their technological advantages to bring better services and experiences to businesses and consumers. We firmly support the sustainable development of Cainiao, to create greater chemical reactions for the entire Alibaba digital economy, and also help promote the digital process of the logistics industry."
IQiyi Teams up With Malaysia’s Astro
IQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) announced Wednesday its strategic partnership with Astro, expanding into local markets in Malaysia.
The Beijing-based entertainment company, dubbed "China's Netflix," said it will be cooperating with Astro on marketing and localization of iQiyi's services.
Astro is a major pay-television service provider in Malaysia and now iQiyi's first app partner outside China. The company covered 5.7 million households in Malaysia, which accounts for 76% of the households in the country, according to the company statement.
“The partnership is timely in an era of streaming services where consumers are able to enjoy abundant choices in entertainment. The demand for fresh and compelling content, great experience and services matters as consumers become increasingly savvier,” Henry Tan, the chief executive officer of Astro, said in the statement.
Founded in 2009 and backed by internet giant Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), iQiyi provides content such as television dramas, movies and variety shows through its platform.
On Wednesday morning, ahead of its anticipated earnings for the third quarter, shares in iQiyi were trading down 10 cents, at $17.69 apiece.
Phoenix Tree Could Raise Up to $300 Million - Renaissance Capital
Phoenix Tree Holdings Ltd. could raise as much as $300 million in its New York offering, said Renaissance Capital after the co-living platform in China filed its preliminary prospectus this week.
In its filing, Phoenix Tree said it may raise up to $100 million, though the exact amount of the offering, the pricing and the number of shares have yet to be determined. In a statement on Monday, Renaissance Capital said, “the deal size is likely a placeholder for an IPO that we estimate could raise closer to $300 million.”
The housing rental platform, called Danke, operated nearly 407,000 apartments in 13 cities in China as of September, according to the prospectus.
The company posted revenue of $374.3 million for the full year 2018 and $699.5 million for the first nine months of 2019. Losses were $191.6 million last year, Phoenix Tree stated, and $352 million in the first three quarters of 2019.
Underwriters on the expected IPO are Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.
Two other platforms in China's real estate are scheduled to debut on Wall Street in the next few days. Fangdd Network Group Ltd., China's largest online real estate marketplace, prepares to lift off on Friday in a deal worth up to $105 million, while Q&K International Group Ltd., a long-term apartment rental, is expected to raise up to $98.8 million in its IPO on Tuesday.
Ctrip Becomes Trip.com; New Ticker Symbol "TCOM"
Ctrip.com International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP) has officially changed its name to Trip.com Group Ltd. on the 20th anniversary of the company that has grown to be Asia's largest booking platform.
Ctrip will start trading under its new company name on Nov. 5 and its ticker symbol will be changed to "TCOM," as reported by various local media this week.
At the beginning of its establishment in 1999, Ctrip's annual order number per capita was about two and the average order price was about 750 yuan. By 2018, the annual order number per capita exceeded 14 and the average order price was more than 1,600 yuan. After 20 years in operation, the amount of tourism consumption increased 10 times, as reported by Sina News.
As of September 2019, the number of overseas travelers using Ctrip has exceeded 100 million. They were mainly from Japan, South Korea, the United States, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Now, Ctrip makes globalization a key of its strategy, its founder and chairman, Jianzhang Liang, said at the anniversary celebration.
"Today, together with the implementation of the G2 [great quality and globalization] strategy in the future, we are confident to become the largest international tourism enterprise in Asia in three years, the largest international tourism enterprise in the world in five years and the most valuable and respected online tourism enterprise in ten years," Liang said, as cited by Sina.
China Mobile Appoints New Executive Director
China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) announced that it has appointed Yuhang Wang as its new executive director after earlier this month Yue Li resigned as executive director and chief executive officer.
Wang, 58 years of age, holds a degree in Marine Engineering from Dalian Maritime University. Prior to March 2019, Wang worked in the shipping industry for more than 30 years and gained experience in human resources and enterprise operation management. Currently, he is a director and deputy secretary of the CPC Committee of China Mobile Communications Group, the controlling shareholder of China Mobile, and a director of China Mobile Communication. He is also an executive director and the chairman of COSCO Shipping International (Hong Kong).
It is worth mentioning that at present, China Mobile is facing the worst performance dilemma since its listing. In August 2019, China Mobile announced its performance in the first half of 2019, with revenue down 0.6% year-on-year and net profit down 14.6% year-on-year. It was the first time since Li took office in 2010 that the revenue and net profit of the company in the half of the year fell by nearly 15%, as reported by Zaker.
IQiyi Unveils Smart TV Mode for Elders
IQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) announced on Friday it has launched AI Seniors Mode to improve TV usage for elders, sending its stock up 2% to $17.43 per American depositary share.
The Bejing-based online entertainment company said in a statement today, that the new mode is available through its smart TV application, QIYIGUO TV. The mode monitors watching behavior, preferences and interests and has auto-play and smart features for elderly users, the report said.
With the addition of AI Seniors, iQiyi TV now operates in three modes, others being Normal and Kids modes.
Since the launch of the new mode, iQiyi noted a steady rise of the average amount of time spent by users on its TV.
Operating as China’s largest video streaming platform, iQiyi had 100.5 million members as of June. Last week, iQiyi ranked third on a consumer spending list from global analytics platform App Annie.
Zuckerberg Says China's Pay Platforms are Competitive, "Modern"
The head of online social media Facebook Inc. stated on Wednesday that Chinese payment platforms are competing against American companies, and called them “a lot more modern” in his testimony on libra at Capitol Hill.
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and the chief executive officer of Facebook, responded to questions about its cryptocurrency plans from the House Financial Services Committee in a testimony that lasted six hours.
During the questioning, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry mentioned Alipay, a payment platform backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), and WeChat Pay, operated by tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKEX: 0700). McHenry asked why Facebook did not just “do a Facebook version of Alipay in order to level this.” Since 2013, Alipay has been the world's largest mobile payment platform, now counting 900 million users.
Zuckerberg expressed his views that some of the U.S. technology was outdated, which invites competition from overseas companies.
Digital yuan has been applied to China’s global development strategy in its partnership with 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
Alipay’s U.S. rival PayPal Holdings Inc. withdrew earlier this month from the Libra Association as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Mobile wallets Alipay and WeChat Pay announced earlier this month that they do not support transactions related to cryptocurrencies.
“Merchants involved in digital currency transactions will be resolutely blocked. As for individual accounts, we will restrict suspicious activity and even permanently disable cryptocurrency payments,” Alipay's Safety Center wrote.
Tencent said in a report this week that the proposed launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency would pose serious risks to existing digital payment systems, including traditional institutions.
Shares in Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) rose 23 cents to close at $186.38 per share on Thursday.
Sky Solar Announces ADS Ratio Change, Stock Down 7%
Sky Solar Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: SKYS) announced on Wednesday that it will change the ratio of its American depositary shares, sending its stock to drop 7% to 59 cents on the day.
The Hong Kong-based company, which operates solar projects, said one ADS will equal 20 ordinary shares beginning on November 8, a change from the previous ratio of one-to-eight.
Shareholders will surrender their ADSs in exchange for new ADSs and receive 0.4 new ADS for every 1 existing ADS surrendered, Sky Solar said. No action is required from shareholders in the ratio change. Citibank N.A. is Sky Solar’s depositary bank.
Ruhnn Appoints New CFO Amid Multiple Lawsuits
Ruhnn Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq: RUHN) announced today that Jacky Jinbo Wang has joined the company as its new chief financial officer.
Prior to joining Ruhnn, Wang served as the chief accounting officer for analytics firm Red Violet Inc. (NASDAQ: RDVT). He previously served as the vice president of Touchmedia, an in-taxi touchscreen media provider in China. He also served as the finance director of AdChina Ltd., an internet ads company in China.
Ruhnn was one of the early movers to capitalize on China's up-and-coming internet stars. It was also the largest internet key opinion leader (KOL) facilitator in China as measured by revenue in 2018, according to TechCrunch. However, the company faces lawsuits in the United States for allegedly misleading its shareholders in IPO filings.
Commenting on the appointment of its new CFO today, Min Feng, the founder and chairman of Ruhnn, said in a statement, "We are delighted to welcome Mr. Wang as an important addition to Ruhnn's senior management team. We look forward to working with him and expect his extensive leadership experience and expertise in capital markets, finance and accounting, will be of tremendous value as we continue to execute on our growth strategy."
The stock in Ruhnn was trading at $4.77 per American depositary share, down more than 3%, on Monday afternoon.
Alibaba's Jack Ma Gets Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and its former chairman, was awarded on Wednesday with the Malcom S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement for his efforts with small businesses.
“Jack Ma not only created one of the most outstanding companies of the world but also a company that nourished the vibrant small-business community in China – and small businesses around the globe,” Steve Forbes, media chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes, said at the ceremony, as reported by Alibaba's news website, Alizila. “He is indeed one of the most influential figures of our time,” Forbes also said.
Since the Hangzhou-based company was established, Ma led it to become the biggest in world e-commerce, as well as to branch out into offline retail, finance, logistics, robotics, cloud computing and other sectors. In 2014, Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world largest initial public offering in New York.
“It’s all about solving problems. I think this is what we did in the past 20 years,” Ma said at the 19th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore, as reported by Alizila.
Ma added, “We always think about what we can do to solve the social problems instead of complaining. That’s the journey and millions of people change their lives because of our efforts.”
Last month, Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba on its 20th anniversary. The role was assumed by Daneil Zhang, its chief executive officer. Ma will remain on the company’s board of directors until the 2020 Alibaba annual general meeting.
"No longer being the chairman of Alibaba does not mean the end of the business, and it is not equivalent to retirement," Ma was quoted in August by Chinese business media National Business Daily.
Ma will host the first Africa Netpreneur Prize competition, next month in Ghana. The competition will award African entrepreneurs $1 million annually for the next 10 years to help support the growth of the continent's digital economy, Alibaba reported.
The stock in Alibaba traded nearly 1% higher, at $176.98 per American depositary share, on Wednesday afternoon.
AMC Stock Rises 5% on Launch of On-demand Streaming Service
Shares in AMC Entertainment Holding Inc. (NYSE: AMC) jumped 5% to $9.42 per American depositary share on Tuesday afternoon on news that the company is launching its new digital movie service, AMC Theaters on Demand, available exclusively to AMC Stubs members.
The largest cinema company in the United States, owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, said AMC Stubs members can rent or purchase around 2,000 movies from top Hollywood studios. The demand service can be accessed through AMC’s website or mobile app, and leading Smart TV providers, the statement said.
“With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our web site and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalization than has ever been possible before. Through the launch of AMC Theatres On Demand, we can reach movie lovers directly and make it easy for them to access films digitally,” Adam Aron, the chief executive officer and president of AMC said in a statement.
AMC said it will report its third-quarter results on Nov. 7.
Earlier this week, AMC announced that Craig Ramsey, its chief financial officer of 25 years, is planning to retire in February.
Worldwide, AMC operates approximately 1,000 theaters and 11,000 screens.
AMC Entertainment Appoints New CFO; Stock Declines 3%
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE: AMC) chief financial officer Craig Ramsey is preparing to retire after 25 years at the company.
The largest cinema company in the U.S. announced the appointment of Sean Goodman, CFO of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE: ABG), as its new CFO. The 54-year-old successor will start his position as Executive Vice President at AMC on Dec. 2 and assume the position of CFO upon Ramsey's retirement on Feb. 28.
“As we recruited him to join AMC, the sharpness of his mind, his strategic clarity, his extensive international experience and authentic leadership style were all quite evident,” Adam Aron, the chief executive officer of AMC, said in a statement today.
Ramsey led AMC’s IPO in Dec. 2013 and helped complete the acquisitions of Carmike Cinemas and Odeon & UCI in Europe to build the global entertainment giant, now owned by China's Dalian Wanda Group, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., China's largest investor in cultural and entertainment activities, acquired AMC for approximately $2.6 billion in 2012, according to AMC's official website.
“Wanda has been a terrific shareholder, and we are grateful for Wanda’s support,”Aron has said.“Wanda does not actively participate in the day-to-day running of AMC beyond the board of directors service.”
Shares in AMC were trading at $8.96 per share, down nearly 3%, intraday on Monday.
Luckin Launches Contigo Mugs With Free Gift; App Freezes on Traffic Influx
Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee Inc. (Nasdaq: LK) released its blind boxes and mugs together with U.S. brand Contigo.
The Xiamen-based company, a challenger of Starbucks' (Nasdaq: SBUX) in China, announced on its official WeChat account that customers who purchase Contigo cups will get a complimentary gift - a mini-figure from the series of dolls of Haoran Liu.
The strategy took place after fans of Starbucks reportedly fought over its limited edition ‘cat paw cups’ in March, a marketing strategy Luckin picked up.
In the first 10 minutes after the launch of the sales, as reported by Southern Metropolis Daily, the mobile app of the Chinese coffee giant stalled from the influx of costumers.
Shares in Luckin Coffee dropped more than 4% intraday Tuesday, to $18.55 per American depositary share.
Blue Hat Opens AR Learning Center to Combine Gaming and Education
Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology (Nasdaq: BHAT) has opened its first Augmented Reality play-based learning center in Xiamen.
The Xiamen-based company said the learning center is aimed at providing an immersive learning experience for children ages 1 through 7 across health, language, social and emotional, science and art.
“Our goal is to cultivate a fun environment, guided by our teachers, that enables young learners to explore their interests as well as develop core skills for school,” Xiaodong Chen, the chief executive officer of Blue Hat, commented in a statement last week.
Blue Hat produces augmented reality interactive entertainment games and toys, including interactive educational materials, mobile games and toys with mobile game features. The company runs AR Racer, a car-racing mobile game, AR Need a Spanking of a combat game, AR 3D Magic Box to transport children's drawings into diverse backgrounds and AR Picture Book for education.
In July, the AR games company sold 2 million ordinary shares at $4 apiece in New York.
Shares in Blue Hat jumped more than 4% on Monday to $3.26 apiece.
Ctrip Co-founder Meets With Philippines Tourism Minister
On Monday, the co-founder of Ctrip.com International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP), James Liang, met with Philippines' Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Bernadette Fatima Tecson Romulo-Puyat, to discuss the development of tourism in Manila.
The two sides exchanged views on promoting the development of Sino Philippine tourism, improving service quality, ensuring travel safety and jointly launching destination marketing, as reported by Sina news.
According to the 2019 second-quarter report published by Ctrip, the group's international business accounted for more than 35% of the total revenue. The company reported that the total number of people who visited the Philippines in the first half-year of 2019 increased by 57% from the same period in 2018. The statistics from the Tourism Bureau showed 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in 2018.
Baidu's Apollo Self-driving Robotaxi Begins Trial Operations
Baidu announced that its self-driving taxi fleet Robotaxi formally began trial operation last week. It is the first motorized taxi fleet in China to be allowed to operate on roads and let people ride on it.
The self-driving taxi fleet consists of 45 "Red Flag EV" Robotaxis, developed by Apollo and FAW-Hongqi.
Apollo Robotaxi vehicle can make quick lane change according to the road condition, and can also judge the driving state of surrounding vehicles and make automatic avoidance for overtaking at close range while on the road, according to the company's statement.
58.com Invests in Golden Pacer; Uxin Enters Into Divestiture Deal
China's online market place for classifieds 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) announced on Monday it will acquire a 32.6% in Golden Pacer by the end of 2019.
The Beijing-based company said it will convert its profit participation right into an equity stake in the financial technology platform.
Online used car dealer Uxin Ltd. (Nasdaq: UXIN) announced on the same day that it will divest its loan facilitation business with Golden Pacer, which will bring Uxin $100 million in cash and 18.4% of certain preferred shares in Golden Pacer. The company reported a binding term sheet with Golden Pacer relating to the divestiture in July.
The stock of 58.com jumped 1% on Monday to $49.31 per American depositary share. Shares in Uxin closed at $2.45 per American depositary share, down more than 2%.
58.com to Launch AI Design Platfom With Anjuke
58.com (NYSE: WUBA) will launch a one-click home decoration service through an artificial intelligence-powered app before the end of the year with its subsidiary Anjuke.
The platform will generate an online decoration style based on big data and AI for fast room matching style, design and pre-displays of home furnishings, Yuyang Zhao, the vice president of 58.com, said, as cited by 36Kr on Wednesday.
58.com and Anjuke will select top local design enterprises in each city as its partners, 36kr reported. The company caters to users in more than 200 cities across China.
WUBA stock closed 1 percent lower on Thursday, at $51.57 per share.
Ping An Becomes First Mainland Company Selected for the DJSI
Ping An Insurance Co. of China Ltd. (HK: 2318) announced it has been selected for the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index (DJSI) on Wednesday.
The move represented the first time an insurance company from mainland China was selected on the DJSI.
In addition to insurance, Ping An provides banking, investment and internet finance products and services to over 200 million internet users. It operates nationwide through more than 40 branches and delivers services to more than 3,000 businesses.
"Ping An aims to achieve mutual sustainable development with all of its stakeholders,” Richard Sheng, the Board Secretary and Brand Director of Ping said, in a statement on Wednesday. “We want to be a force for good for sustainable development in China and other parts of the world."
Best Announces Rates for $175 Million Notes Offering
Best Inc. (NYSE: BEST) announced on Friday the details of the private placement of $175 million in its senior convertible notes.
The logistics provider said the notes will be priced at $7.05 per American depositary share and will bear interest of 1.75 percent per year, to be paid semiannually beginning in April. The cap price of capped call transactions will be $10 per ADS, Best said in its statement.
Best announced earlier this week that it plans to issue its senior convertible notes to an entity of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA). The notes will mature on Oct. 1, 2024. Purchasers will have an option to buy up to an additional $25 million in notes, according to the statement.
Shares in Best ended down 2 percent on Friday, at $5.40 apiece.
TechFaith to Be Delisted From Nasdaq; Stock Plummets 40%
China TechFaith Wireless Communication Technology Ltd. (Nasdaq: CNTF) announced that it has received a delisting notification letter from the Nasdaq Stock Market, which tanked its stock nearly 40 percent on Thursday.
The Beijing-based company, which operates commercial real estate properties in China and makes handsets, said that it has not filed its Form 20-F for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, and has failed to regain compliance with the Nasdaq thereafter. As a result, its ADSs will be suspended on Sept. 17.
In May, TechFaith said as a result of not having timely filed its annual report for last year, it was no longer in compliance with the listing rules of the stock exchange, which require timely filing of periodic financial reports. In June, the company has received a notice of non-compliance from the Nasdaq regarding the minimum bid price requirement. In July, the company said it has received a notice of non-compliance from the Nasdaq for failing to maintain the minimum market value of shares as required by the listing rules.
TechFaith said that it has decided not to request an appeal.
Shares in TechFaith closed at 29 cents per ADS on Thursday.
Pintec's Chairman on Temporary Leave
Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd.'s (Nasdaq: PT) Wei Wei, chairman and chief executive officer, is on a temporary medical leave of absence.
Wei will remain on Pintec’s board of directors for the duration of his leave, the Beijing-based online lending company said in a statement last week. Jon Dong, Pintec’s director since 2012, will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors and perform as the company’s CEO during Wei’s absence, according to the company’s statement.
“Mr. Dong’s in-depth knowledge of our business operations and his extensive industry experience have prepared him well for this interim role. In the coming period, we trust that Mr. Dong and our experienced management team will continue to execute our business strategies and maintain the robust performance that has characterized our work to date in 2019,” Wei said.
Luckin Coffee Stock Gains 1% on KeyBanc Upgrade
KeyBanc Capital Markets has raised its price target of Luckin Coffee Inc. (Nasdaq: LK) to $24 per share by $2, sending the shares of the Chinese coffee chain 1 percent higher intraday Monday, to $21.09 apiece.
Analysts at KeyBanc issued an "incrementally positive" rating of the company and said it has been on track to deliver against its financial targets.
In June, Credit Suisse launched coverage on Luckin with the same target and an “outperform."
Yum China Appoints New CFO
Yum China Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) has appointed a new chief financial officer after Jacky Lo has decided to pursue opportunities closer to home.
The operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China said in a statement today that Ka Wai Yeung will assume the role of CFO starting on October 16. Previously, Yeung served as CFO for Smart Finance International Ltd. and Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE: CMCM.)
Lo, who has served at Yum China since June 2017, intends to leave the company to pursue professional opportunities in Hong Kong to be closer to his family, according to the report.
Shares in Yum China closed at $45.80 per American depositary share, down 1 percent Friday in New York.
Alibaba Buys Luxury E-commerce Platform Kaola for $2 Billion
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) has finalized the acquisition of the online luxury retailer Kaola from NetEase inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) for $2 billion.
NetEase said in an earlier statement that Kaola will continue to operate under the same brand.
The Chinese tech company also said that Alibaba, joined by private equity firm Yunfeng Capital, will invest approximately invest $700 million in NetEase Cloud music.
It was reported earlier in the week that Alibaba plans to close the deal with NetEase.
Alibaba was trading down 2 percent, at $177.08 per share, intraday on Friday. NetEase was up 2 percent, at $276.10 per share.
Yunji Stock Leaps 11% on Share Buyback Announcement
The stock in Yunji Inc. (Nasdaq: YJ) leaped 11 percent, to $6.72 per share, after the company announced it will repurchase up to $20 million of its American depositary shares over the next six months.
The Hangzhou-based retailer, which sells products including beauty, toys and digital items, said Its proposed repurchases may be made on the open market at existing market prices, in block trades, and/or through other legal authorizations.
Yunji recently posted its second-quarter earnings, which revealed revenue three months through June was $446.3 million, down 6 percent year-over-year. Net loss was $12.3 million, or 4 cents per share, in contrast to a net income of $12.8 million a year ago.
The company said its board of directors will review the share repurchase program periodically, and plans on funding the repurchases from its existing cash balance.
Baidu Surpasses Google as Second Largest Vendor of Smart Speakers
The stock in Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) ended the day 2 percent higher, at $103.80 per share, on Monday, on news that the company has surpassed Google as the second-largest vendor of smart speakers.
The search engine exclusively serving in China captured 17.3 percent of the global market with 4.5 million shipments in the three months through June, according to Canalys, the marketing, analytics and research firm.
Baidu followed Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) in quarterly shipments. The American e-commerce giant reached 6.6 million shipments, holding more than 25 percent of the market share. Baidu did beat Amazon on annual growth, as that increased by an enormous 3700 percent, compared with Amazon’s 61 percent. The global smart speaker market also grew 55 percent to reach 26.1 million shipments.
Cynthia Chen, a research analyst at Canalys, commented on Baidu’s success in the latest quarter.
“Aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns built strong momentum for Baidu in China,” Chen said in the report on Monday.
“Local network operator’s interests on the [smart display] device category soared recently. This bodes well for Baidu as it faces little competition in the smart display category, allowing the company to dominate in the operator channel.”
Another of China's giants, e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), ranked as the fourth-largest vendor. Alibaba recorded 4.1 million shipments in the three months through June and achieved 39 percent annual growth.
Alibaba’s stock closed up nearly 1 percent, at $165.90 per share, on Monday.
HSBC Sets Baidu at "Buy," Boosts Price Target
Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) enjoyed a price target boost from HSBC from $137 to $141 per American depositary share.
Binnie Wang, HSBC analyst said that Baidu has been navigating through macroeconomic headwinds and competition at its core search business, but expects an inflection point next year, as reported by the fly.com. She gave the giant a "buy" rating and said that Baidu’s earlier investments will start bearing fruit shortly.
The search engine giant posted higher-than-expected revenue for the second quarter on Monday and announced that it has launched cloud services in Singapore to offer support to local businesses and international Chinese enterprises.
Shares in Baidu were trading at $105.35, down 2 percent, intraday Thursday.
Washington May Delay Additional Tariffs on Chinese Imports; Sides Talk Tuesday
The United States will delay imposing a 10 percent tariff on certain products, including laptops and cell phones, according to a statement by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He over the phone on Tuesday.
The new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports, announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, were scheduled to start in September.
China Prepared to Weaken Currency Again if Trade War Intensifies
Beijing is prepared to weaken its currency again, it announced on Thursday amid an ongoing trade space with the United States.
The People's Bank of China set the yuan midpoint at 7.0039 to $1 on Thursday, and anticipated further decrease, according to the New York Times. China’s deployment of a weaker currency helps its factories offset higher costs on U.S tariffs on imports, the report said.
This week, the yuan has fallen to the $7 level for the first time since 2008.
Future FinTech Granted Exception by Nasdaq on Filing Delay; Stock Up 2%
Future FinTech Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FTFT) announced Thursday that it has another chance at regaining compliance with Nasdaq listing rules.
The Xi’an-based company, which operates in FinTech and fruit-related businesses, said in a statement today that the stock exchange has granted it an exception to enable it to regain compliance by filing the Form 10-K before the end of the month and Forms 10-Q by the end of September.
In May, Future FinTech regained compliance with the Nasdaq in terms of minimum bid price requirements after its stock had traded above $1 for 10 consecutive days.
Shares in Future FinTech jumped 2 percent, closing at $1.03 per American depositary share Thursday.
WiMi Set to Become the First Holographic AR Solutions Provider to Go Public in New York
WiMi Hologram Cloud Inc. expects to debut on the Nasdaq Global Market on Wednesday, seeking to raise up to $38 million in capital.
The Beijing-based AR services provider will offer 4 million American depositary shares, or 4.6 million if the underwriters exercise the over-allotment option in full, at the expected price range of between $7.50 and $9.50 per ADS.
The company has applied to trade under the symbol “WIMI.”
Listed underwriters on the deal are Benchmark Company LLC, Maxim Group LLC, China Merchants Securities (HK) Co. Ltd., AMTD Global Markets Ltd., BOCI Securities Ltd., Everbright Sun Hung Kai Company Ltd., GF Securities (Hong Kong) Brokerage Ltd. and Axiom Capital Management Inc.
WiMi would become the first holographic AR platform to list on a stock exchange.
U.S., China to Hold Trade Talks Early Next Week - U.S. Treasury Chief
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. negotiators will visit China early next week for trade negotiations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday.
Mnuchin said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will depart for China on Monday and hold talks with their Chinese counterparts on Tuesday and Wednesday in Shanghai, followed up by more talks in Washington later.
China Automotive Systems Welcomes Two New Directors
China Automotive Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CAAS) announced it has appointed Henry Lu and Tong Kooi Teo as new independent members of the board of directors Tuesday.
Henry Lu has a background serving with McKinsey & Co. Hong Kong-listed Hua Lien International Co. Ltd. and U.S.-listed Nepstar Drugstore.
Tong Kooi Teo is serving as head of DPS Corporate Advisory Co. Ltd. and has worked for Deutsche Bank Malaysia.
Hubei-based China Automotive Systems is a leading power steering components and systems supplier in China, offering a range of steering system parts for passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles. It currently offers four separate series of power steering with an annual production capacity of more than six million sets of steering gears, columns and steering hoses.
Shares in China Automotive Systems closed at $2.15 apiece, down 2 percent, Tuesday in New York.
China Lifts Restrictions on Foreign-Invested Rating Agencies in Bond Market
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will permit foreign-invested rating agencies to give ratings to all forms of interbank market and exchange-traded bonds, the country's central bank said in a notice published on Saturday.
The People's Bank of China said it would also allow more qualified foreign-invested rating institutions to develop credit-rating businesses for the interbank market and exchange-traded bonds.
Ant Financial's Two Employees Sentenced for Taking Bribes
Two senior employees in Ant Financial Services Group, the finance arm of giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), have been arrested for accepting bribes.
The People's Court of Xihu District of Hangzhou published a report late last week saying that a business manager and a senior specialist from the Digital Entertainment Center of Ant Financial have accepted more than $1.9 million in bribes to approve an unqualified application and handle gambling and fraud complaints.
Trump Sees Slowing Chinese Growth Pressuring Beijing on Trade
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday pointed to slowing economic growth in China amid restarted trade talks, saying U.S. tariffs were having "a major effect" and warning that "possibly much more" were to come.
Growth data released earlier on Monday showed the world's second-largest economy had slowed to 6.2 percent in the second quarter, its weakest pace in at least 27 years amid ongoing trade pressure from the United States.
"This is why China wants to make a deal with the U.S., and wishes it had not broken the original deal in the first place," Trump tweeted.
Trump and his administration are seeking to push China to make a trade pact after talks broke down in May. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to restart negotiations at their meeting at the G20 last month.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators spoke by phone last week, and in-person talks are expected soon in Beijing, U.S. officials have said.
ReneSola Announces CEO Resignation
ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL), a solar project developer, announced Monday that Xianshou Li, due to personal reasons, has resigned from his position as chief executive officer and from all other managerial positions held by him, effective July 8, 2019.
The board has accepted his resignation and has appointed Shelley Xu as the new CEO.
Prior to the appointment, Ms. Shelley Xu was group vice president since 2016, overseeing project development and construction in Asia Pacific region. Joining the company in 2005, she has 15 years of experience in marketing and team management. She established the module marketing and sales team in China in 2011 and became the vice president of ReneSola China in 2013.
The stock in ReneSola ended the day 9 percent higher, at $1.41 per American depositary share.
ChinaNet Online Appoints New CFO
ChinaNet Online Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET) announced Monday that Mark Li is taking the chief financial officer position while Zhige Zhang has resigned for personal reasons.
Mark Li served in a number of financial roles for 20 years before joining the Beijing-based company.
“We are also very pleased to welcome Mark to the Company. Mark brings an immense amount of financial expertise to the team as well as many years of leadership and operational experience in financial management,” Handong Cheng, the chief executive officer of ChinaNet said in a statement today.
ChinaNet provides online advertising, marketing, and data analysis. Shares in ChinaNet closed at $1.34 apiece Monday, down 4 percent.
Alibaba to Donate $145 Million to Women’s Football in China
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) announced Friday that it will donate 1 billion yuan, about $145 million, to support the long-term development of women’s football in China.
The $145 million donation was committed by Alipay Foundation of Alibaba’s mobile payment platform, Jack Ma Foundation and Joe Tsai Foundation (PRC), who are the founder and the co-founder of Alibaba, respectively. Alipay, launched in 2004, is run by Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group.
“Over the past two years, I’ve seen from the girls in Qiongzhong that football has brought them more than just physical fitness and technical skills. It has also opened doors for them to more life options and opportunities, as well as tenacity and fighting spirit,” Eric Jing, the chief executive officer of Ant Financial Services Group, said in a statement today.