58.com files for US IPOOct 1, 2013China's 58.com Inc, a local classified-advertisement website, filed for an IPO of up to USD150m in American depositary shares as the site looks to fund further growth. 58.com, which became only the second mainland China-based company to complete a US IPO this year, said it would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, these may include product development, technology investment and marketing, among others.
China and Hong Kong overtake US in foreign direct investmentJan 30, 2015China became the world's top destination for foreign investment in 2014, overtaking the US that has held the top position since 2003, according to figures released Thursday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Foreign firms invested USD128bn in China last year, compared to the USD86bn invested in the US. Hong Kong also managed to attract USD111bn worth of foreign direct investment in 2014, placing the US in the third spot, the UNCTAD figures showed. However, the UN agency said the US could rebound in terms of foreign investment this year due to the strengthening of the US economy and the pickup in demand from lower oil prices. Overall, overseas investments by businesses fell by 8% from 2013 at USD1.26tr.
BOC Hong Kong to sell Nanyang Commercial Bank for USD6bnJan 30, 2015The Bank of China (BOC) Hong Kong, a unit of mainland China's fourth-biggest lender, is considering a sale of its subsidiary Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB) that could fetch about USD6bn, Reuters reported. Thomson Reuter’s data showed that the deal could become Asia Pacific's third-biggest bank deal if it pushes through. The sale is part of BOC's move to streamline its operations in Hong Kong as it sees a slowdown in profit growth and an increase in bad loans as the mainland's economic growth continues to weaken. One of the potential buyers that expressed interest in NCB is China Cinda Asset Management Co, China's number two bad debt manager. The parties involved did not issue an official statement.
Wanda close to buying sports marketing firm InfrontJan 30, 2015Wanda Group of China is reportedly days away from closing a purchase deal with international sports marketing company Infront from its parent firm Bridgepoint, a European private equity investor. Infront is directed by Philippe Blatter, the nephew of Sepp Blatter, who is president of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Under the deal, Wanda will have exclusive rights to broadcast the Italian premier football league Serie A, which is currently owned by Infront.
China's Gree plans to put up European factoryJan 30, 2015China’s largest air conditioner manufacturer Gree Electric Appliances plans to construct a manufacturing plant in Europe, according to chairwoman Dong Mingzhu. Dong added that their products are already being sold in several markets abroad, thus it makes sense to open factories in Europe in order to supply locally. Dong made her statement on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
US-based vendor of Chinese heavy equipment files suit against Caterpillar, othersJan 30, 2015Asheville, North Carolina-based International Construction Products LLC has filed an antitrust lawsuit in the US District Court in Delaware against four companies. The defendants are Caterpillar Inc, Caterpillar-controlled CAT Auction Services, the North American subsidiary of Sweden-based AB Volvo, and the American unit of Japanese firm Komatsu Ltd. The complainant has accused the defendants of threatening to boycott heavy-equipment dealer IronPlanet if it sells ICP products. This leads IronPlanet to stop working with ICP.
Garuda Indonesia aims to conduct monthly chartered flights from ChinaJan 30, 2015Garuda Indonesia Airlines has announced its plans to conduct monthly chartered flights from ten cities in China in 2015, looking at potentially 100 million passengers. Garuda CEO and President M. Arif Wibowo said that his airline company is optimistic about adding more destinations this year. The monthly chartered flights are set to start in the middle of February, connecting the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Jinan, Harbin, Nanjing, Shenyang, Wuhan, Xi’an and Zhengzhou to Bali and Manado in Indonesia.
Demand for smartwatches in China set to increaseJan 30, 2015The launch of Apple Inc's smartwatch in April this year is expected to raise the demand for smartwatches in China. CEO Xu Peng of Shanghai-based Geak, which is known to be the earliest developer of smartwatch in China, said that 85 kinds of smartwatches are being sold on the Chinese retailing website JD.com, adding that there is a huge potential for the ‘wrist-on device’ in the country. Geak already has second-generation smartwatches on the market, costing from Rmb1,999 (USD320).
China’s exports of high-tech products face trade frictionsJan 30, 2015China’s Ministry of Commerce Spokesperson Shen Danyang said that after China became the biggest trading country in the world two years ago, other countries began to cut down the import of Chinese goods in order to narrow trade deficits. Shen added that among the products that went through trade probes in 2014 were smartphones, wind turbines, and photovoltaic goods. Meanwhile, the United States, Australia, and Canada are among China's trading partners who launched cases against the country’s steel exports.
Mobile health market to hit USD2bn by 2017Jan 30, 2015China's mobile health sector is expected to expand rapidly and hit Rmb12.5bn (USD2bn) by 2017, the China Medical Pharmaceutical Material Association (CMPMA) said in a report. The projected growth represents an expansion of 400% from 2013, when the sector was worth at about Rmb2.36bn (USD361m), the report stated. CMPMA Deputy President Long Yan said the massive development of the country's mobile Internet will trigger the dramatic growth of the mobile healthcare market. The 2014 China Medical Internet Development Report released by CMPMA also showed that there are already more than 2,000 mobile healthcare apps in China, adding that a number of healthcare apps were pulled from app stores in the past due to poor performance.
Second World Internet Conference to be held in China this OctoberJan 30, 2015The second World Internet Conference, which is expected to gather Internet professionals, officials and experts from over 100 countries and regions, will be held in China in October. The official announcement released on Friday said the conference will be held in the river town of Wuzhen in Zhejiang province from 28 October to 30 October. The first World Internet Conference was held in November 2014 in Wuzhen, with aims of achieving global Internet connectivity and shared governance by all.
China's Rainbow Holdings buys two Auckland islandsJan 30, 2015China's Rainbow Holdings NZ now owns two Auckland islands - Pararekau Island and Kopuahingahinga or Lee Island - after the New Zealand government gave its approval of the purchase. The Chinese firm, which paid USD41.5m for the deal, plans to develop a USD130.6m six-star luxury resort and native reserve. The development will include suites, restaurants, entertainment and business facilities on Pararekau Island. Kopuahingahinga Island will become a native reserve. The two islands have a total land area of 27 hectares. Rainbow Holdings bought the property from New Zealand's Karaka Harbourside Estate and some shares from Simon Deng-Li.
Pension fund earns 11.43% investment return in 2014Jan 30, 2015China's pension fund registered an 11.43% return on investment last year, a sharp rise from 6.2% and 7% return registered in 2013 and 2012, respectively. National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Vice Chairman Wang Zhongmin said total assets of China's biggest pension fund stood at Rmb1.5tr (USD240bn) at the end of 2014, following the 11.43% investment return. China aims to strengthen its pension system as it seeks to cope with an already shrinking working-age population. The NSSF invests in bank deposits, treasury bonds, and other financial instruments including marketable security investment funds, stocks, and securities such as corporate bonds and financial bonds. The NSSF was founded in August 2000 and is based in Beijing.
Apple is China's top smartphone vendorJan 29, 2015
Increasing demand for LTE and large-screen mobile phones has pushed US-based Apple Inc to become the number one smartphone vendor in mainland China for the first time in Q4, according to American research company Canalys. Apple managed to become the top smartphone vendor by units sold despite the average iPhone price being twice as expensive as other handsets in the Chinese market. Apple’s revenue in China reached USD16.1bn in the first fiscal quarter ended on 27 December, a 70% year-on-year increase. Apple is enjoying a surging demand of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units.
Hunan TV eyes USD1.5bn investment in Lions GateJan 29, 2015
US studio Lions Gate is in talks with China's Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co on a deal that will carry an overall value of USD1.5bn over the next three years. The deal will cover film production and distribution, Hunan TV said in a statement on the Shenzhen stock exchange. Lions Gate, best known for “The Hunger Games” movies, will help distribute Chinese films produced by Hunan TV in overseas markets. Also, Hunan is planning to set up a unit in the United States. China media companies have been eyeing the lucrative US entertainment business over the past years, Reuters reported.
CMGE reacts to allegations of questionable business practicesJan 29, 2015
China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group Limited, the biggest publisher and developer of mobile games in mainland China, has denied US-based short seller Geoinvesting's accusations of questionable business practices. CMGE said that the said allegations have confused the connection between CMGE and Shenzhen Zhongzheng Ruanyin Science and Technology. According to Geoinvesting, CMGE has overstated its revenues, allowing the firm to transfer its revenue to a non-disclosed related entity, Zhongzheng.
Overnight visitors to Hainan hit 40 million last yearJan 29, 2015
The number of overnight tourists who visited Hainan Province in the southern region of mainland China hits 40 million in 2014, a 10.6% rise, according to the local government's statistics agency on 28 January. This includes 39.9 million local tourists and 661,400 foreign tourists. The province's tourism industry made Rmb48.5bn (USD7.8bn) last year, a 13.2% increase. The overnight foreign tourists count declined 12.6% year-on-year to hit 421,500, while tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau also fell 6.3% to 239,900.
China draft regulations could affect foreign investmentsJan 29, 2015
China’s proposed new rules on foreign investments will make it easier for the government to exercise control over the flood of money coming from abroad and into the country’s booming Internet sector, The Wall Street Journal reported. Experts said that this will be an advantage for domestic firms like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and other Chinese Internet firms, but foreign shareholders of these firms and Western Internet companies operating in China could be adversely affected. China's Ministry of Commerce refused to give detailed information on the draft rules.
Qualcomm trims revenue targetsJan 29, 2015
US-based chip maker Qualcomm Inc has reduced its sales targets despite showing unexpected growth in its latest quarter, citing shifting fortunes among smartphone manufacturers and tougher competition in mainland China. The firm benefited from higher sales of its wireless modem chips used by Apple Inc, which has sold a record 74.5 million handsets in the last quarter of 2014.
Yahoo spins off Alibaba stakeJan 29, 2015
Yahoo Inc has announced that it is spinning off its stake in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, splitting off holdings in a move that sidestep taxes. This will allow the firm to deliver more funds for shareholders than a direct sale of the USD40bn stake, ShanghaiDaily reported. CEO Marissa Mayer said that the strategy can also help avoid a potential tax bill of as much as USD16bn under a traditional sale of the stake. Mayer added that the move is part of her company's effort to remix its activities around mobile Internet, video, and other forms of online media.
Tencent joins fight for exclusive NBA broadcasting rightsJan 29, 2015
Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings is reportedly willing to pay more than USD100m annually to get exclusive live online broadcasting rights for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Tencent, which will be up against Sina Corp and Letv for the exclusive NBA rights, seeks to become the only network able to screen every game of the 30 teams involved. The deal will also allow the Internet firm to authorise permission for other network platforms to broadcast NBA matches in the country.
Alibaba forms team to track fake goodsJan 29, 2015
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced its establishment of a special unit to fight counterfeit goods, following accusations by authorities that the firm has failed to act on reports of fake goods sold on its website. The unit will be handled by 300 staff, whose task will be to monitor goods sold on its websites. Taobao, one of Alibaba's e-commerce sites, said the company aims to solve the counterfeit problem thoroughly and efficiently with help from the government and consumers. Taobao added that it will continue with its plan to file a complaint against the Internet regulation director of China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Liu Hongliang, for his inappropriate and non-objective conclusions against Alibaba.
Jack Ma moves into healthcare sector with Baiyunshan investmentJan 29, 2015
Alibaba Group Founder Jack Ma has inked a partnership agreement with Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings to collaborate in pharma manufacturing reforms and in boosting medical product sales and services online. Ma's investment into Baiyunshan will be carried out by his private equity firm Yunfeng Capital, which conducted an in-depth study into Baiyunshan one year ago, sources said. A report by the Time Weekly said the partnership will allow Alibaba to secure the pharmaceutical and medical resources it lacks and enables Ma to move into China's state-dominated healthcare sector.
JP Morgan's China investment banking head to resignJan 29, 2015
Gong Fangxiong, who was promoted as chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s China investment banking in March, is leaving the bank, Reuters reported citing a source familiar with the matter. The source said that Gong will stay with the company during the transition period. Gong, who joined JPMorgan's investment banking group in 2009, has held positions such as head of China research and chief China economist for the bank. JPMorgan’s spokeswoman in Hong Kong declined to comment on the matter.
China's economic growth forecast to slow this yearJan 29, 2015
A private think tank has predicted China's economic growth to slow to 6.8% this year as infrastructure and property investments in the country are expected to fall. The forecast is lower than the 7.4% expansion in 2014, which was also the weakest performance of the Chinese economy in 24 years. The Academic Committee at Beijing-based research group Unirule Institute of Economics based its weak economic growth forecast to expectations that the country's infrastructure and property investments will continue to decelerate in 2015, weighing on the overall economic growth. The other two economic growth driver, exports and consumption, are estimated to continue their current levels of growth but will not be enough to propel the economy.