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's manufacturing PMI hits 18-month highAug 1, 2014The expansion in China's manufacturing sector accelerated to its highest level in more than two years in July, reinforcing signs that the economy is firming up on government support policies. The HSBC/Markit China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) climbed to 51.7 last month, up from June's 50.7 but slightly below a preliminary reading of 52. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in activity on a monthly basis, and below 50 indicates a contraction. The improvement in manufacturing is in line with the signs of a pick-up in broader economic growth, which quickened to 7.5% in the second quarter from an 18-month low of 7.4% between January and March, Reuters reported. The July reading was the highest since January 2013.
3 of top 5 smartphone firms worldwide in Q2 are from ChinaAug 1, 2014In Q2 of this year, three of the five biggest smartphone vendors in the world are China based, according to the research group Strategic Analytics. This is credited to the low-cost offerings of Chinese smartphone companies on the Android operating system. A three-year-old Chinese firm, Xiaomi Inc, dubbed the Apple of China, is now on the fifth spot in the world’s top smartphone manufacturers. China's Lenovo Group Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are the other Chinese companies in the top five. South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd still leads the field.
Chinese firms willing to pay for prime CBD locationsAug 1, 2014Property services consultants and providers in China said Chinese companies are willing to pay for prime grade-A office spaces in major cities, despite the fact that office space rentals in central business districts (CBDs) in big Chinese cities are getting more expensive. In Q2 2014, Beijing's prime office market registered 39,800 sq. m. of net absorption. CBD rents rose 2.9% quarter-on-quarter, the first increase recorded in six quarters, according to a report released by Jones Lang La Salle IP Inc, a real estate management company.
Tesla in massive expansion mode in ChinaAug 1, 2014US electric carmaker Tesla Motors is planning a massive expansion in China, with the goal of bringing in as many as a third of the company's global network of service centre into the country by 2015. Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the pronouncement as the company reported a widening loss in the past quarter amid record revenues. Tesla has been racing to meet strong demand in China, even diverting vehicles from other markets into the mainland.
First Beijing-Shanghai e-commerce delivery route launchedAug 1, 2014The very first train route specifically designed for e-commerce freight delivery running between Beijing and Shanghai was launched on 1 August. According to China Railway Corp, this marks the debut of rail services being opened to commercial clients. CRC signed deals with courier-service firms and the country's postal-service agencies that allow fast trains intended for e-commerce freight delivery to reach the Yangtze River Delta, Bohai Rim, and the Pearl River Delta.
Alibaba's investment values Kabam above USD1bnAug 1, 2014San Francisco video game maker Kabam announced that Alibaba is investing approximately USD120m in exchange for a seat on the company's board and the right to publish Kabam games in China over the next three years. While other terms of the investment were not disclosed, Kabam said that the game company is now valued at more than USD1bn. Kabam chose to collaborate with Alibaba as part of the games developer's overall effort to offer its products in Asia, said Kabam's Operations Chief Kent Wakeford.
China equity markets' best performance since December 2012Aug 1, 2014The equity markets of China performed its best in July since the previous high in December of 2012. This raised the Shanghai Composite Index by 7.48% with a 0.93% boost on 31 July to close on top of the vital 2,200-point level. The Shenzhen Component Index likewise went up 1.32% to close at 7,956.91 points for an 8.36% rise. These robust performances by both stock markets in July have also raised hopes that the country's economy is on the road to genuine recovery.
Average housing price drops for third straight monthAug 1, 2014China's average housing prices fell in July for the third consecutive month, with the decline picking up pace. According to a survey of 100 major Chinese cities, average new home prices fell 0.81% in July from June, declining faster compared with the 0.5% fall in June and 0.32% decline in May, according to China Real Estate Index System. May's decline was the first month-to-month drop since June 2012. Out of the 100 cities surveyed, 76 showed a decline in home prices, up from 71 in June. All of China's ten biggest cities posted month-on-month falls, with the average price in Beijing dropping 1.6% to Rmb32,736 (USD5,301) per sq. m.
China sales boost Volkswagen's quarterly earningsAug 1, 2014German-based Volkswagen, the largest car company in all of Europe, posted on 31 July a strong quarterly net profit, in a large part due to strong sales in China plus luxury-auto divisions Porsche and Audi's higher profits. From April to June, Volkswagen's net profit was up 12.5% to EUR3.2bn (USD4.3bn), although a strong euro adversely affected group revenues — falling 2% to EUR51bn (USD68.28bn). Volkswagen's operating profit also fell 3% to EUR3.3bn (USD4.42bn).
China's 2013 credit-card transactions hit USD2.1trAug 1, 2014The credit-card transactions in China reached Rmb13.1tr (USD2.1tr) last year — a 30.9% rise year-on-year. According to a report that the China Banking Association released on 31 July, transactional value comprised 55.8% of all retail sales of consumer products. China issued 61 million new credit cards throughout 2013, warning that potential credit hazards come with it. Delayed credit-card repayments that reached over six months increased 71.9% year-on-year to Rmb25.19bn (USD4.08bn) last year.
Obama claims US tops China as global investment destinationJul 31, 2014
US President Barack Obama announced that the United States has overtaken China as the prime investment location for global businesses for the first time in more than a decade. In a speech in Kansas City, the American president said business leaders around the world will point to the US if asked on the number one place to invest. An earlier study released by the world's leading statistical agencies showed that China is set to overtake the US as the world's number one economy. The US economic growth, however, accelerated in Q2 more than what is expected and the decline in output in the prior period was less steep than previously reported.
IMF expects China's economy to grow 7.5% in 2014Jul 31, 2014
Despite China's slower investment and possible deeper adjustments in real estate activity, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expects the country's economic growth to hit 7.5% this year. In its annual Article IV Consultation Staff Report for China, released on Wednesday, the Washington-based institution said the Chinese government's measures to support growth will bring good results that will help China achieve its annual target of 7.5%. The IMF also said China's inflation will be kept below 3% as consumption and the labour market in the country continue to hold up well.
Microsoft 'to localise' Xbox One in ChinaJul 31, 2014Microsoft Greater China's General Manager Xie Enwei said that the American company is more than likely to perform some localisation of the game console before it sells in the massive Chinese gaming market. Xbox One will sell for Rmb3,699 (USD599) minus the Kinect sensor and Rmb4,299 (USD696.44) if it is included. Xie added that Microsoft also agreed on a multi-year contract for three games with China's Beijing Perfect World Network Technology Co Ltd.
Huawei launches ICT expo in PanamaJul 31, 2014
Huawei Technologies of China opened in Panama City its 2nd Information and Communications Technology Expo on 30 July. Analysts see this as a sign that Huawei has a huge interest in expanding its business in the Latin American market. Huawei North Latin America Marketing-Director Manuel Vexler said that the region is an important market for the Chinese firm's future growth. Huawei is now the biggest ICT provider in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.
3 Chinese firms ink 100-year food JV with Aussie companyJul 31, 2014
Australian-billionaire Andrew Forrest reportedly came into an agreement with three of the largest food companies in China for a revival of his country's farming industry. The joint venture will position Australia as China's biggest supplier of agricultural goods over the next 100 years. Forrest will be joined on 31 July by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Jennifer Westacott of the Business Council of Australia, and farm leaders in Sydney for the Australia-Sino 100-Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership.
EU could drop minimum import price for solar panels from ChinaJul 31, 2014
The European Union may decrease the minimum import price for solar panels made in China as suggested by documents seen by The Wall Street Journal. A contract signed in 2013 allowed Chinese firms to go around high import tariffs for selling solar equipment at unfairly low prices. An unnamed source, as cited in WSJ, said that the EU is likely to lower the minimum import price from 5% to 10% after the European Commission will finish discussing the change in the first week of August.
Canadian oil sands deal almost doneJul 31, 2014
State-owned energy-firm China National Petroleum Corp and Canada's Athabasca Oil Corp announced on 30 July that they expect to close a USD1.23bn contract for an oil-sands operation in Canada. PetroChina Co's Mao Zefeng said that he has been talking with investors in New York City, telling them that the deal for the oil-sands project in Alberta is almost closed. While an Athabasca representative said that the Canadian firm is closely cooperating with CNPC officials towards the same purpose.
Overseas property investment hits USD5.4bnJul 31, 2014
Chinese investments into overseas real estate increased by 17% in the first half of this year to reach USD5.4bn, real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said. Chinese investors poured more money into London, which is this year's most popular investment destination. San Francisco, Chicago, Sydney and Spain also became targets, JLL said in a statement. Of the total global real estate investment, commercial investment took the lion's share with USD4bn.
Beijing aims to attract high-end industry investorsJul 31, 2014
Beijing will set out a guide that would channel foreign investment into high-end projects in H2 of this year as part of the capital city's economic restructuring. Zhou Weimin, head of Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau, said the aim of the guidelines is to lure high-tech industries, producer services with high benefits, high-quality service businesses and cultural and creative industries. He said the city will also welcome investments into areas that will address problems such as water and air pollution as well as traffic congestion.
Alibaba’s rumored investment to value Snapchat at USD10bnJul 31, 2014
Alibaba is reportedly considering investing in US-based mobile-messaging startup Snapchat, a deal which could value the Los Angeles-headquartered firm at about USD10bn. The reported talks between China’s Alibaba and Snapchat came after the startup junked the USD3bn acquisition offer by Facebook. Snapchat's mobile app allows users to send visual messages that vanish after a few seconds. SFGate reported that more than 700 million disappearing visual messages are sent per day. Both Alibaba and Snapchat declined to comment on the news.
Macao-Mainland trade down 7.2%Jul 31, 2014
China's Ministry of Commerce announced a decrease of 7.2% year-on-year on trade between Macao and mainland China in H1 2014. Exports from Macao to the mainland dropped 50.6% to USD110m year-on-year, while exports to Macao from the mainland dropped 1% to USD1.55bn. The ministry said Macao investments accounted for 0.8% of total overseas investments in the mainland during the first six months of the year.
Regions allowed to set up firms that will buy bad loansJul 30, 2014
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has allowed five regions in China to create asset management companies to buy bad loans. The trial program includes Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui. The regulator picked the five local governments as they have been witnessing a significant surge of non-performing loans or have experience in asset management practices, in the cases of Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang, analysts said. The program is part of CBRC's efforts to prevent the escalating local bad debts from crippling the economy.
Domestic Chinese brands beating foreign rivalsJul 30, 2014
Retailers in China are utilising local preference for domestic brands to steal away market from foreign competitors. Toothpaste that tastes like green tea and pickled plum juice are just some of the products that local brands are gaining on. American giant brands like Colgate-Palmolive Co, Coca-Cola Co, and Procter & Gamble Co have been pressured to modify their strategies to take up the challenge of local companies amidst an economic slowdown.
Huawei’s H1 smartphone shipments up 62% to 34.27 million unitsJul 30, 2014
The first-half shipments of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s smartphone increased 62% year-on-year, even though it took an aim at the more upscale smartphone sector that US-based Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd of South Korea dominate. Huawei shipped out 34.27 million units worldwide from January to June this year, 43% of its whole-year target of 80 million units.