Monday Tech Briefing: JD.Com, Bullet, Meituan
BIG TECH COMPANIES
1. JD.Com CEO Detained in U.S. for Sexual Misconduct
What: Police in the U.S. state of Minnesota detained and later released a person whose name and birth date match those of JD.com Inc.’s founder and CEO for criminal sexual conduct, following Chinese media reports of such actions against Richard Liu. JD.com said on its official microblog that the reports were untrue.
Why it’s important: JD.com, one of China’s largest e-commerce companies, could see its Nasdaq-listed shares fall if Liu is convicted. (Source: Caixin)
2. China’s Didi Chuxing May Back Oyo
What: “China’s Didi Chuxing is expected to invest in Oyo Rooms — in what would be the ride-hailing giant’s second bet on an Indian startup after Ola,” Times of India reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
Why it’s important: Oyo is an Indian budget hotel chain that is backed by investors including shared workspace startup WeWork and SoftBank, which holds around 42% in Oyo. “The proposed investment is likely to be channeled into Oyo’s China business – which is growing rapidly having started in November last year.” Oyo has focused mostly on second-, third- and fourth-tier cities in China offering rooms for rates of $20-$25 per night. (Source: Times of India)
3. China’s Blockbuster IPOs to Put Sentiment to the Test
What: Chinese food delivery group Meituan-Dianping and electric vehicle maker Nio are launching their respective initial public offering (IPO) roadshows that will put investor sentiment to the test, according to the Financial Times. Nio expects to raise around $1.16 billion in its upcoming New York listing, down from an earlier expectation of up to $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, Meituan has revised its valuation down from an original $60 billion to between $45 billion and $55 billion, ahead of its Hong Kong IPO.
Why it’s important: “Next week will be a test of the market,” one banker told the Financial Times. “Both these companies are not making profit, both are burning cash and looking for $6 billion to come into them, so it will be an interesting week.”
Big Picture: “Shares are being buffeted by macro concerns such as the U.S.-China trade war and the slowing domestic economy, as well as rising regulatory risk.” (Source: Financial Times)
4. WeChat Rival Bullet Messaging Raises $21.96 Million
What: “An emerging instant messaging tool called Bullet Messaging has received 150 million yuan ($21.96 million) in funding after its first week of operation, gaining traction among internet-savvy Chinese users and posing an imminent threat to social media veteran WeChat,” China Daily reported.
Why it’s important: The app launched on Aug. 20 and gained 4 million users in just nine days, Technode reported earlier. Bullet is now the top-downloaded social app on China’s Apple App Store, ahead of dominant messaging app WeChat. (Source: China Daily)
5. Sector Consolidation to Accelerate After China Caps Number of Games
What: The fast-growing video-game industry in China could see an accelerated consolidation after one of the harshest policy changes in years was announced to cap the number of online games, analysts said. China’s General Administration of Press and Publications announced late Thursday it will control the total number of online video games and new titles in operation, explore establishing an age-reminder system, and take measures to restrict the amount of time that minors spend on the games.
Why it’s important: The cap “will likely accelerate market consolidation toward top developers and quality games at the expense of smaller players,” analysts Karen Chan and Nelson Cheung of investment firm Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd. said in a note Friday.
Big Picture: The policy changes come amid a freeze on new-game approvals in the world’s largest video-game market that has been in place since March. (Source: Caixin)
6. Chongqing to Set Up 50 Billion Yuan Semiconductor Fund
What: Southwestern Chinese city Chongqing announced plans to launch a 50 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) fund to support the semiconductor industry on Aug. 31.
Why it’s important: Chinese companies have long been dependent on imported semiconductor products. But the U.S., a top semiconductor source, has restricted sales of the products to China amid an ongoing trade conflict between the two countries. In response, China’s central and local governments have pledged their support for domestic semiconductor manufacturers. (Source: People’s Daily)
Compiled by Wang Luyao
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- 4China’s Bond-Feed Turmoil Triggered by Data Monopoly, Compliance Concerns, Sources Say
- 5Cover Story: 2008 Redux? SVB Collapse Raises Questions About Banking Oversight
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- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas