Caixin
Dec 26, 2018 06:30 PM
YOUR BRIEFING

Wednesday Tech Briefing: HNA to Part With U.S. Computer Parts Distributor

1. HNA to Part With U.S. Computer Parts Distributor

HNA Technology, which acquired U.S. computer-parts distributor Ingram Micro in 2016 for $6 billion, is in talks to sell the tech unit to U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC. HNA aims to sell Ingram Micro for $7.5 billion, including $1.5 billion in debt.

Ingram Micro buys high-tech components from other companies and acts as a distributor and provider of supply-chain management services. It has been active in the Chinese market since 1999.

Hainan-province-based HNA was once one of China’s biggest overseas deal-makers, having snapped up assets in aviation, tourism, real estate and other sectors. But its global ambitions ran into trouble in 2017, when Chinese regulators scrutinized companies’ debt-fueled investments. (Caixin)

2. KLA-Tencor’s $3.4 Billion Deal Stuck in China

The acquisition of Israel-based manufacturing-tech firm Orbotech Ltd. by U.S. semiconductor company KLA-Tencor Corp. is still under regulatory review in China. The companies said they hope the deal, which was first announced in March, will go through in 2019.

South Korea, Israel, the U.S., Taiwan, and Japan, where the companies also operate, have already approved the deal. The ongoing U.S.-China trade war has raised concerns about China blocking U.S.-related deals.

KLA-Tencor agreed in March to pay $69 per share for Orbotech, which makes equipment for electronic manufacturing, according to a company valuation of $3.4 billion, at the time a 17% premium on market price. (C-Tech)

3. China Shoots Past the U.S. in Number of Rocket Launches This Year

With the successful launch of a communications satellite Tuesday, China completed its 37th space launch in 2018 — surpassing the U.S for the first time ever in terms of annual orbital launches.

The satellite was carried by a Long March rocket, the model that serves most of China’s space missions.

Most notably, 2018 saw China launch moon explorer Chang’e-4 into space not long after sending two new satellites dedicated to the country’s homegrown navigation system, BeiDou, into orbit in November. (Caixin)

4. Mobike Says Everything Normal Amid Mass-Layoff Reports

Bike-sharing startup Mobike has denied rumors of mass layoffs, as reports circulate of slashed payrolls at China’s tech and sharing-economy firms.

The company told Caixin on Tuesday that it was conducting “normal business adjustments” and that some departments were still hiring. Mobike was responding to Chinese social media posts saying it had laid off nearly 40% of its employees. (Caixin)

5. Qualcomm Threatens Further Action Against Apple’s ‘Illegal’ Sales in China

Apple has admitted to disobeying a ruling by a Chinese court and continuing to illegally sell certain versions of the iPhone in China.

Apple is appealing a recent injunction on several iPhone models stemming from a dispute with chipmaker Qualcomm. Apple argues the decision harms China’s interests by raising the royalties and fees that phone-makers must pay Qualcomm.

A lawyer representing Qualcomm told local media on Monday the company will take further action if Apple continues to disobey the injunction. (Caixin)

6. Buy Apple Products and You Won’t Get Promoted, Company Tells Employees

A tech company in Zhejiang province informed its employees that they would get partially reimbursed for buying Chinese phone-maker Huawei’s products. But more strikingly, the unnamed company said that employees who bought Apple products would lose their chance for promotions.

The company’s decision is one of many recent displays of patriotism amid troubles for Huawei, whose chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada this month at the request of the U.S. before being released on bail. (Caixin)

7. Alibaba Affiliates Complete Deal With Ad Giant Focus Media

Outdoor advertising giant Focus Media has completed a planned share transfer to Alibaba affiliates.

The completion of the deal means Alibaba (China) Technology, Alibaba Group’s e-commerce and IT subsidiary, now holds 5.28% of Focus Media. Meanwhile, Alibaba subsidiary Alibaba Investment and affiliate New Retail Strategic Opportunities Fund jointly hold 2.71% of Focus Media.

In July, Focus Media said it would receive a “strategic” investment worth 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) from Alibaba affiliates. (Caixin)

8. Japan’s Olympus Sells Decades-Old Shenzhen Camera Factory Brought Down By Smartphones

Japan’s Olympus Corp. is selling its 27-year-old Shenzhen factory seven months after it ended operations at the plant, which made digital cameras and camera lenses.

The factory will be sold for 30 billion yen ($272 million) to local software company Shenzhen YL Technology Co. Ltd.

Olympus closed the factory May, citing shrinking sales of digital cameras “due to the rise of smartphones.” (Caixin)

Compiled by Shen Xinyue

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