Aug 28, 2020 09:16 AM

CX Daily: Walmart Joins Microsoft in Bid for TikTok

Kevin Mayer
Kevin Mayer

TikTok /

Walmart joins Microsoft in pursuit of TikTok

Walmart Inc. said it is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. in a joint bid to acquire TikTok, a surprise move that signals the retail giant’s desire to become a force in technology and media and reach younger shoppers.

TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd., is fielding interest in its operations in the U.S. and a handful of other countries. President Donald Trump recently ordered ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. assets within 90 days. CNBC reported Thursday that TikTok is nearing an agreement that could be announced as soon as next week.

Meanwhile, Kevin Mayer, chief executive of TikTok, announced his resignation Thursday. Mayer, a former Disney executive, took the top position at the embattled company less than three months ago.

Kevin Mayer Resigns as CEO of Embattled TikTok



China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai. Photo: Bloomberg

Delisting /

China calls for talks with U.S. on spat over stock listings

China says it has made concessions in proposing to let U.S. regulators to audit some of its most sensitive companies and is calling for direct talks to solve a years-long dispute that threatens global markets.

In an interview Wednesday in Beijing, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said China is “sincere” in wanting to solve the standoff over the auditing issues.

U.S. officials have recently stepped up a push to gain access to audit working papers for Chinese companies that trade in the U.S., threatening rules that would trigger delisting shares such as those of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc. if the request isn’t met. The standoff has dogged relations for years and deteriorated since 2017, after a trial inspection done jointly by Chinese and American regulators failed to yield an agreement.

Bankruptcy /

Bankrupt in China? New Shenzhen law allows individuals to officially go bust starting next March

China’s first personal bankruptcy legislation will take effect in South China metropolis Shenzhen March 1 next year, according to an official statement Thursday, providing a way out for those “honest but unlucky” individuals saddled with debts they cannot pay off.

According to the new legislation, residents who have lived in Shenzhen and participated in the city’s social insurance program for three consecutive years can apply for bankruptcy restructuring or liquidation, or conciliation.

According to the draft regulation released earlier this year for public feedback, after a court declares an individual bankrupt, debtors will be subject to consumption and work restrictions for three years, and, after that period, they can apply for exemptions from their remaining debts.

Funds /

JPMorgan to take over China venture for $1 billion

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will have to pay about $1 billion to take full control of its mutual fund joint venture in China as the U.S. banking giant moves to further tap the country’s $45 trillion financial market.

Shanghai International Trust Co., the Chinese partner of JPMorgan, announced the sale of its 49% stake in China International Fund Management Co. for 7 billion yuan ($1 billion), according to deal information published Tuesday by the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange. The asking price represents a 51% premium over the appraised value of the stake.

JPMorgan owns the remaining 51% of China International Fund Management, which oversees about 150 billion yuan of assets. The U.S. company said in April that it reached a preliminary agreement with Shanghai International Trust to take over the Shanghai venture, making it the first fully foreign-owned mutual fund business in China.

Asset management /

Vanguard to move Asian operation hub to Shanghai from Hong Kong

One of world’s largest managers of mutual and index funds is betting on the Chinese mainland market while closing operations in Hong Kong and Japan.

U.S. asset manager Vanguard Group, which has about $6.2 trillion in assets under management, confirmed Wednesday that it will exit Hong Kong and Japan and move its Asian headquarters to Shanghai from Hong Kong. The fund giant’s spokesperson said the change would take between six months and two years. Vanguard has 50 employees in its Hong Kong office. Some of them will be terminated and others will transfer to the Shanghai office, the company said. “Our future focus in Asia is on the Chinese mainland,” Vanguard’s spokesperson told Caixin.

Quick hits /

China says controversial Myanmar casino city has nothing to do with Belt and Road

As grain prices rise, agriculture official says fluctuations are temporary


Blacklist /

U.S. sanctions 24 Chinese companies amid South China Sea dispute

The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed export restrictions on 24 Chinese companies Wednesday citing China’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.

Companies blacklisted include several subsidiaries of state-owned builder China Communications Construction Co., Beijing Huanjia Telecommunication Co. Ltd., Changzhou Guoguang Data Communications Co. Ltd. and China Shipbuilding Group.

The move targets the companies for their efforts to help China “reclaim and militarize disputed outposts in the South China Sea,” according to a statement issued Wednesday by the department.

Huawei /

Huawei loses U.K. top court ruling over global patent rates

U.K. judges can set global royalty rates for the use of telecommunications technology, Britain’s highest court ruled in a pair of cases over how much Huawei Technologies Co. owes a U.S. patent owner.

The U.K. Supreme Court affirmed a decision Wednesday that Huawei would either have to pay Unwired Planet International Ltd. a global rate set by judges or face an order limiting its British sales. In a related decision involving another patent owner, the court rejected Huawei and ZTE Corp.’s argument that, if any court were to establish a global rate, it should be in China, where manufacturing and the bulk of sales are located.

Huawei and ZTE were challenging rulings that would effectively make British courts a one-stop shop to set global royalty rates. Since the original ruling, the country’s tribunals have become increasingly popular.

Huawei’s Japanese procurement jumps 50% amid U.S. restrictions

Huawei nears tie with Samsung for top spot in global smartphone shipments

Smartphones /

Xiaomi shares jump on strong earnings despite China-India tensions

Chinese smartphone-maker Xiaomi Corp. closed up more than 11% Thursday following its report of stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings the day before.

By the end of Thursday, the Hong Kong-listed company finished up 11.43% to HK$21.35 ($3). That marks the stock’s highest level since July 2018 and adds to a more than 90% gain so far this year.

During the three months through June, Xiaomi more than doubled its net profit to 4.49 billion yuan ($716 million), beating the highest analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue rose by 3.15% to 53.5 billion yuan for the same period. Xiaomi’s strong growth came against the backdrop of a generally sluggish global smartphone market amid disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic.

WeChat /

U.S. businesses in China alarmed over hit to business by Trump’s WeChat ban: survey

U.S. companies operating in China expressed alarm at Donald Trump's imminent WeChat ban, saying they fear it will blunt their competitive edge and hit their revenues.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) released a survey Wednesday highlighting the confusion surrounding the scope of the order and whether it would apply to U.S. companies and citizens overseas. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said losing the use of WeChat as a communication tool would negatively impact their business, including by interfering with their ability to contact staff and government officials. Meanwhile 56.3% said it would make them less competitive.

Quick hits /

Travel in China passes new milestone with air-rail ticketing tie-up

Hotpot chain Haidilao posts $138.8 million loss as Covid bites

Chinese LGBTQ dating app owner BlueCity buys lesbian dating platform

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