China Business Digest: TikTok-Owner Applies for Tech Export License; State Investor Could Lead Privatization of BMW’s Joint Venture Partner
ByteDance Ltd. is applying for a China technology export license as it hopes to seal a deal with Oracle and Walmart. Meanwhile, Tesla Inc. is suing to block the Trump administration from collecting tariffs on parts it imports from China. And the Chinese mainland reported seven new coronavirus cases with symptoms on Wednesday.
— By Timmy Shen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
ByteDance applies for tech export licence
ByteDance Ltd. has applied for a tech export licence with Beijing’s municipal commerce bureau, as it seeks to bring in Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. as partners for its short video streaming app TikTok. (Reuters)
Chinese state investor to lead privatization of Brilliance Auto
A Liaoning state-owned enterprise is considering leading the privatization from the Hong Kong bourse of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., BMW AG’s main Chinese joint-venture partner, Reuters reported citing sources. Brilliance Auto Group Holdings Co. Ltd., Brilliance China’s parent, said it did not obtain any information about the state investor considering leading the deal. (Reuters)
Tesla sues against Trump tariffs on parts from China
Tesla Inc. filed a suit on Monday in a U.S. court to block the Trump administration from collecting tariffs on parts it imports from China, seeking to declare the duties unlawful and get a refund. (Bloomberg)
WeWork to sell control of its China business
Shared workspace specialist WeWork said Thursday it is ceding control of its China operation to one of its local partners, as it continues working its way out of a debt crunch that sent its valuation plummeting last year.
Alibaba restructures gaming unit to challenge Tencent and NetEase
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has separated its gaming unit from its sprawling entertainment division and created an independent group to compete with two bigger rivals, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and NetEase Inc. The move marked another major restructuring after Alibaba reorganized its culture and entertainment business in June 2019 into a new unit.
Former top Shenzhen official accused of abetting infamous businessman
Li Huanan, a former top official in charge of law enforcement in Shenzhen, was accused of being the “protector” of Zhang Wei, who ran a gang-style business and was involved in organized crimes such as illegal fundraising and usury, according to China’s top graft buster. Li was sentenced to 15 years in jail by a court in Guangzhou in July for taking bribes.
Segway owner set to make history with STAR Market IPO
Electric-scooter maker Ninebot Ltd. has had its application for an IPO on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style high tech board passed by the securities regulator. Ninebot, which owns the Segway scooter brand, will become the first foreign-registered Chinese company with a variable-interest entity structure to go public, and the first to sell Chinese depositary receipts, a new type of share created in 2018 to allow overseas-incorporated Chinese firms to list on a mainland bourse.
Former Citic Bank vice president sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribery
Chen Xuying, a former vice president of China Citic Bank Corp. Ltd., was sentenced to 12 years in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for handing out loans, in a case sources said is linked to the case of Bao Xueqin, a former chair of Citic CP Asset Management Co. Ltd.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• China is once again letting mainland residents travel to Macao and inviting foreign workers stuck outside China to reenter, after a suspension of several months, in two major signs that the country is starting to reopen its border.
• A local financial regulator has instructed financial institutions to halt lending (link in Chinese) to a Chengdu property company, which was sold by billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset Holdings Ltd. about two months ago.
• U.S. asset management giant Vanguard Group Inc. has appointed Luo Dengpan, a former financial regulator, as general manager of its future fund management subsidiary in China, as it prepares to apply for a mutual fund license there.
• State-owned construction-equipment maker Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co. Ltd. brought in new shareholders as part of a two-year mixed-ownership restructuring. The overhaul involved a 15.7 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) injection of new capital and a 5.4 billion yuan equity transfer, to convert the company from a wholly state-owned enterprise to a mixed-ownership corporation.
• Chindata Group Holdings Ltd., a data center operator backed by private equity firm Bain Capital, is seeking to raise as much as $540 million in a U.S. IPO. (Bloomberg)
• Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba, is partnering with domestic peer Best Inc. to launch a delivery service between China and Malaysia as the upcoming “Double 11” shopping extravaganza is expected to drive demand for cross-border e-commerce.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• On Wednesday, the Chinese mainland reported seven new Covid-19 cases with symptoms (link in Chinese), all imported, according to China’s top health body.
• As of Thursday evening Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally exceeded 31.9 million, with the death toll surpassing 977,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
** AND FINALLY
Zhong Shanshan, a bottled-water and vaccine tycoon, has become China’s richest person with his net worth reaching $58.7 billion on Wednesday, $2 billion more than Jack Ma, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Zhong is now the second-wealthiest person in Asia and the 17th richest in the world.
Zhong Shanshan attends a product launch conference on Feb. 1, 2015 in Baishan, Jilin province. Photo: Bloomberg
** LOOKING AHEAD
Sept. 28: Weibo reports quarterly results
Sept. 30: Release of Caixin China manufacturing PMI
Oct. 9: Release of Caixin China services PMI
This story has been corrected to reflect that Chen Xuying was sentenced to 12 years in prison, not 15 years.
Contact reporter Timmy Shen (email@example.com) and editors Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joshua Dummer (email@example.com)
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