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Trending in China – Clothing Company Picks Fight With Shaolin Kung Fu Monastery
Trending in China: Medical Drama Salutes Pandemic Heroes but Stirs Sexism Debate
Trending in China – Can Universities Stop Students Wasting Food And Keep Them Happy?
Alibaba Unveils Delivery Robot to Meet ‘Last-Mile’ Demand
Alibaba Launches Palm-Sized Cloud Computer With ‘Almost Unlimited Computing Resources’
China’s National Science Academy Vows to Close Tech Gaps in 10 Years
Trump’s WeChat Ban May Face Temporary Halt by U.S. Judge
Tencent Clinches Deal to Show England’s Premier League in China
Alibaba Unveils ‘Digital Factory’ as Part of Its ‘New Manufacturing’ Strategy
Trending in China: Basketballer Jeremy Lin - Dream Chaser or Delusional? Netizens Divided as Star Leaves CBA for NBA
Trending in China – The Case of the ‘Missing’ iPhone12
Kuaishou Logs 500 Million Online Shopping Orders in August
U.S.-Listed Chinese Delivery Firm ZTO Express Plans to Raise Up to $1.6 Billion in Hong Kong Secondary Listing
Xiaomi Vice Chairman Promises Not Sell More Stock After Selling Over $1 Billion in Company Shares
Autohome Plans $1 Billion Hong Kong Second Listing
Video Streamer iQiyi Kicks Up Its Sports Game with FC Barcelona Tie-Up
Global First as Potential Nasal Spray Covid-19 Vaccine Proceeds to Clinical Trial Phase’s Fintech Unit Plans to Spend $230 Million to Get Second Payment License
Trending in China – A Fight Over Steamed Buns Causes Netizens to Ask Whether Traditional Brands Can Survive in the Modern Era
Loss Making Evergrande’s Electric Vehicle Subsidiary to Raise $516 Million from Investors Including Tencent

Heather Mowbray / Sep 18, 2020 06:20 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

The clothing company Semir, owner of China's leading children's clothing brand Balabala, was this month accused of IP theft in an open letter by Songshan Shaolin Temple, which took aim at its “Shaolin Kungfu” emblazoned items. Shaolin Temple said it was going public because it had been earlier rebuffed when it asked Semir to drop the clothing line, which launched in August.

Over the past 23 years, the Henan temple complex considered the birthplace of the Buddhist martial art of Shaolin boxing, has registered 666 trademarks, spearheaded by its controversial head monk, and criticized for commercialism by religious and cultural purists.

What’s the story?

Falling afoul of a litigious cultural body threatens to compound an already bad year for Semir. Affected by the pandemic lockdown, the Zhejiang-headquartered firm closed a tenth of its 7500 stores in the first half of 2020 and saw net profit drop 97% year-on-year to 21.6 million yuan.

Although many companies try to pair up with cultural sites such as the Forbidden City or Dunhuang Caves, the birthplace of kung fu has not taken kindly to “unsolicited collaborations.” The company was accused of not informing or obtaining authorization from Shaolin Temple when using the words “Shaolin Kungfu” in its “National Wave” leisure range.

This is not for want of commercial savvy on the part of a temple made famous for training Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and the use of Shaolin stunts in multiple films. The temple’s abbot, Shi Yongxin, dubbed “the CEO of Shaolin” and “the Buddhist Monk with an MBA,” has ushered in a global era for the martial art by acquiring land and property overseas.

One of Shaolin Temple’s trademarks is disputed by South Shaolin Temple in Fujian which registered the “South Shaolin” trademark in 2004. Songshan Shaolin Temple was also able to register “South Shaolin” a few years later, adding “North Shaolin”, “West Shaolin” and “East Shaolin” as extra brand buffers.

What are people saying online?

People responding to the tale on Weibo have accused Shaolin Temple of cybersquatting on Shaolin-related trademarks. The comment, “Shaolin Temple appears to have registered the trademark to prevent other companies from using it. Apart from the specialty walnut cake, there really aren’t any other products it can use to trap the money demon” received seven thousand likes.

Addressing the growing commercialism of cultural sites in China another commentator wrote, “Wake up friends who are filled with anger and outrage: The Qing palace is selling tickets for its exhibitions. In two days, it will celebrate its 600th anniversary.”

A comment further down the list praised Shaolin temple for getting serious about its brand reputation, saying “Disney has done a great job of protecting trademarks. Why can’t Shaolin Temple? People imitating Shaolin to sell medicine and food should be stopped…It is very difficult for China to produce a world-class brand, if brands can’t be protected.”

Shaolin trademark infringements are undoubtedly rife, with one social media user highlighting their use to sell alternative therapies. “Hurry up and deal with that ‘Shaolin thirteen moxibustion’ trademark issue: [Local station] Liaoning TV is advertising it every day.”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (

Related: Travel Agency Abandons IPO After Bout With Buddhists



Carol Yuan / Sep 18, 2020 05:21 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

The TV series “Heroes in Harm’s Way” is trending, with the hashtag being discussed millions of times on Weibo.

The drama series, consisting of seven individual stories based on real events in the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic, premiered on September 17.

What’s the story?

Broadcast on state TV channel CCTV-1, “Heroes in Harm’s Way” took only four months to produce before hitting Chinese television screens, and consists of 14 episodes with each storyline spanning two episodes. The stories touch on the themes of heroism, sacrifice and courage in dire times.

So far only two episodes have been broadcast but the show has drawn criticism due to “factual inaccuracies”, not least in regards to the gender balance of the “heroes”. In one example an official says the doctors in one hospital who signed up to be sent to Hubei province in support of local efforts were all men, while in fact, two-thirds of the medical workers who were sent to Hubei were women.

What are people saying online?

The inspirational drama has had a deep effect on some viewers. “Those heroes are a beam of light in the darkness, giving us the courage and strength to go through the pain and confusion, walking towards the light, and finally victory is ahead,” was a typical comment. While another popular message read “I was so moved when I watched the first two episodes and can’t wait to watch the others.”

Critics pointed out what they saw as the false depictions of women in the plot as well as some medical inaccuracies. “The screenwriter and director seem to be deliberately obliterating the achievements of women” said one popular message.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (


Carol Yuan / Sep 18, 2020 05:08 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

“University launches half-portion dishes” is trending across China, with more than 34 million views across multiple social media platforms. It refers to Xi'an International University, which has abandoned the traditional “one size fits all” approach favored by canteens around the country in order to toe the line on a high-level government food waste program.

What’s the story?

Xian International University is not alone. As colleges across China resumed face-to-face teaching at the beginning of September, their canteens were working to meet the requirements of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “clean plate” initiative.

One of the first to act was Shanghai University, which has launched smaller portions at a lower price.

And in Jiangxi province, one university has adopted a buffet system where students take from a common stock, weigh their portion, and pay based on how heavy it is.

What are people saying online?

Comments on Chinese social media generally expressed support for the new options, saying they catered for people with varying appetites and would help them avoid feeling guilty about wasting food.

“Sometimes the portions really are too large, far exceeding one’s appetite. But it seems wrong not to clean the plate,” said one student.

Another said smaller portions were useful because “ladies may want to have less for dinner.”

But one was concerned about the cleanliness of the buffet approach. “This will cause hygiene problems, because not everyone washes their hands before going to take their meal, but they all use the same spoon.”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (


By Ding Yi / Sep 18, 2020 05:05 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has unveiled an autonomous logistics robot which will be used by its logistics affiliate Cainiao in an attempt to meet the logistical demands associated with the last-mile of any delivery.

The robot, named Xiaomanlv, meaning “little workaholic donkey” in Chinese, is able to plan delivery routes in crowded areas, identify obstacles, predict pedestrians’ intended movements and operate with weak or even no GPS signal thanks to the adoption of deep learning technology, high-definition positioning and heterogeneous computing, Alibaba said in a statement released Thursday.

Xiaomanlv can transport 50 packages at a time and cover 62 miles on a single charge, with its application scenarios mainly focusing on communities, campuses and business zones, Alibaba said, estimating that the robot can deliver as many as 500 packages a day.

Consumers can select a preferred timeslot for their deliveries using either the Cainiao or Taobao mobile apps, and the packages delivered to designated stations can then be accessed with a passcode, according to the statement.

In recent years, Chinese food delivery companies have begun testing robot-enabled deliveries in order to reduce costs and enhance efficiency. In February, Meituan deployed a fleet of autonomous vehicles to send grocery orders to customers in some parts of Beijing in order to reduce human contact during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Alibaba Launches Palm-Sized Cloud Computer With ‘Almost Unlimited Computing Resources’


By Ding Yi / Sep 18, 2020 02:58 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Alibaba has unveiled a new computer that it says is as “light as an egg” but has “almost unlimited computing resources”.

Alibaba showed the new product at its annual Apsara Conference 2020 on Thursday, touting the product as being able to help users conduct complex tasks such as video editing and software development no matter where they are because it stores and processes information entirely on the cloud.

The palm-sized cloud-enabled computer, named Wuying, meaning “no shadow” in Chinese, will give users access to almost unlimited computing resources anytime and anywhere if the device is connected to a regular computer screen, Alibaba said in a statement. Users can choose to pay for services either on a subscription basis or dependent on actual usage.

The tiny computer can run on multiple operating systems including Linux and Windows, with user data being stored on the cloud for security purposes, Alibaba said, without giving a price tag. It added that the device will first be available for enterprise customers, and then for individual customers in the near future.

In the second quarter of 2020, Alibaba controlled 40% of China’s cloud services market, maintaining its position as the biggest cloud services provider in the country, according to research firm Canalys.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Alibaba Still Top Dog in China’s Cloud Services Market As Beijing Ups Ante in ‘New Infrastructure’ Plan


By Lu Zhenhua / Sep 18, 2020 11:59 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Visual China

Photo: Visual China

China’s national science academy pledged Wednesday to close the country’s gaps in certain advanced technologies over the next 10 years, especially for those key materials that rely on imports from the United States, in an effort to counter Washington’s tech decoupling with Beijing.

Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said during a press conference hosted by the State Council, China’s cabinet, that the academy will use all of the resources at the academy’s disposal to concentrate on plugging gaps in those technologies, which include aircraft tires, bearing steel and lithography machines, among other key technologies and materials.

He said that the academy has established a number of task forces assigned to take a “warrior’s oath” in tackling some core technologies.

The pledge came days after President Xi Jinping said Friday at a symposium with Chinese scientists that “certain key and core technologies have been controlled by others and China relies on imports for some key components, parts and materials.”

Read the full story here

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua ( and editor Michael Bellart (


By Bloomberg / Sep 18, 2020 09:29 AM / World

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

President Donald Trump’s executive order that could ban Chinese-owned WeChat in the U.S. may face a delay as a judge is considering putting it on hold temporarily.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said at a hearing Thursday she’s willing to grant a preliminary injunction at the request of the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance because Trump’s order is too vague. The judge didn’t issue a final decision on the request.

Trump’s Aug. 6 order prohibits unspecified transactions related to WeChat and its parent company Tencent Holdings Ltd. The Commerce Department is set to provide details about which specific transactions will be off limits for Americans by Sunday, when the order is to go into effect.

WeChat is a messaging, social media and electronic payment app that’s used by over one billion people around the world. The U.S. alleges that the Chinese Communist Party can use the app to spread disinformation, censor news critical of China and steal users’ private and proprietary data.

According to the WeChat users group, Trump’s order would sunder the primary and often exclusive channel many U.S. residents use to communicate with family and friends in both China and the U.S. WeChat is also used to run businesses and non-profit organizations, practice religion and as a source of news. WeChat is so integral to Chinese and Chinese Americans’ lives that a ban would be like “losing a limb” for some users, the group claims.

“I’m sympathetic to the anxiety it creates for the people affected,” Beeler said at the hearing. “This is the only mode of communication for these people.”

Michael Bien, an attorney for the users group, said the harm from Trump’s order has already begun before it has been implemented because the University of Kansas this week said it will pull WeChat from the school’s computer networks. Although the U.S. Wednesday said it won’t criminalize use of the app to send messages by individuals and businesses, there are other uses such as storing data that are also important for the group, according to Bien.

The judge shouldn’t enjoin the president’s order because of its alleged vagueness because it won’t be implemented until the Commerce Department has clarified what transactions are prohibited, Michael Drezner, an attorney for the government, said at the hearing.

The case is U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump, 20-cv-05910, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Related: WeChat Users Can’t Second-Guess Trump’s Authority, U.S. Says


By Bloomberg / Sep 18, 2020 04:29 AM / Business & Tech

Social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. will show English Premier League soccer in China after the previous local partner stopped paying broadcast fees.

The deal will bring some reassurance to clubs whose finances were thrown into turmoil when coronavirus lockdowns forced the suspension of the world’s wealthiest soccer league. China has been its most lucrative emerging market.

The league terminated its contract with local rights holder PPTV when it stopped payments, even after matches resumed. PPTV, owned by Suning Holdings Group Co., had a three-year contract worth more than 500 million pounds ($648.8 million), or about 25 million pounds per team over the length of the contract.

The dispute with PPTV was just the latest case of acrimony between the U.K. and China after relations between the countries deteriorated in recent months.

Under the deal agreed with Tencent, the company will show the rest of the season’s games on its digital platforms including WeChat, and Tencent Video, according to a statement. Clubs will be able to share short clips directly during matches to engage with fans in China. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

It represents a new experiment for the Premier League, which has always favored traditional pay television when handing out broadcast rights in its most important markets. Tencent will show half of the matches free to users.

Big tech companies have entered the competition for major sports rights in recent years as a way to draw new audiences to their platforms — a move welcomed by the leagues as a way to boost their income. Inc. has been showing some Premier League games. However, Comcast Corp.’s European pay TV unit Sky still dominates the game in Britain.

Related: Video Streamer iQiyi Kicks Up Its Sports Game with FC Barcelona Tie-Up


Ding Yi / Sep 17, 2020 06:38 PM / Business & Tech

Alibaba, which operates China’s biggest e-commerce platform, is trying to revolutionize China’s factories through “new manufacturing” introducing the concept of the “digital factory”. The new type of factory is specifically meant to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by improving efficiency and making production more flexible based on consumer demand.

The Hangzhou-based plant, named Xunxi Digital Factory, is powered by state-of-the-art technology including cloud computing, data analytics and the internet of things (IoT), and aims to provide SMEs with a production supply chain that can enable them to respond quickly to fast-changing trends and fulfill customers’ growing demand for personalized products, Alibaba said in a statement on Wednesday.

The digital factory has initially worked with apparel companies doing business on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, using big data to help brand owners design products catering to consumer preference and helping them keep production costs down.

“Data is the core of ‘new manufacturing’ and harnessing data insights is key to capturing new opportunities in the shift in consumer preference for personalized rather than mass-produced goods,” said Alain Wu, CEO of Alibaba-affiliated Xunxi Digital Technology Company, which runs the digital factory, in a statement.

In 2016, Alibaba founder Jack Ma put forward the concept of “new manufacturing”, which is part of the “five new” trends he bet on as key drivers of Alibaba’s future business growth. The others are “new retail”, “new technology”, “new finance” and “new energy”.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Alibaba in Talks to Invest $3 Billion in Southeast Asian Ride-Hailing Firm Grab: Bloomberg



Carol Yuan / Sep 17, 2020 05:42 PM / Trending Stories

What's trending?

Basketball player Jeremy Lin posted a video on Weibo announcing that he would not being playing for the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) team the Beijing Ducks the season and would instead try to return to the NBA.

After a 10-year career in the NBA and a championship turn with the Toronto Raptors, Jeremy Lin reached “rock bottom” as a NBA free agent last summer and moved to the Beijing Ducks where he quickly became a star leading them to the semi-finals play-offs for the first time in five years.

What's the story?

On Sept. 15, the 32-year-old guard revealed his decision in a Chinese language video to followers on Weibo, followed by an English post on his Instagram account.

“This decision has really been the hardest in my life,” Lin said tearfully in the video. “I know that many of my fans have stood by me no matter if I was injured,” Lin said, referred to harsh treatment he had received in his time with the CBA.

His club the Beijing Ducks subsequently posted a message on Weibo saying; “We respect an athlete who pursues the highest ideal at all costs - Lin perfectly interprets ‘higher, faster and stronger’ sportsmanship”.

Jeremy Lin indicated on his Instagram that the decision had nothing to do with chasing the shadow of his glory days as “Linsanity” or about money, fame, reputation, or power.

What are people saying online?

The American player seemed to win netizens' respect by embodying the spirit of trying to become a better player.

Much of the discussion on Weibo focused on dreams and reality. One sports commentator wrote, “I don’t know whether Jeremy Lin can have a chance of returning to the NBA and what kind of contract he might win, but I always feel that a most cherished and rare character trait is giving up vested interests for a dream.” Basketball fans said, “Anyone who has a dream is great!” “I felt both sad and happy. Jeremy’s decision was really brave as he set out again from where the dream started!”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (



Heather Mowbray / Sep 17, 2020 04:58 PM / Trending Stories

What's trending?

#iPhone12 became one of the most trending subjects on Chinese social media despite the fact, or maybe because of the fact, that no one has seen one. Apple fans in China were disappointed after staying up throughout the night to watch the U.S. tech giant’s “Time Flies” fall conference Tuesday to find the heavily trailed iPhone 12 was not in the product lineup revealed at the event. #iPhone12 has attracted over 3 billion views on Weibo since it first got its own hashtag, with many of those coming as people speculated on why it wasn’t part of the conference and drew connections to wider U.S.-China relations.

Expected to reveal a new smartphone this year, Apple’s traditional fall conference instead focused on the release of Apple Watch Series 6, iPad Air 4, a 10.2-inch iPad, and the Apple One service bundle. Potential customers of a new 5G enabled Apple smartphone in China, where 5G is being rolled out, will have to wait.

What’s the story?

Addressing supply issues in an earnings call with investors Tuesday, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said “Last year we started selling new iPhones in late September, this year we expect supply to be available a few weeks later.” That led many to believe Apple would launch the ‘missing’ iPhone 12 in October.

Maestri did not reveal why this year’s new iPhone would be delayed. But the Wall Street Journal reported in April that production has suffered serious supply issues due to the coronavirus pandemic, causing Apple to delay mass production of its upcoming iPhone handsets by around a month.

Apple is anxious to release the new 5G enabled iPhone 12 as soon as possible. Huawei, its chief smartphone competitor, has restricted access to chip suppliers due to U.S. sanctions which in theory gives Apple a golden opportunity to bring out new smartphones and capitalize on its competitor’s troubles.

When released, the new Apple phone is expected to come with a new A14 chipset and 5G modem and be available in two distinct models with a 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch OLED screen.

For its latest phones, Apple is depending on supplier Qualcomm with whom it settled a lawsuit over patents in 2019. The 5G modem supplier needs extra time to adapt to the A14 chips.

In addition, according to predictions by well-known Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo on Monday, the latest models will not support a 120Hz refresh rate due to battery life considerations.

What are people saying online?

The disappointment is real for Apple fans who say the conference was not worth staying up for without an iPhone 12 reveal. As one viewer wrote, “Does it mean there will be an iPhone 12 conference in October, it’s so tiring...”

Apple appears to be losing momentum with its China supporters eager to make use of the country’s new 5G data packages. “Before China Unicom called me to upgrade to the 5G package, I refused at first, but later the price dropped, so I upgraded. Now I feel cheated, as the signal is just getting worse,” said one fan.

Some complained that Apple wasn’t the company it used to be. “Jobs has been gone nine years, and this is just one more thing [he wouldn’t have done]”

Others questioned why the phone could not be announced, despite delayed delivery, as the iPad Air announced Tuesday will only be on sale from next month.

Many referenced the political climate which accentuates the competition between smartphone makers. “Apple releases new products on the day Huawei’s chip supply is cut off. Are they mocking us?”

In resignation, one popular comment was, “The iPhone 11 is still pretty sweet.”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (

Related: Luxshare Grows Into China’s iPhone Champion With Help From Apple 


By Ding Yi / Sep 17, 2020 12:54 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese short video company Kuaishou is redoubling efforts to build its e-commerce empire in the hope of becoming a major online shopping platform able to take on bigger rivals like Alibaba and

On Wednesday, Kuaishou said the number of online shopping orders generated on its platform hit the 500 million mark in August, boosting its aim to increase the number of businesses selling products on its platform.

Starting as a GIF generator app in 2011, Kuaishou changed its business model in 2012 to become an online community for creating and sharing short videos. Now, trying to capitalize on a boom in livestreaming e-commerce in China, the company has laid out a blueprint for the emerging business, which could change consumers’ shopping habits.

Last month, Kuaishou announced the launch of a project that aims to help more than 100,000 new businesses achieve annual sales of 1 million yuan ($146,000) on its platform in the next year. In June, the company said that it plans to invest 3 billion yuan to build a livestreaming e-commerce headquarters in the western Chinese city of Chengdu, which it said will be home to multi-channel networks (MCNs), online celebrities and brand owners.

Kuaishou says it has more than 100 million daily active users for its e-commerce services, nearly 45% based in first- and second-tier cities.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Chinese Short Video Platform Kuaishou Increases Livestreaming E-Commerce Investment with Massive Incubation Plan


By Ding Yi / Sep 17, 2020 09:28 AM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese delivery company ZTO Express is looking to raise as much as HK$12 billion ($1.6 billion) in a secondary listing in Hong Kong, joining a flurry of U.S.-listed companies selling shares in the former British colony amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington.

New York Stock Exchange-listed ZTO Express plans to sell 45 million shares at a maximum price of HK$268 each, of which 2.25 million shares will be marketed to retail investors in Hong Kong, according to its prospectus filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

ZTO Express plans to price its Hong Kong listing on September 22 and start trading on September 29.

The Hong Kong offering has an overallotment option allowing the underwriters to purchase an additional 6.75 million shares within the next 30 days if demand is strong, according to the prospectus.

ZTO Express’s Hong Kong listing push comes as the U.S. government is threatening to ban foreign companies, especially those from China, from trading shares on any American bourses if they fail to meet Washington’s audit standards.

In the second quarter of 2020, ZTO expanded its domestic market share by 1.6 percentage points from the same period in 2019 to 21.5%, and its parcel volume rose 47.9% year-on-year to 4.6 billion. However, its net income in the second quarter grew less than 6% year-on-year to 1.45 billion yuan as total costs increased 26.8%.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Package Delivery Firms ZTO and Best Eye Second Listings in Hong Kong


Ding Yi / Sep 16, 2020 06:07 PM / Business & Tech

Xiaomi vice chairman and executive director Lin Bin has pledged that he will not dispose of any more shares in the company over the next five years in an effort to maintain market confidence in the Chinese smartphone maker, according to a stock filing Tuesday.

The promise was made after Lin cashed in on Xiaomi’s surging stock price to the tune of HK$7.89 billion ($1.02 billion) by unloading 350 million Class B shares in the company. The executive divested the shares at HK$22.55 each, representing a 4.23% discount on Xiaomi’s Monday closing price. After the stake sale, Lin holds about 2.4 billion shares, or 9.64% of Xiaomi’s capital stock, making him the firm’s second-largest individual shareholder.

Class B shares are a classification of common stock that is traditionally accompanied by fewer voting rights than Class A shares.

Xiaomi’s share price has soared by nearly 30% since the electronics giant reported impressive year-on-year growth in net profits in its second-quarter earnings report released on August 26.

In August last year, Lin sold 41 million Xiaomi shares for three days in a row, netting HK$373 million and rattling market confidence as the company’s shares was on a downward track. After that share sale, Lin made a promise that he would not sell any of his shares in Xiaomi for a year, bringing us to September 2020.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Xiaomi Shares Jump on Strong Earnings Despite China-India Tensions



By Bloomberg / Sep 16, 2020 03:44 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Autohome Inc., a Chinese online car-sales website, is planning a second listing in Hong Kong that could raise about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

New York-listed Autohome, which counts Ping An Insurance Group Co. as its largest shareholder, is working with advisers on the Hong Kong share sale, the people said. An offering could happen as soon as early next year, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Deliberations are at an early stage and details including size and timeline could still change, the people said. A representative for Autohome didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

U.S.-listed Chinese firms are eyeing share sales in the city to hedge against further deterioration in Sino-U.S. relations and to expand their investor bases. The companies seek to follow in the footsteps of Yum China Holdings Inc., Inc. and NetEase Inc., whose Hong Kong second listings have raised a combined total of almost $10 billion.

Three other New York-listed companies including express delivery giant ZTO Express Cayman Inc. are planning to kick off second listings in Hong Kong as soon as this week, providing a boon to the stock exchange which is seeing a flurry of activity from both initial public offerings and such listings.

Autohome’s shares have risen 15.1% this year, giving it a market capitalization of about $11 billion. The Beijing-based company allows car dealers and automakers to market their products through its website and also provides an online marketplace for used car sales, according to its website. It raised about $153 million in its U.S. IPO.

Ping An Insurance bought a 47.7% stake in Autohome from Telstra Corp. for $1.6 billion in 2016. A year later, the second-largest Chinese insurer acquired another 6.5% from the Australian telecom operator, boosting its holdings to 54.2%.


By Ding Yi / Sep 16, 2020 12:47 PM / World

iQiyi Sports, a joint venture between Baidu-backed iQiyi and Super Sports Media, is teaming up with FC Barcelona to create a dedicated channel in China for the top-tier Spanish football club in the 2020/2021 season, the company said on Tuesday.

The FC Barcelona Official Channel will provide exclusive and non-exclusive video content including behind-the-scenes access, player challenges, training sessions and interviews, the statement said.

In August last year, iQiyi Sports acquired exclusive live streaming rights to Spain’s top football league, La Liga Santander, for the 2019/2020 season months after Chinese star player Wu Lei joined RCD Espanyol.

The news comes after England’s Premier League recently terminated a live coverage rights contract with iQiyi’s Chinese domestic rival PPTV.

Established in 2018, iQiyi Sports has developed into a multi-sports content platform focusing on major sports events for soccer, tennis, golf and even street dance.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Baidu-Backed Video Streamer iQiyi Probed by U.S. Regulator After Short Seller’s Report


By Wen Simin and Ingrid Luan / Sep 16, 2020 12:38 PM / World

China has begun human trials of a nasal spray Covid-19 candidate vaccine that could serve as an alternative to injections.

The vaccine has become the first of its kind in the world to proceed to the clinical trial phase, according to the WHO’s list of candidate vaccines released last Wednesday.

Scientists hope that the vaccine puffed into the nose could be effective in preventing the coronavirus, which spreads through the respiratory tract.

It could be delivered along with an injected vaccine as part of to mount a multipronged approach.

Another advantage of the nasal spray vaccine is that it can be easily self-administered.

The vaccine has been co-developed by HKU, Fujian province’s Xiamen University as well as vaccine-maker Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co. Ltd.

Contact editor Joshua Dummer (

Read full story: Chinese Covid-19 Vaccine Candidate Becomes First Nasal Spray to Start Clinical Trial


By Hu Yue and Luo Meihan / Sep 16, 2020 12:27 PM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese e-commerce giant Inc.’s fintech unit plans to spend 1.6 billion yuan ($230 million) to get its hands on a second payment license, sources familiar with the matter told Caixin, as it seeks to expand its growing financial services business for brick-and-mortar merchants.

Jingdong Digits Technology Holding Co. Ltd., or JD Digits, aims to get the license by acquiring payment platform 99Bill Corp., which is currently controlled by Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., one of China’s largest real estate conglomerates.

JD Digits already has a payment license, which acquired in 2012 when it purchased Chinabank Payments Technology Co. Ltd. The license allows JD Digits to provide services to merchants in regard to card payment transactions, though only within the borders of Beijing (link in Chinese).

The planned acquisition of 99Bill, however, is aimed at more than just obtaining a second license.

Read the full story here.

Contact editor Michael Bellart (

Related:’s fintech affiliate seeks 20 billion yuan in Shanghai STAR Market listing


By Heather Mowbray / Sep 16, 2020 04:47 AM / Trending Stories



A social media storm over a state-run restaurant selling steamed buns is raising questions of whether China’s brands from the past can survive in the modern era.

Goubuli Group, a state-owned restaurant chain renowned for its steamed baozi or “stuffed buns,” published an online apology for appalling customer service and conditions at one of its biggest branches in Wangfujing, Beijing, which were exposed by state television in a video.

In a statement that attracted more than 10,000 comments and was seen by millions, the Chinese fast food chain says it severed ties with the restaurant franchisee in Wangfujing, emphasizing its preference for directly run restaurants where it can control quality.

What’s the story?

Goubuli, which means “Dogs Won’t Touch It,” is originally from Tianjin in northern China and is one of the region’s best-known brands with a decidedly old-school reputation.

However, while the brand survived decades, the television expose caused some to ask whether the restaurant chain has gone past its sell-by date.

What are people saying online?

The restaurant first responded to the TV report by threatening the makers and posters of the video before taking a more reconciliatory approach. Netizens are not amused by the chain’s subsequent attempt to salvage its reputation.

“Your reputation?” one person wrote. “It's not as if you care about what you are selling. It’s just that this time everyone sees clearly, and you just cut the connection with one store? Look at all the rubbish you’ve written in the PR piece!”

A consensus developed that despite its efforts to minimalize damage, Goubuli’s public relations efforts were a disaster. One commentator called out the restaurant chain for hiding the apology in a night-time release.

“Goubuli is past its prime and is now just an old store selling old goods to old people,” another person wrote. “If you’ve done nothing wrong, fine, but if you have, take up the attitude of any restaurant in this situation and apologize properly, instead of being happy when you hear compliments and jumping a mile when you hear complaints. This time, kudos to CCTV!”

The most popular comment? “Never mind franchises, the main restaurant is rubbish too.”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (

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Ding Yi / Sep 15, 2020 07:09 PM / Business & Tech

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, a subsidiary of real estate conglomerate China Evergrande Group, is bringing a group of big-name investors including Tencent, Sequoia Capital and Didi Chuxing on board through a share sale which should raise HK$4 billion ($516 million).

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group said that its controlling shareholder, China Evergrande Group, plans to sell 176 million existing shares priced at HK$22.65 each, representing a 19.96% discount to Monday’s closing price of HK$28.3, according to a stock filing published Tuesday. After the deal, China Evergrande Group would see its holding drop to 72.95% from 74.99%.

The proceeds from the share sale will be used for general corporate purposes, the filing said.

China Evergrande Group first entered the new energy vehicle sector in 2018 through its subsidiary Evergrande Health, which was renamed China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group in September this year.

Since 2019, China Evergrande Group has spent more than 20 billion yuan to develop an entire new energy vehicle industry chain, complete with vehicles, batteries, motors and power systems.

In August, Evergrande Health surprised the whole industry by releasing six pure electric vehicles with the first being launched in the second half of next year.

However, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group is facing the same problem as many young electric vehicle makers and that is how to become profitable. According to its 2020 interim earnings report, the company suffered a net loss of 2.46 billion yuan in the first six months of the year, compared with 1.98 billion yuan in the same period a year earlier.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Evergrande Health Forges Ahead With Six New Electric Vehicles




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