China's Karma Auto Opens a U.S. Design Studio
Karma Automotive, a Chinese multinational automotive parts manufacturing company, has launched a design studio in Irvine, California, on Friday.
The luxury electric vehicle automaker, backed by Wanxiang Group, said the studio will promote Karma Design to provide design services to Karma and other partners.
Lance Zhou, the chief executive officer of Karma, said in the announcement today, "Karma Design plays an important role in Karma's diversification efforts as we embrace new market opportunities and evolve toward the next phase of our future, our dedicated in-house design team will lend their expertise to other OEMs, startups and those seeking to leverage our luxury- lifestyle design services beyond automotive."
The new design studio is part of its wider investment of more than $10 million in new infrastructure, the company added.
Wanxiang bought the assets of Fisker Automotive in 2014 and renamed it to Karma Automotive. The company provides engineering, design, customization and manufacturing resources to companies looking to speed up product development, access new technologies, or upgrade their products to luxury level.
BlackRock Increases Stake in PetroChina to 8.02%
BlackRock Inc. has acquired an additional 7.5 million shares in China's largest oil and gas company, PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE: PTR; HKEX: 00857), at about HK$3.73 per share.
Now, BlackRock, a global investment manager that offers a range of solutions for institutions, financial professionals and individuals in multiple global markets, owns a stake of 8.02% in PetroChina, a total of 1.69 billion shares
Newly-listed Phoenix Tree Shares Hit Bottom
Phoenix Tree Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: DNK), a Chinese co-living space rental platform that became publicly traded on January 17, saw its stock price hit bottom this week, at $12.37 per ADS.
The outbreak of coronavirus is expected to freeze the real estate market in China. Housing sales in the country are currently blocked and payment collection has slowed, which is bound to weigh on the money flow in the industry. This has certainly challenged investors’ confidence.
Phoenix Tree operates one of the largest co-living platforms in China known as "Danke." As of September, Phoenix Tree managed 406,746 apartments. In its initial public offering earlier this month, the company sold 9.6 million American depositary shares at $13.50 apiece.
On Wednesday, the stock in Phoenix Tree closed at $12.50 per share - at a 2% drop on the day.
JinkoSolar Joins Tesla to Sponsor San Diego Solar Games
The lineup of competitors participating in the three-day solar games installer competition, set to kick off next week in San Diego, California, was announced on Wednesday.
On Feb 4., four teams from across the United States will compete side-by-side on two rooftops to build a residential solar and storage system. The systems will each total 4 kilowatts. The next day, two finalists will battle for the title of 2020 Solar Games Champion and a $5,000 cash prize. JinkoSolar Holding Co. (NYSE: JKS) will serve as one of the judges.
The solar games will be held by Intersolar North America at the San Diego Convention Center. Intersolar North America said it’s the first major solar and energy storage event of 2020 in its announcement Wednesday.
Wes Doane, the event director of Intersolar North America, said the organizers wanted to create a dynamic, live event for the show floor that highlights the segment of installers as well as the commercializing innovative solutions.
One of the sponsors of the event is JinkoSolar, which will offer equipment together with Tesla, Everest Solar Systems, Rolls Battery Engineering and AIMS Power.
The Shanghai-based solar energy company, which makes solar modules, partnered with the Shanghai Institute of Space Power-Sources to help develop space-based photovoltaic cells earlier in January. The company also announced its new chief technology officer Hao Jin on Jan. 20.
After beginning December trading at $18.47 per ADS, JinkoSolar's stock has closed as high as $24.35 apiece in early this year and then cooled down by mid-January.
On Wednesday, shares in JinkoSolar were trading at $19.58 apiece, down a slight 0.41% intraday.
China Unicom Provides Service Without Downtime to Hubei Province
China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) announced service without downtime for customers in Hubei province, as Beijing Daily reported.
China Unicom said the company’s O & M team is trying to ensure communication between Hubei province and outside of the province. At present, it has strengthened the monitoring of mobile network indicators such as the three major railway stations and airports. The city's hospitals in Hubei are the key monitoring indicators.
Meanwhile, China Unicom's 10010 customer service hotline has been activated for 24/7, which can deal with various issues in a timely manner.
Mainland China Extends Market Closure to Monday
The stock market exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen announced that they will extend the Lunar New Year holiday closure, reopening the markets on Monday; typically the exchanges reopen Friday, the day after the end of the lunar holiday.
In a statement, the exchanges said that all business originally scheduled for Friday will be implemented on Monday.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, however, is keeping its usual schedule, opening on Wednesday.
Stock Connect in Hong Kong will be closed this week due to mainland public holidays. It will open next Monday according the Hong Kong and Shenzhen exchanges. Stock Connect allows international and mainland Chinese investors to trade over 2,000 equities in each other's markets through their home exchange.
(Trading calender of Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Source:HKEX)
Also, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange announced Monday that the opening ceremony of the first trading day of Lunar New Year on Wednesday will be cancelled due to the increased risk of coronavirus infection.
Baidu Launches Migration 3.0 Update Aiming to Help Avoid Coronavirus
Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) has launched a new migration trend chart in its Baidu Migration 3.0.
The upgrade includes the introduction of a designated city migration trend chart function, after selecting a city's "Move Out" or "Move In", people can view the migration trend of the target city's first day of the Chinese New year to the current day, as Sina reported.
(Baidu Migration 3.0)
Baidu said this platform can help check the migration status of all cities except Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. As well as the popular routes, popular cities, and popular starting points during the Chinese New Year. The company hopes the change can help people avoid going into populated areas during the SARS-like virus spreading period.
Gulf Resources Regains Compliance With Nasdaq
The Shouguang, China-based manufacturer of bromine, crude salt and specialty chemical products, Gulf Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: GURE), announced that it had regained compliance, receiving a letter dated Jan. 23 from the Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Qualifications Staff stating its having met the shareholder approval requirements articulated in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c).
The rule is focused on shareholder approval requirements with respect to equity compensation.
The company had disclosed the back on September 19 in a Form 8-K filing that it was notified by Nasdaq on September 13 that that it did not comply with Nasdaq's shareholder approval requirements and that it had to submit a plan of compliance by October 28, 2019.
After Nasdaq’s review of the submitted materials, the company has met those requirements related to shares it had issued a consultant.
On the news, shareholders issued a collective sigh of relief and the stock jumped 10%.
Huazhu Group Takes Measures Amid SARS-like Virus in Wuhan
Huazhu Hotels Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: HTHT) announced today that it decided to suspend the alliance fee and central reservation fee for franchises in the city of Wuhan as of January 23. Jiemian reported this measure to aim to reduce the burden of operation during the outbreak of SARS-like virus in this area.
In addition, Huazhu said it will provide catering and other services for stranded guests in Wuhan to ensure the configuration of various anti-epidemic materials, including masks, temperature measuring instruments, disposable hand sanitizers, alcohol, disinfectant and daily guest supplies.
According to The New York Times, Wuhan announced to be sealed off at midnight today. All transportation including airplanes trains and long-distance bus are shut. The city's bus, subway, and ferry operations are suspended. On Weibo, a Chinese social media site similar to Twitter, the hashtag “Wuhan is sealed off” was on the top with more than 1.6 million views.
To prevent and control the virus in the city of Wuhan, Huazhu added it placed a guest book in all rooms to remind people of epidemic prevention.
Huazhu's stock was influenced by this fast spreading virus, dropping nearly 2% on Thursday, trading at $33.24 per share
ANE Logistics Completes Round F in Pre-IPO Financing
ANE Logistics has received a $300 million pre-IPO round of F financing backed by centurium capital.
The less than truckload (LTL) franchise company said it will use the new capital to improve its operating efficiency and expand its market share.
Founded in 2010, ANE Logistics grew to ship an average daily volume of 40,000 tons as of December 2019. It has more than 20,000 outlets and stores in China.
ANE had completed six rounds of financing and is anticipated to pursue an initial public offering.
JD Logistics Launches Sales of Fresh Produce on Jingxianfang
The Jingxianfang flagship online store, created by the logistics arm of JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD), has officially launched today with the sales of three products.
Jingxianfang is a new attempt by JD Logistics to delve into sales of agricultural products, as reported by various local media on Wednesday.
All products in the online shop are fresh and will be delivered on the same day. JD Logistics vowed to ensure the timeliness and quality of the deliveries.
GDS to Offer $7.9 Million Worth of ADRs; Stock Drops 2%
Shares in GDS Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: GDS) dropped nearly 2% on Tuesday, to $51.58 apiece, on reports that the company is offering a $7.9 million block of American depositary receipts.
The data center company has priced its ADRs at between $51 and $52 each through Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg reported.
CNOOC's Business Plan Shows Up to $13.8 Billion in Expenses
CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE: CEO) China's giant state-owned energy company, reported its business strategy and development plan for the year 2020.
The Hong Kong-based company is targeting net production for 2020 at 520 million to 530 million barrels of oil. China production would account for 64%, according to the announcement.
The total capital expenditure for 2020 is budgeted at $12.3 billion to $13.8 billion. CNOOC said it expects to spend 20% on exploration, 58% on development, 20% on production and 2% for other purposes.
The company plans to drill 227 exploration wells and collect approximately 27 thousand square kilometers of 3D seismic data this year.
Weizhi Xie, the chief financial officer of CNOOC, said in the announcement, “The company will continue to maintain cost competitiveness, maintain prudent investment decision-making, and ensure the effective implementation of the capital expenditure plan to fully promote the Company to a new phase of high-quality development.”
The stock of CNOOC closed up nearly 4% on Monday, at $180.77 per share.
CLPS Stock Rises 7% on Innovation Lab Upgrade
CLPS Inc. (Nasdaq: CLPS) announced on Friday that it has renamed its research center to CLPS Innovation Lab to better represent its information technology (IT) services, sending its stock soaring 7% to $4.90 per American depositary share.
The Shanghai-based company said in a statement today that its lab will aim to deliver innovative technology, including distributed application systems, cloud computing, micro services, open API, robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain and big data.
"CLPS Innovation Lab adheres to our strategy of promoting our products and solutions based on new technology and new research, application innovations, and our leading talent pool, while improving our technological innovation capability and market competitiveness. As the center of our research and development efforts, it will continue to be one of the most important drivers of CLPS's growth,” Henry Li, the chief operating officer of CLPS, said in the statement.
Raymond Lin, the co-founder and chief executive officer of CLPS, told CapitalWatch last month that it was planning to open a San Francisco location, starting with 10 employees.
CLPS now operates 18 delivery research and development centers in mainland China and globally.
Xiaomi Appoints Lenovo's Cheng as VP of Handset Unit
Xiaomi Corp. (HKEX: 1810) has lured a former senior manager of Lenovo China as its vice president amid the smartphone giant’s push into 5G development.
Chang Cheng will help oversee Xiaomi’s handset products department in China, as reported by Caixin on Thursday. Cheng resigned from Lenovo just two days ago.
In response to the news, the stock in Hong Kong-listed Xiaomi rose 4% on Thursday, to HK$11.22 per share.
The news agency cited Xiaomi’s founder and chief executive, Lei Jun, as saying in a letter this week that Xiaomi plans to invest at least 50 billion yuan ($7.18 billion) in 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next five years.
In November, Xiaomi’s Redmi released a budget 5G smartphone.
Chinese Social Media Platform YY Changes Name
JOYY Inc. (Nasdaq: YY) is celebrating its reincarnation after abandoning the name YY Inc.
The company, based in Guangzhou, is one of China’s largest social media and entertainment platforms. Established in 2005, it also operates game livestreaming platform Huya Inc. (NYSE: HUYA).
Its new corporate name will appear in trading on Dec. 30, JOYY said in a statement on Tuesday. Shares in the company closed at $55.49 apiece on Christmas Eve, down nearly 2%.
China Recycling Energy Announces Return of Former CFO
China Recycling Energy Corp. (Nasdaq: CREG) announced on Thursday the return of Jackie Shi as its chief financial officer.
“Jackie brings financial, strategic, management and executive leadership skills that will be a tremendous asset to CREG as we drive our next phase of growth and profitability,” Guohua Ku, the chief executive officer of China Recycling Energy, said in the statement.
The Xi’an-based company offers industrial waste-to-energy solution, recycling industrial byproducts for steel mills, cement factories and coke plants in China.
“Smart power storage solutions are revolutionizing the global energy landscape. With CREG’s recent strategic transition, the company is well poised to lead this industry transformation in China and abroad,” Shi said.
Shi served as an advisor to the board since September 28, 2016, and served as the CFO of the China Recycling Energy in 2015 and 2016.
Shares in China Recycling Energy closed at 29 cents apiece, up nearly 2% on Thursday.
Qudian Stock Up 4% on Share Lockup
Qudian Inc. (NYSE: QD) has announced on Monday that it plans to lock up its shares owned by an investment company, sending its stock nearly 4% higher to $4.58 per American depositary share by midday.
Under the agreement, Qudian will lock up 12.8 million Class A ordinary shares owned by Guosheng (Hong Kong) Investment Ltd., a Xiamen company, according to the report. That accounts for around 5% of Qudian's issued and outstanding shares, it said.
Qudian also said today that it has appointed Yingming Li, who serves as the director and deputy general manager of Guosheng Financial Holding Inc. (SHE: 002670) to its board of directors.
Founded in 2014, the small credit platform enables data technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to provide consumer finance in China. As of September, the company had 6.3 million borrowers, according to its third-quarter financials.
In the three months through September, Qudian said its revenue reached $362.5 million, up 34% year-over-year. Net income rose to $146 million, or 46 cents per ADS compared $99.7 million, or 31 cents per ADS, a year ago.
The lockup period will last for 360 days from the date it begins, the company said.
JD Chairman Steps Down From Leading Logistics, Cloud, Health Units
The chairman and chief executive officer of JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD), Richard Liu, no longer heads a number of the giant's key subsidiaries, including JD Logistics.
Holding about 45% of JD's shares indirectly, Liu is no longer acting as the general manager of its shipment, hospitality, health and cloud businesses, as reported by various Chinese media. He stepped down last month as the general manager of JD Pharmacy and of JD’s two cloud units, with Xiaobo Wang succeeding as its executive director and manager. Earlier this year, in June, Liu resigned as the representative of JD Digits.
Pingtan Appoints New CFO After Resignation
Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd. (Nasdaq: PME) announced it has appointed a new chief financial officer.
The move follows the resignation of Roy Yu, Pingtan’s former CFO, which went into effect on Thursday, the Fuzhou-based company said in a statement yesterday. The company's senior vice president since 2015, LiMing Yung (Michael), will assume the role as the CFO for Pingtan, the report said.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Pingtan, I would like to thank Roy for his hard work and contributions during the past several years. During his time, Roy made great efforts in our exploration for business expansion and extension along the industry chain,” Xinrong Zhuo, the chairman and chief executive officer of Pingtan, said in a statement yesterday.
According to Pingtan, Yung has background in business and banking, which includes serving as the vice president for Citicorp Investment, a senior vice president role for UBS Paine Webber and operating as the Managing Director of Terra Nova Natural Resources.
Last month, Pingtan reported its third quarter financials and said that in three months through September its revenue was $11.2 million, down 24% year-over-year. Net income slipped to $4.4 million, or 5 cents per American depositary share, compared with $13.7 million, or 16 cents per ADS, a year ago, the company said.
Shares in Pingtan remained flat on Friday, at $1.38 per ADS.
Huya Announces New CFO, Formerly With Qihoo 360
Huya Inc. (NYSE: HUYA) has announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer on Friday in place of Henry Dachuan Sha, who is leaving the company “for family reasons.”
The game livestreaming platform’s new CFO, Catherine Xiaozheng Liu, came from the same position at Hong Kong-listed Yixin Group (HKEX: 2858). Previously, she served as chief strategy officer of Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd., one of China’s top internet security providers. She had also held senior management roles at China Technology Investment Banking Division at Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Investment Banking Division at Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd.
"We are pleased to welcome Catherine to join Huya as Chief Financial Officer. With her strong track records in capital markets, corporate finance and management, we believe Catherine will be a great addition to our management team and will bring rich experience for Huya's future development," Huya’s chief executive, Rongjie Dong, said in a statement today.
IT Tech Skyrockets 10% on Expanded Partnership With Paper Supplier
The stock in IT Tech Packaging Inc. (NYSE American: ITP) was trading up 10% on Tuesday afternoon, at $1.03 American depositary share, after the company announced that it has expanded its partnership with its pulp paper supplier.
IT Tech, which distributes paper products in North China, said in a statement today that the new agreement with Asia Symbol (Shandong) Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd. will involve technology exchanges between the two companies on a regular basis.
"We believe the partnership with Asia Symbol which has world-leading technologies of pulp and paper manufacturing will not only benefit the sustained supply of pulp paper as raw materials to our tissue paper products, but also enhance our technologies and product quality. " Zhenyong Liu, the chairman and chief executive officer of IT Tech, said in a statement today.
Leading up to the agreement, IT Tech said in August that Liu visited Asia Symbol and held a meeting with its senior management team to help strengthen the company’s tissue paper business.
Earlier this year, IT Tech said it acquired Tengsheng Paper Co. Ltd.
According to Asia Symbol’s website, it operates as one of the world’s leading producers of pulp and paper and is an affiliate of Royal Golden Eagle Group.
Vipshop Partners With SF Express; Stock Rises 4%
Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: VIPS), a Chinese e-commerce company, announced it is collaborating with SF Express, sending its stock 4% higher on Monday, to $12.66 per American depositary share.
Vipshop has been delivering its products through its own-brand, Pinjun Express, since 2013. The change to one of China's largest logistics providers will decrease its expenses, as reported by Sina News.
SF Express has taken on Vipshop's package distribution and return/exchange services as a third-party logistics provider before the formal partnership is reached, Sina reported.
Alibaba Raises Stake in Cainiao Holdings, Pushes Growth
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) announced today that it has boosted Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd. with new funds to continuously improve intelligent logistics and strengthen the infrastructure of its business operation system.
Alibaba has invested 23.3 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) in the way of capital raising and buying old stock, as reported by various media. Its stake in Cainiao increased from 51% to 63% with this move. Cainiao's other existing shareholders also participated in the new round of financing, expressing the long-term prospects and strong support for Cainiao, as reported by various local media.
As cited by Sina News, the chairman and CEO of Alibaba, David Zhang, said, "Logistics is the core element of Alibaba's business operation system, and also the guarantee that we can provide customers with the best service and effectively promote the new retail strategy. Whether in China or in the global market, Cainiao gives full play to their technological advantages to bring better services and experiences to businesses and consumers. We firmly support the sustainable development of Cainiao, to create greater chemical reactions for the entire Alibaba digital economy, and also help promote the digital process of the logistics industry."
IQiyi Teams up With Malaysia’s Astro
IQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) announced Wednesday its strategic partnership with Astro, expanding into local markets in Malaysia.
The Beijing-based entertainment company, dubbed "China's Netflix," said it will be cooperating with Astro on marketing and localization of iQiyi's services.
Astro is a major pay-television service provider in Malaysia and now iQiyi's first app partner outside China. The company covered 5.7 million households in Malaysia, which accounts for 76% of the households in the country, according to the company statement.
“The partnership is timely in an era of streaming services where consumers are able to enjoy abundant choices in entertainment. The demand for fresh and compelling content, great experience and services matters as consumers become increasingly savvier,” Henry Tan, the chief executive officer of Astro, said in the statement.
Founded in 2009 and backed by internet giant Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), iQiyi provides content such as television dramas, movies and variety shows through its platform.
On Wednesday morning, ahead of its anticipated earnings for the third quarter, shares in iQiyi were trading down 10 cents, at $17.69 apiece.
Phoenix Tree Could Raise Up to $300 Million - Renaissance Capital
Phoenix Tree Holdings Ltd. could raise as much as $300 million in its New York offering, said Renaissance Capital after the co-living platform in China filed its preliminary prospectus this week.
In its filing, Phoenix Tree said it may raise up to $100 million, though the exact amount of the offering, the pricing and the number of shares have yet to be determined. In a statement on Monday, Renaissance Capital said, “the deal size is likely a placeholder for an IPO that we estimate could raise closer to $300 million.”
The housing rental platform, called Danke, operated nearly 407,000 apartments in 13 cities in China as of September, according to the prospectus.
The company posted revenue of $374.3 million for the full year 2018 and $699.5 million for the first nine months of 2019. Losses were $191.6 million last year, Phoenix Tree stated, and $352 million in the first three quarters of 2019.
Underwriters on the expected IPO are Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.
Two other platforms in China's real estate are scheduled to debut on Wall Street in the next few days. Fangdd Network Group Ltd., China's largest online real estate marketplace, prepares to lift off on Friday in a deal worth up to $105 million, while Q&K International Group Ltd., a long-term apartment rental, is expected to raise up to $98.8 million in its IPO on Tuesday.
Ctrip Becomes Trip.com; New Ticker Symbol "TCOM"
Ctrip.com International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP) has officially changed its name to Trip.com Group Ltd. on the 20th anniversary of the company that has grown to be Asia's largest booking platform.
Ctrip will start trading under its new company name on Nov. 5 and its ticker symbol will be changed to "TCOM," as reported by various local media this week.
At the beginning of its establishment in 1999, Ctrip's annual order number per capita was about two and the average order price was about 750 yuan. By 2018, the annual order number per capita exceeded 14 and the average order price was more than 1,600 yuan. After 20 years in operation, the amount of tourism consumption increased 10 times, as reported by Sina News.
As of September 2019, the number of overseas travelers using Ctrip has exceeded 100 million. They were mainly from Japan, South Korea, the United States, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Now, Ctrip makes globalization a key of its strategy, its founder and chairman, Jianzhang Liang, said at the anniversary celebration.
"Today, together with the implementation of the G2 [great quality and globalization] strategy in the future, we are confident to become the largest international tourism enterprise in Asia in three years, the largest international tourism enterprise in the world in five years and the most valuable and respected online tourism enterprise in ten years," Liang said, as cited by Sina.
China Mobile Appoints New Executive Director
China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) announced that it has appointed Yuhang Wang as its new executive director after earlier this month Yue Li resigned as executive director and chief executive officer.
Wang, 58 years of age, holds a degree in Marine Engineering from Dalian Maritime University. Prior to March 2019, Wang worked in the shipping industry for more than 30 years and gained experience in human resources and enterprise operation management. Currently, he is a director and deputy secretary of the CPC Committee of China Mobile Communications Group, the controlling shareholder of China Mobile, and a director of China Mobile Communication. He is also an executive director and the chairman of COSCO Shipping International (Hong Kong).
It is worth mentioning that at present, China Mobile is facing the worst performance dilemma since its listing. In August 2019, China Mobile announced its performance in the first half of 2019, with revenue down 0.6% year-on-year and net profit down 14.6% year-on-year. It was the first time since Li took office in 2010 that the revenue and net profit of the company in the half of the year fell by nearly 15%, as reported by Zaker.
IQiyi Unveils Smart TV Mode for Elders
IQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) announced on Friday it has launched AI Seniors Mode to improve TV usage for elders, sending its stock up 2% to $17.43 per American depositary share.
The Bejing-based online entertainment company said in a statement today, that the new mode is available through its smart TV application, QIYIGUO TV. The mode monitors watching behavior, preferences and interests and has auto-play and smart features for elderly users, the report said.
With the addition of AI Seniors, iQiyi TV now operates in three modes, others being Normal and Kids modes.
Since the launch of the new mode, iQiyi noted a steady rise of the average amount of time spent by users on its TV.
Operating as China’s largest video streaming platform, iQiyi had 100.5 million members as of June. Last week, iQiyi ranked third on a consumer spending list from global analytics platform App Annie.
Zuckerberg Says China's Pay Platforms are Competitive, "Modern"
The head of online social media Facebook Inc. stated on Wednesday that Chinese payment platforms are competing against American companies, and called them “a lot more modern” in his testimony on libra at Capitol Hill.
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and the chief executive officer of Facebook, responded to questions about its cryptocurrency plans from the House Financial Services Committee in a testimony that lasted six hours.
During the questioning, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry mentioned Alipay, a payment platform backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), and WeChat Pay, operated by tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKEX: 0700). McHenry asked why Facebook did not just “do a Facebook version of Alipay in order to level this.” Since 2013, Alipay has been the world's largest mobile payment platform, now counting 900 million users.
Zuckerberg expressed his views that some of the U.S. technology was outdated, which invites competition from overseas companies.
Digital yuan has been applied to China’s global development strategy in its partnership with 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
Alipay’s U.S. rival PayPal Holdings Inc. withdrew earlier this month from the Libra Association as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Mobile wallets Alipay and WeChat Pay announced earlier this month that they do not support transactions related to cryptocurrencies.
“Merchants involved in digital currency transactions will be resolutely blocked. As for individual accounts, we will restrict suspicious activity and even permanently disable cryptocurrency payments,” Alipay's Safety Center wrote.
Tencent said in a report this week that the proposed launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency would pose serious risks to existing digital payment systems, including traditional institutions.
Shares in Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) rose 23 cents to close at $186.38 per share on Thursday.
Sky Solar Announces ADS Ratio Change, Stock Down 7%
Sky Solar Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: SKYS) announced on Wednesday that it will change the ratio of its American depositary shares, sending its stock to drop 7% to 59 cents on the day.
The Hong Kong-based company, which operates solar projects, said one ADS will equal 20 ordinary shares beginning on November 8, a change from the previous ratio of one-to-eight.
Shareholders will surrender their ADSs in exchange for new ADSs and receive 0.4 new ADS for every 1 existing ADS surrendered, Sky Solar said. No action is required from shareholders in the ratio change. Citibank N.A. is Sky Solar’s depositary bank.
Ruhnn Appoints New CFO Amid Multiple Lawsuits
Ruhnn Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq: RUHN) announced today that Jacky Jinbo Wang has joined the company as its new chief financial officer.
Prior to joining Ruhnn, Wang served as the chief accounting officer for analytics firm Red Violet Inc. (NASDAQ: RDVT). He previously served as the vice president of Touchmedia, an in-taxi touchscreen media provider in China. He also served as the finance director of AdChina Ltd., an internet ads company in China.
Ruhnn was one of the early movers to capitalize on China's up-and-coming internet stars. It was also the largest internet key opinion leader (KOL) facilitator in China as measured by revenue in 2018, according to TechCrunch. However, the company faces lawsuits in the United States for allegedly misleading its shareholders in IPO filings.
Commenting on the appointment of its new CFO today, Min Feng, the founder and chairman of Ruhnn, said in a statement, "We are delighted to welcome Mr. Wang as an important addition to Ruhnn's senior management team. We look forward to working with him and expect his extensive leadership experience and expertise in capital markets, finance and accounting, will be of tremendous value as we continue to execute on our growth strategy."
The stock in Ruhnn was trading at $4.77 per American depositary share, down more than 3%, on Monday afternoon.
Alibaba's Jack Ma Gets Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and its former chairman, was awarded on Wednesday with the Malcom S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement for his efforts with small businesses.
“Jack Ma not only created one of the most outstanding companies of the world but also a company that nourished the vibrant small-business community in China – and small businesses around the globe,” Steve Forbes, media chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes, said at the ceremony, as reported by Alibaba's news website, Alizila. “He is indeed one of the most influential figures of our time,” Forbes also said.
Since the Hangzhou-based company was established, Ma led it to become the biggest in world e-commerce, as well as to branch out into offline retail, finance, logistics, robotics, cloud computing and other sectors. In 2014, Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world largest initial public offering in New York.
“It’s all about solving problems. I think this is what we did in the past 20 years,” Ma said at the 19th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore, as reported by Alizila.
Ma added, “We always think about what we can do to solve the social problems instead of complaining. That’s the journey and millions of people change their lives because of our efforts.”
Last month, Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba on its 20th anniversary. The role was assumed by Daneil Zhang, its chief executive officer. Ma will remain on the company’s board of directors until the 2020 Alibaba annual general meeting.
"No longer being the chairman of Alibaba does not mean the end of the business, and it is not equivalent to retirement," Ma was quoted in August by Chinese business media National Business Daily.
Ma will host the first Africa Netpreneur Prize competition, next month in Ghana. The competition will award African entrepreneurs $1 million annually for the next 10 years to help support the growth of the continent's digital economy, Alibaba reported.
The stock in Alibaba traded nearly 1% higher, at $176.98 per American depositary share, on Wednesday afternoon.
AMC Stock Rises 5% on Launch of On-demand Streaming Service
Shares in AMC Entertainment Holding Inc. (NYSE: AMC) jumped 5% to $9.42 per American depositary share on Tuesday afternoon on news that the company is launching its new digital movie service, AMC Theaters on Demand, available exclusively to AMC Stubs members.
The largest cinema company in the United States, owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, said AMC Stubs members can rent or purchase around 2,000 movies from top Hollywood studios. The demand service can be accessed through AMC’s website or mobile app, and leading Smart TV providers, the statement said.
“With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our web site and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalization than has ever been possible before. Through the launch of AMC Theatres On Demand, we can reach movie lovers directly and make it easy for them to access films digitally,” Adam Aron, the chief executive officer and president of AMC said in a statement.
AMC said it will report its third-quarter results on Nov. 7.
Earlier this week, AMC announced that Craig Ramsey, its chief financial officer of 25 years, is planning to retire in February.
Worldwide, AMC operates approximately 1,000 theaters and 11,000 screens.
AMC Entertainment Appoints New CFO; Stock Declines 3%
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE: AMC) chief financial officer Craig Ramsey is preparing to retire after 25 years at the company.
The largest cinema company in the U.S. announced the appointment of Sean Goodman, CFO of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE: ABG), as its new CFO. The 54-year-old successor will start his position as Executive Vice President at AMC on Dec. 2 and assume the position of CFO upon Ramsey's retirement on Feb. 28.
“As we recruited him to join AMC, the sharpness of his mind, his strategic clarity, his extensive international experience and authentic leadership style were all quite evident,” Adam Aron, the chief executive officer of AMC, said in a statement today.
Ramsey led AMC’s IPO in Dec. 2013 and helped complete the acquisitions of Carmike Cinemas and Odeon & UCI in Europe to build the global entertainment giant, now owned by China's Dalian Wanda Group, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., China's largest investor in cultural and entertainment activities, acquired AMC for approximately $2.6 billion in 2012, according to AMC's official website.
“Wanda has been a terrific shareholder, and we are grateful for Wanda’s support,”Aron has said.“Wanda does not actively participate in the day-to-day running of AMC beyond the board of directors service.”
Shares in AMC were trading at $8.96 per share, down nearly 3%, intraday on Monday.
Luckin Launches Contigo Mugs With Free Gift; App Freezes on Traffic Influx
Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee Inc. (Nasdaq: LK) released its blind boxes and mugs together with U.S. brand Contigo.
The Xiamen-based company, a challenger of Starbucks' (Nasdaq: SBUX) in China, announced on its official WeChat account that customers who purchase Contigo cups will get a complimentary gift - a mini-figure from the series of dolls of Haoran Liu.
The strategy took place after fans of Starbucks reportedly fought over its limited edition ‘cat paw cups’ in March, a marketing strategy Luckin picked up.
In the first 10 minutes after the launch of the sales, as reported by Southern Metropolis Daily, the mobile app of the Chinese coffee giant stalled from the influx of costumers.
Shares in Luckin Coffee dropped more than 4% intraday Tuesday, to $18.55 per American depositary share.
Blue Hat Opens AR Learning Center to Combine Gaming and Education
Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology (Nasdaq: BHAT) has opened its first Augmented Reality play-based learning center in Xiamen.
The Xiamen-based company said the learning center is aimed at providing an immersive learning experience for children ages 1 through 7 across health, language, social and emotional, science and art.
“Our goal is to cultivate a fun environment, guided by our teachers, that enables young learners to explore their interests as well as develop core skills for school,” Xiaodong Chen, the chief executive officer of Blue Hat, commented in a statement last week.
Blue Hat produces augmented reality interactive entertainment games and toys, including interactive educational materials, mobile games and toys with mobile game features. The company runs AR Racer, a car-racing mobile game, AR Need a Spanking of a combat game, AR 3D Magic Box to transport children's drawings into diverse backgrounds and AR Picture Book for education.
In July, the AR games company sold 2 million ordinary shares at $4 apiece in New York.
Shares in Blue Hat jumped more than 4% on Monday to $3.26 apiece.
Ctrip Co-founder Meets With Philippines Tourism Minister
On Monday, the co-founder of Ctrip.com International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP), James Liang, met with Philippines' Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Bernadette Fatima Tecson Romulo-Puyat, to discuss the development of tourism in Manila.
The two sides exchanged views on promoting the development of Sino Philippine tourism, improving service quality, ensuring travel safety and jointly launching destination marketing, as reported by Sina news.
According to the 2019 second-quarter report published by Ctrip, the group's international business accounted for more than 35% of the total revenue. The company reported that the total number of people who visited the Philippines in the first half-year of 2019 increased by 57% from the same period in 2018. The statistics from the Tourism Bureau showed 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in 2018.
Baidu's Apollo Self-driving Robotaxi Begins Trial Operations
Baidu announced that its self-driving taxi fleet Robotaxi formally began trial operation last week. It is the first motorized taxi fleet in China to be allowed to operate on roads and let people ride on it.
The self-driving taxi fleet consists of 45 "Red Flag EV" Robotaxis, developed by Apollo and FAW-Hongqi.
Apollo Robotaxi vehicle can make quick lane change according to the road condition, and can also judge the driving state of surrounding vehicles and make automatic avoidance for overtaking at close range while on the road, according to the company's statement.
58.com Invests in Golden Pacer; Uxin Enters Into Divestiture Deal
China's online market place for classifieds 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) announced on Monday it will acquire a 32.6% in Golden Pacer by the end of 2019.
The Beijing-based company said it will convert its profit participation right into an equity stake in the financial technology platform.
Online used car dealer Uxin Ltd. (Nasdaq: UXIN) announced on the same day that it will divest its loan facilitation business with Golden Pacer, which will bring Uxin $100 million in cash and 18.4% of certain preferred shares in Golden Pacer. The company reported a binding term sheet with Golden Pacer relating to the divestiture in July.
The stock of 58.com jumped 1% on Monday to $49.31 per American depositary share. Shares in Uxin closed at $2.45 per American depositary share, down more than 2%.