BABA Jul 2020 212.500 call

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
40.88
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 11:54AM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close40.88
Open36.11
Bid0.00
Ask0.00
Strike212.50
Expiry date2020-07-10
Day's range36.11 - 38.07
Contract rangeN/A
Volume23
Open interestN/A
  • Bloomberg

    Six Hours Will Decide India’s Next Digital Winners

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Time will be the next frontier in India’s digital battlefield; dollars will follow the hours consumers spend online.India has left a void in their day by banning 59 Chinese apps after a border dispute with its northern neighbor led to violent clashes. The video-sharing platform TikTok, which became a craze in towns and villages as a medium of expression, is gone. So are its smaller cousins, like Bigo Live and Likee.What can fill the gap? Thanks to the world’s cheapest data charges of 9 cents per gigabyte, Indian smartphone users are guzzling content for six hours plus. For local startups like Glance, which offers games, news and video on the mobile lock-screen, the ban on Chinese competition is a chance to add to its tally of 100 million daily active users. The country’s youth bulge also makes it a perfect occasion for homegrown education technology unicorns like Byju to scale up.But the ultimate prize may go to super-apps that meld content and commerce in the 16 Indian languages besides English that boast anywhere between 5 million to half a billion speakers. To not have to download multiple apps to do different things will save phone memory, an important consideration for those who access the internet on low-end devices. Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat, which offers everything from messaging to gaming and financial services, provides a successful template. Chinese users are also online for six hours a day, mostly to browse content, particularly social media. Although only 4% of their time is spent on e-commerce, it’s enough to drive $1.5 trillion in annual online sales. The smaller Indian market, with online sales of $40 billion, will want to copy the playbook.  The most obvious super-app candidate is billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms Ltd., a four-year-old startup with an equity value of $65 billion, including more than $15 billion recently raised from investors including Facebook Inc., KKR & Co. and Silver Lake Partners. Before Jio eventually seeks a listing on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange, Ambani would probably want it ready as a carriage-content-and-commerce powerhouse for half-a-billion people.Jio’s 4G telecom service already has roughly 400 million subscribers, though they currently don’t even pay $2 a month. The trick to a $100 billion-plus initial public offering would lie in using the partnership with Facebook to introduce features such as the WeChat mini-program via the popular WhatsApp messaging service. It lets users book hotels, order taxis, explore augmented reality to try on a new L’Oreal beauty product, or test-drive a Tesla — without leaving WeChat. When it comes to building product awareness and interest, these embedded mini-apps in China are now a fourth as effective as regular online stores run by JD.com Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., according to McKinsey & Co. They will offer brands in India a chance to sell more — and more profitably — even in remote towns. The consulting firm found that younger consumers in smaller Chinese cities give more weight to advice from social-media influencers and referrals by friends than their counterparts in larger metropolitan areas. This will probably hold true for India as well. As for the actual commerce, JioMart, Ambani’s new e-commerce platform, would take orders and — if the regulator permits it — accept payments via WhatsApp. Staples could be delivered by traditional neighborhood stores, with Jio helping connect them to buyers. For discretionary products, Ambani may use his Reliance Retail Ltd., already the country’s largest bricks-and-mortar retailer. It won’t be too hard to grease the wheels of super-app commerce with credit. Local lenders will be desperate for a new source of balance-sheet expansion after absorbing inevitable losses from the pandemic and lockdown. Still, the road to satisfied digital customers will be long and bumpy because of India’s creaky infrastructure. Keeping users hooked with novel content will therefore be crucial. Facebook is building a new version of Quest virtual reality headsets; the Silicon Valley firm is also acquiring studios that make VR games. Jio, which wants its set-top box to support online gaming, could find opportunities for collaboration.However, the main entertainment fare will still be cricket and Bollywood. Last year, Ambani promised Jio First Day First Show — movies streamed to broadband customers on the day of their theater release. With Covid-19 shutting down cinemas, producers in India need digital alternatives; audiences need their fix.  Although Ambani appears to be ahead, his won’t be India’s only super-app. Amazon.com Inc. has pledged to invest $5.5 billion in the country, while Walmart Inc. has plowed in $16 billion to acquire local e-commerce leader Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Potentially, they — or Alphabet Inc.’s Google — could seek telecom and digital media partners.Western tech firms were broadly shut out of China’s digital revolution. In India, they’ll join the fray, hoping for insights that will come in handy in other emerging markets. But India will still prefer local control over the super-apps. Six hours a day of 1.3 billion people — and all the data that flows from it — is a coveted resource, something politicians won’t want slipping out of their sphere of influence. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Equinix Expands Alibaba Cloud's Accessibility in 17 Markets
    Zacks

    Equinix Expands Alibaba Cloud's Accessibility in 17 Markets

    Deepening relation with Alibaba Cloud, Equinix (EQIX) extends the cloud's reach in 17 metros. Alibaba Cloud's API integration with ECX Fabric will provide seamless private connections to enterprises.

  • Exclusive: Alibaba's Ant plans Hong Kong IPO, targets valuation over $200 billion, sources say
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Alibaba's Ant plans Hong Kong IPO, targets valuation over $200 billion, sources say

    Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, plans a Hong Kong float as soon as this year and targets a valuation of more than $200 billion, said two sources with knowledge of the matter. The world's most valuable tech "unicorn" had been looking to sell shares in Hong Kong and mainland China simultaneously, but is now leaning heavily towards the Asian financial hub first because it would probably face a smoother listing process, the sources and a third person with knowledge of the matter said. It is looking at selling between 5% and 10% of its shares in an initial public offering, said one of the sources, in what would be one of the world's biggest listings this year.

  • Alibaba's Ant plans Hong Kong IPO, targets valuation over $200 billion, sources say
    Reuters

    Alibaba's Ant plans Hong Kong IPO, targets valuation over $200 billion, sources say

    Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, plans a Hong Kong float as soon as this year and targets a valuation of more than $200 billion, said two sources with knowledge of the matter. The world's most valuable tech "unicorn" had been looking to sell shares in Hong Kong and mainland China simultaneously, but is now leaning heavily towards the Asian financial hub first because it would probably face a smoother listing process, the sources and a third person with knowledge of the matter said. It is looking at selling between 5% and 10% of its shares in an initial public offering, said one of the sources, in what would be one of the world's biggest listings this year.

  • China’s Digital Yuan Gets First Big Test Via Tech Giant Didi
    Bloomberg

    China’s Digital Yuan Gets First Big Test Via Tech Giant Didi

    (Bloomberg) -- Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is testing China’s digital cash as a payment method on its platform, in what could be one of the first real-world applications of the electronic version of the yuan.The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup said on Wednesday it’s working with a research wing of the People’s Bank of China on uses for the virtual legal tender dubbed Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP. That includes testing the token on its ride-hailing platform, people familiar with the matter said. Specifics like when the feature will officially roll out aren’t clear yet, they said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private.Shares in Chinese financial software and information security companies including Feitian Technologies Co. and Julong Co. rose by their 10% daily limits on the news. Representatives from the PBOC had no comment when contacted.China’s government began a pilot program for its digital currency, which lives on a mobile wallet application and offers Beijing greater control of the country’s financial system, a few months ago. The initial testing was limited to four cities, with local media reporting that some of the money was distributed via transport subsidies to residents in Suzhou. However, implementation remains a question. China’s $27 trillion payments industry is already dominated by twin internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.Adoption by Didi, which connects half a billion Chinese commuters, would drive acceptance of China’s digital coin and widen Beijing’s global lead in government-sanctioned virtual tokens. Didi currently employs payment tools from Tencent and Alibaba-backed Ant Group, so it would appear to be a good candidate for DCEP. Beyond its core ride-sharing business, Didi is luring grocers and merchants onto its platform -- and they could also become users of the national digital tokens.Why China’s Rushing to Mint Its Own Digital Currency: QuickTakeChina’s central bank has led global peers in development of digital legal tender, with research efforts started in at least 2014. The digital currency is intended to eventually replace coins and banknotes, and could offer an alternative to the dollar-based international payments systems.“DCEP will become a key infrastructure of digital economy,” Didi said in a Chinese statement. It will work with the government to “boost the integration of the digital economy with the real economy.”Read more: China’s Digital Currency Could Challenge Bitcoin and Even the Dollar(Updates with share action in the third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 4 Tough Tasks for Pinduoduo’s New CEO
    Motley Fool

    4 Tough Tasks for Pinduoduo’s New CEO

    China’s third-largest e-commerce company has a new CEO -- but can he address its four most pressing challenges?

  • Bloomberg

    Sina Gets $41-a-Share Buyout Proposal From CEO’s Company

    (Bloomberg) -- Sina Corp., a Chinese social media company, has received a take-private proposal for $41 a share from an entity led by its chairman.The company said in a statement Monday that New Wave MMXV Ltd., the anglicized name of Sina, submitted a preliminary non-binding proposal letter dated Monday for a “going private” transaction. New Wave is controlled by Charles Chao, chairman and chief executive officer of Sina, according to the statement.At $41, the U.S.-listed company would be valued at about $2.7 billion, an 11.8% premium on its last closing price on Thursday.Sina operates Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter. The firm was among the first wave of Chinese internet companies to seek listings internationally at the beginning of the century. It went public on the Nasdaq in 2000, with its shares rising 174% since then. The S&P 500 Index rose 116% during the same period.With the encouragement of China’s government and to be closer to their customers, some U.S.-listed Chinese companies have reversed course and sought homecomings via Hong Kong listings in the past year. That includes Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., JD.com Inc. and NetEase Inc.Chao controls 13.5% of Sina’s ordinary shares, according to a filing. Sina said in its statement that New Wave and its beneficiaries control 58% of the voting power in the company. The acquisition, to be financed by a combination of debt and equity, will be evaluated by a special committee set up by Sina’s board, according to the statementAn investor group backed by private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic offered in June to take private 58.com Inc., a Chinese online bulletin board akin to Craigslist, in a deal valuing the company at about $8.7 billion.Sina shares jumped as much as 10.8% on Monday after the announcement disclosing the offer. They closed at $40.54 in New York.(Updates with closing share price in eighth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alibaba Breaks Out
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    Alibaba Breaks Out

    Alibaba cleared a 231.24 buy point from a consolidation going back to January. Several times BABA tried to clear early entries and never really got going. RS line making progress, above s-t peak but still well off March highs.

  • Revenge Doesn’t Explain Rise in Chinese Property Prices
    Bloomberg

    Revenge Doesn’t Explain Rise in Chinese Property Prices

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Real estate becomes a safe bet in uncertain times, and it’s proving true in China after months of pent-up demand from the pandemic runs into an outlook still filled with uncertainty.The problem, as we’ve seen time and again, is that anyone hoping for security from a market that’s heavily controlled may be in for disappointment, as the government will inevitably tighten limits when prices rise too much. Beijing should instead  ramp up secure options for investors, such as accelerating the offering of real estate investment trusts. Recent gains in mainland real estate prices have all the hallmarks of so-called revenge spending for big purchases after lockdowns eased. Prices rose in May at the fastest pace in seven months, and analysts think June will be even better. Sales by the 16 developers Bloomberg Intelligence tracks rose an average 13% in June versus a year earlier. It might look like a splurge, yet there are signs that these gains will be sustainable, even if capped by government policy that discourages speculation in favor of habitation. Expect selective rises where people feel their money is safe, like big tier-one cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, as well as Guangzhou and Shenzhen, part of the government-promoted Greater Bay Area that encompasses Hong Kong and Macau. There’s certainly a desire to scratch the spending itch. Much of China’s economy was shut in the spring as the government, keen to stop Covid-19 from spreading, halted land sales to developers and purchases of homes. Now developers have come back in with huge discounts. But there are deeper factors at play that should keep lifting prices.First, since the coronavirus hit, the government has been easing credit. Mortgage rates are at 33-month lows, with the average for a first-time home buyer at 5.28%. Many shut out from an increasingly unaffordable housing market are taking advantage, as are investors keen for something safer than volatile stocks.Second, the government is creating demand in some cities, loosening residency rules to encourage people to move in from rural areas. The theory is that a larger urban class boosts consumption — though what it has really lifted is buying homes. The reform of local residency permits includes easing access to these “hukou” for anyone with tertiary education in cities like Hangzhou, where Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is based.  The city of 10 million people added 554,000 residents last year, the biggest increase in permanent population of any city in China.Martin Wong, Greater China associate director at Knight Frank LLP  forecasts that home prices will rise between 2% and 3% this year in the first-tier cities, and between 3% and 5% in the Greater Bay Area cities. In contrast, urban areas not benefiting from hukou relaxation or lacking the kind of government-infrastructure spending drive to offset the pandemic’s economic impact should see prices stay flat or rise just around 2%, he says. In May, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen saw new home prices increase more than 1% for the second month in a row. The last time the tier-one cities experienced gains of this magnitude was in late 2016; since then, much of the climb in property prices has been in smaller cities that have fewer restrictions on buying for investment. Older homes rose around 0.6%, beating gains elsewhere. In China, unlike most countries, local authorities cap prices on the sale of new homes, so they can actually be cheaper than older ones.Still, these small percentages show that China is in no mood to allow a big housing boom, even though real estate spending and all its attendant construction and furnishings account for a quarter of the economy. Funding remains tight for developers. As an example, the one-year-loan prime rate is down 40 basis points to 3.85% since last August, but the five-year-loan prime rate on which mortgages are based has fallen just 20 basis points to 4.65%. Developers who want to build housing can only issue new onshore or offshore bonds to finance repaying existing bonds expiring in 12 months, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. analysts, and need approval for offshore loans. No wonder there’s a long queue spinning off their real-estate management arms — which tend to have better steady cash flow — for Hong Kong listings. One solution that would ease the debt burden on developers while giving investors safer diversification is to expand a real estate investment trust trial that China kicked off in April. It has been focused on pooling capital to fund infrastructure such as highways and airports — perhaps no surprise, as this could give the economy a faster boost. But at some point, why not include real estate, both commercial and residential? That would let Chinese families, who have around 70% of their wealth tied up in property — more than double the U.S. — invest in their favorite asset and still diversify into stocks. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Zoom’s Newest Challenger: Budding Internet Tycoon Mukesh Ambani
    Bloomberg

    Zoom’s Newest Challenger: Budding Internet Tycoon Mukesh Ambani

    (Bloomberg) -- Zoom, one of the few success stories of the Covid-19 pandemic, now faces a new competitor in an app backed by Asia’s wealthiest person Mukesh Ambani.Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., which has scored billions of dollars of investments from Facebook Inc. to Intel Corp. for its digital businesses, has launched the JioMeet video conferencing app after beta testing. The app has already garnered more than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store after becoming available Thursday evening.Like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and other services, JioMeet offers unlimited high-definition calls -- but unlike Zoom, it doesn’t impose a 40-minute time limit. Calls can go on as long as 24 hours, and all meetings are encrypted and password-protected, the company said on the JioMeet website.The launch coincided with a nationwide ban on dozens of popular apps from Chinese technology giants including ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s UC Web, on grounds they threatened security and data privacy. JioMeet went viral Friday on social media alongside the hashtag MadeinIndia.The app is one facet of Ambani’s rapidly expanding digital empire, which includes India’s largest telecom operator with nearly 400 million users. On Friday, Reliance announced Intel Capital has invested $253 million into Jio Platforms Ltd., a unit of Ambani’s oil-to-retail conglomerate. The U.S. chipmaker’s arm is the 11th investor in about as many weeks to announce its backing for the digital services platform, which has now raised about 1.2 trillion rupees ($15.7 billion).“JioMeet will be a very credible disruptor in the space,” said Utkarsh Sinha, managing director of boutique consultancy Bexley Advisors. “Just the fact that it has no time limits on calls makes it a serious challenger to Zoom, despite its entrenchment.”Jio Platforms is amassing a wide range of services from music streaming to online retail and payments, fast turning into an ecommerce juggernaut that can take on Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc on its own home turf. Like elsewhere, video conferencing apps have become lifelines for millions of Indians working in cramped homes during Covid-19 lockdowns.JioMeet is also debuting at a time Zoom users have accused the service of security flaws. It’s been accused of siding with China after deactivating accounts of pro-democracy activists in the U.S and Hong Kong, which it said was intended to comply with Chinese law.(Adds total investment in Jio in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google, Temasek Are Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Tokopedia
    Bloomberg

    Google, Temasek Are Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Tokopedia

    (Bloomberg) -- Google and Temasek Holdings Pte are in negotiations to join a funding round of between $500 million and $1 billion for Indonesian e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia, according to people familiar with the matter.Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, has held talks with U.S. internet giants including Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. But Google and Temasek have been more active in their negotiations and those talks may conclude in coming weeks, they said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.America’s largest internet corporations have looked increasingly toward Asia as growth in the U.S. and Europe slows, seeking to tap the region’s rapidly growing smartphone-savvy population. Facebook is buying a stake in India’s Jio Platforms, while its WhatsApp unit struck a deal last month to invest in ride-hailing and food delivery giant Gojek. Representatives for Tokopedia and Temasek declined to comment. Google didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.The backing of Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek would mark a major boost for one of Southeast Asia’s biggest e-commerce operators. Tokopedia co-founder and Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya built the country’s most valuable startup after Gojek after scoring early backing from SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma. It now plans to list shares at home as well as in another as-yet-undecided location, Tanuwijaya told Bloomberg News in October.Read more: SoftBank’s Bet on Sharing Economy Backfires With CoronavirusTokopedia came close to finalizing its latest financing this year before news emerged of a recent data theft attempt that may have affected 15 million of its users, one of the people said. It was also held back by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is rapidly changing the online shopping landscape in the world’s fourth most populous nation.E-commerce platforms are now moving quickly to serve the millions of people forced to make their first online purchases during widespread lockdowns. Singapore-based rival Shopee -- a unit of Sea Ltd. -- is catching up, while Alibaba last month appointed a longtime veteran to head up Lazada and “fight harder” as competition heats up.Indonesia has become a key battleground between the regional rivals: The country’s e-commerce market is projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • In cloud clash with Alibaba, underdog Tencent adopts more aggressive tactics
    Reuters

    In cloud clash with Alibaba, underdog Tencent adopts more aggressive tactics

    For Chinese cloud services companies, the coronavirus outbreak has become a rainmaker, bringing in new business far and wide as firms shift work online and authorities develop apps and systems to help contain outbreaks and manage social restrictions. For Tencent Holdings Ltd in particular, it has also become the perfect time to flex new muscles as it seeks to catch up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, its arch-rival and the dominant player in the country's cloud market by far. Tencent began to display a new level of aggressiveness after positioning its cloud business as a major area of growth in September 2018, and that has only amped up amid the pandemic, employees say.

  • His Wealth Surged by $25 Billion. Then Jack Ma’s Rival Quit
    Bloomberg

    His Wealth Surged by $25 Billion. Then Jack Ma’s Rival Quit

    (Bloomberg) -- Colin Huang’s ascent is one for the history books: In just six months, his fortune swelled by $25 billion -- one of the biggest gains among the world’s richest people.His Pinduoduo Inc., a Groupon-like shopping app he founded in 2015, has become China’s third-largest e-commerce platform, with a market value of more than $100 billion. In the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic caused most of the nation’s economy to grind to a halt, PDD’s active users surged 68% and revenue jumped 44%, the company said in May.Now Huang, who has overseen the firm as its American depositary receipts have more than quadrupled in less than two years, has stepped down as chief executive officer.At one point, his net worth climbed as high as $45 billion, placing him just behind China’s wealthiest people -- Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Pony Ma and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma -- on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s even as PDD continued to post losses, primarily because it chases growth with the help of generous subsidies and has been known to spend more on marketing than it earns in sales.“Pinduoduo was perfectly positioned for people being stuck at home,” said Tom Ronk, CEO of Century Pacific Investments in Newport, California.Huang, who controlled 43.3% of PDD shares, has reduced his stake to 29.4%, according to a June 30 regulatory filing. His fortune now stands at $30 billion.That excludes a $2.4 billion charitable holding that he shares with PDD’s founding team, and $7.9 billion that went to Pinduoduo Partnership, of which Huang and newly named CEO Lei Chen are members. The partnership will help fund science research and management incentives, according to a letter following Huang’s resignation. The wealth estimate also excludes $3.9 billion that people familiar with the matter said was transferred to an angel investor.PDD declined to comment on Huang’s holdings or net worth.Facing ChallengesHe will remain chairman and work on the company’s long-term strategy and corporate structure to help drive the future of the e-commerce giant, PDD said.“PDD is still facing some high-level challenges in product supply, relationship with brand merchants, logistics and payments,” said Shawn Yang, an analyst at Blue Lotus Capital Advisors. “Colin may want to focus more on these issues.”PDD’s success hinges on deals, which have become particularly popular with customers looking for bargains as the world’s second-largest economy slows. Most of its users come from smaller Chinese cities, and the app gives them extra discounts when they recommend a product through social networks and get friends to buy the same item.Fen Liu, a homemaker in Quanzhou, a provincial city in Fujian, said she accrued enough coupons with her friends’ help to reduce the price of a suitcase to zero.“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my suitcase arrive in the mail,” she said. “It’s made me a loyal Pinduoduo user ever since.”‘Bargain Hunters’While PDD’s aggressive price-reduction strategies have helped win over people with lower incomes, they may stifle the company’s efforts to attract wealthier consumers, according to Charlie Chen and Veronica Shen, analysts at China Renaissance Securities in Hong Kong.“PDD’s users are largely bargain hunters reluctant to buy large-ticket items,” they wrote in a June 29 note, adding that the company’s image remains a key obstacle to users spending more. “We believe PDD is working to change its low-price brand image -- but this could be costly.”That may require heavy marketing and hurt margins further despite a strong user-base foundation for future growth, the analysts said. And PDD’s management has offered no clear path to profitability.Last year, the company’s “10 Billion RMB Subsidies” campaign, which is ongoing, led to a $2 billion increase in sales and marketing expenses to $3.9 billion, and those costs have been at 90% to 120% of revenue for the past two quarters, China Renaissance said.For the nation’s June 18 shopping festival, PDD provided a subsidy program with no cap across different product categories to push spending and attract more users. Other fast-growing Chinese startups -- including rival Meituan Dianping, ride-hailing app DiDi Chuxing and Starbucks Corp. competitor Luckin Coffee Inc. -- have also adopted subsidies strategies to maintain customer loyalty.Huang, 40, grew up in the eastern city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba has its headquarters. After receiving a degree at Zhejiang University, he went to the University of Wisconsin for a master’s in computer science. He began his career at Google in 2004 as a software engineer and returned to China in 2006 to help establish its operations in the country.He then became a serial entrepreneur. He started his first company in 2007, an e-commerce website called Ouku.com that he sold three years later after realizing it was too similar to thousands of others. He then launched Leqi, which helped companies market their services on websites like Alibaba’s Taobao or JD.com Inc., and a gaming firm that let users play on Tencent’s messaging app WeChat. Both took off and Huang found himself “financially free,” according to a 2017 interview.After getting an ear infection, he decided to retire in 2013 at age 33. But following a year of pondering what to do with his life -- he contemplated starting a hedge fund and moving to the U.S. -- he came up with the idea of combining e-commerce and social media. At the time, Alibaba dominated the online business, and WeChat became a must-have application on smartphones in China.The tables have turned since. In 2018, Alibaba launched a PDD-style app in an attempt to lure smaller-town users with bargains. It came months before Huang took his company public in New York, raising $1.63 billion in its July 2018 initial public offering. Since then, PDD has surged 389%, while Alibaba has gained just 13%.In 2017, Huang had said he was unlikely to spend the rest of his life at PDD. While he’s still chairman of the company, he now wants to give more responsibility to younger colleagues to keep the entrepreneurial spirit as PDD matures, he wrote in a letter to employees.“We envision Pinduoduo to be an organization that creates value for the public rather than being a showoff trophy for a few or carry too much personal color,” Huang said. “This will allow Pinduoduo to continually evolve with or without us one day.”(Updates PDD, Alibaba moves in 22nd paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected Fen Liu’s location.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China tech giant Alibaba dismisses livestreaming head, citing nepotism, gifts - document
    Reuters

    China tech giant Alibaba dismisses livestreaming head, citing nepotism, gifts - document

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has fired Zhao Yan, the head of its fast-growing livestreaming division, on grounds of nepotism and accepting gifts, according to an internal memo announcing his termination, seen by Reuters. The undated document, produced by Alibaba's human resources department and published on June 29 on the company's internal intranet for staff, says Zhao was fired after he used his position to help third-party livestreamers score favourable positioning on Taobao Live, Alibaba's main platform for live-streamed e-commerce.

  • Two in Five Fortune 500 Companies Choose Alibaba Cloud
    Business Wire

    Two in Five Fortune 500 Companies Choose Alibaba Cloud

    Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, said today it has supported 38 percent of the Fortune 500 companies over the past fiscal year.

  • Business Wire

    Alibaba Cloud and Unilever to Usher in Next-Generation Digital Marketing Initiatives

    Alibaba Cloud and Unilever pioneer a strategic initiative that will enable Unilever to action on next-generation digital marketing campaigns

  • Tech Tycoons Flood H.K. With $20 Billion of Stock Listings
    Bloomberg

    Tech Tycoons Flood H.K. With $20 Billion of Stock Listings

    (Bloomberg) -- China’s tycoons are flooding Hong Kong’s exchange with $20 billion worth of new listings.While the city’s rich are preparing for a worst-case scenario amid a controversial national-security law, major mainland billionaires are coming in. The latest to do so: William Ding of NetEase Inc. and JD.com Inc.’s Richard Liu, whose companies completed secondary listings there last month. They follow Jack Ma, whose Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stock issuance in November was the city’s largest since 2010.Together, the three moguls’ firms have raised $20 billion from share sales in the former British colony, and that may be just the start of a new wave of listings by mainlanders.“Chinese billionaires’ tech companies are helping the capital market in Hong Kong for a pivotal change and secure its Asia financial hub status,” said Edward Au, managing director of the southern region at Deloitte China. “The city’s stock exchange is also trying to make it a more appealing destination for new-economy companies.”The national-security law that was approved on Tuesday is threatening to erode Hong Kong’s judicial independence from the mainland, a key part of the city’s appeal to international companies and investors. The U.S. has already started to make it harder to export sensitive American technology to Hong Kong, and the House of Representatives passed a bill imposing sanctions on banks that do business with Chinese officials involved in cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.While Chinese billionaires have myriad reasons for pursuing listings there -- including a less welcoming political environment in the U.S. -- their choice of the city over alternatives on the mainland may help ease concerns that the former British colony risks losing its status as a financial center.Chinese tech tycoons with companies trading in the city now have a combined net worth of $182 billion, more than the 10 richest people in Hong Kong, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. For them, Hong Kong is becoming increasingly appealing as Chinese companies listed in the U.S. face growing scrutiny and potential delistings following an accounting scandal at Luckin Coffee Inc. and mounting tensions between the world’s two largest economies.JD.com and NetEase have raised a combined $7 billion with their secondary listings last month -- almost two-thirds of the total for Hong Kong in the first half of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Deloitte expects that as many as six Chinese companies currently traded in the U.S. will choose the city for a second listing by year-end. Robin Li’s Baidu Inc. is among those weighing that option.The city eased listing rules in 2018 to attract companies such as smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. and Meituan Dianping, China’s largest on-demand food delivery service. The move could eventually reshape the composition of the benchmark Hang Seng Index, according to Deloitte’s Au. In May, the index manager announced new criteria to allow companies such as Alibaba to be included in the gauge.“The influx of these companies will greatly increase the representation of new-economy companies in Hong Kong, adding vibrancy and diversity to the market,” said Louis Lau, partner at KPMG China’s capital markets advisory group. “The continued listing of mega-sized Chinese firms also reinforces Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s financial hub.”(Updates with new U.S. bill in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Upstart CEO Steps Down After Building $44 Billion Fortune
    Bloomberg

    China Upstart CEO Steps Down After Building $44 Billion Fortune

    (Bloomberg) -- Colin Huang stepped down as chief executive officer of Pinduoduo Inc. after building the five-year-old startup into a force in China’s e-commerce industry and, in the process, becoming one of the country’s richest people.He’s turning the role over to Lei Chen, another founder at the Shanghai-based company, effective immediately, PDD said in a letter to employees posted on its website. Huang, 40, will remain chairman.“I hope that through the management changes, we can gradually hand over more managerial duties and responsibilities to our younger colleagues, give space and opportunities for the team to grow, and drive Pinduoduo to become a more mature company with continuous entrepreneurial spirit,” Huang wrote in the letter.While tech founders often eventually cede management duties to lieutenants, Huang is handing over the reins just a few years after PDD’s start. Huang and his co-founders began the group-shopping app in 2015 at a time when Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. seemed to have a lock on the e-commerce business in China.But PDD provided an innovative service with discounted goods and customized offerings, and went public in 2018. The company’s shares have soared more than four-fold since then and its market cap is about $102 billion. Huang’s net worth is $44.3 billion, the third-highest in China, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Analysts at Jefferies and Citigroup Inc. said the move was unexpected and a surprise. PDD’s shares were little changed in U.S. trading.Huang, previously an engineer at Google, said in the letter that he had transferred around 371 million ordinary shares currently under his name to the Pinduoduo Partnership, and that he wanted some of the stock to be used for research and social responsibility. That transfer is equal to about 7.7% of total shares, he said. In addition, Huang said he had officially set up a charity foundation and that together with the founding team, had donated to it around 114 million Pinduoduo shares, or about 2.4% of total shares.In a separate Q&A circulated to media, Huang said he would step back from day-to-day management to work on the company’s long-term strategy and corporate structure, and devote more time to fundamental research that could drive the future of PDD.A data scientist by training, Chen has served as chief technology officer since 2016. He said he will focus on growing the company’s newer business units, citing its shipping information system as an example. “This division of labor will help us steer the company in its next phase of growth and development,” Chen said.(Adds more detail throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why Beyond Meat Stock Jumped Today
    Motley Fool

    Why Beyond Meat Stock Jumped Today

    Shares of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) climbed on Wednesday after the meat alternatives company announced a new partnership with one of the largest and most powerful companies in China. Beyond Meat's plant-based burger patties will be sold at 50 of Alibaba's (NYSE: BABA) Freshippo grocery stores in Shanghai, beginning this weekend. The two companies plan to roll out the Beyond Burger to additional Freshippo stores in Beijing and Hangzhou in September.

  • Beyond Meat Partners With Alibaba to Expand in China
    Motley Fool

    Beyond Meat Partners With Alibaba to Expand in China

    Alternative meat producer Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) announced a new partnership with Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) to expand its reach in mainland China, according to CNBC. The company's Beyond Burgers will initially be sold in 50 of Alibaba's Freshippo grocery stores in Shanghai beginning Saturday. Beyond Meat already has a presence in mainland China through partnerships with Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Yum China (NYSE: YUMC).

  • India TikTok Ban Threatens China’s Rise as Global Tech Power
    Bloomberg

    India TikTok Ban Threatens China’s Rise as Global Tech Power

    (Bloomberg) -- China over the past decade built an alternate online reality where Google and Facebook barely exist. Now its own tech corporations, from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Tencent Holdings Ltd., are getting a taste of what a shutout feels like.India’s unprecedented decision to ban 59 of China’s largest apps is a warning to the country’s tech giants, who for years thrived behind a government-imposed Great Firewall that kept out many of America’s best-known internet names. If India finds a way to carry out that threat, it may present a model for other countries from Europe to Southeast Asia that seek to curtail the pervasiveness of apps like ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok while safeguarding their citizens’ valuable data.The surprise moratorium hit Chinese internet companies just as they were beginning to make headway in the world’s fastest-growing mobile arena, en route to going global and challenging American tech industry supremacy. TikTok had signed up 200 million users there, Xiaomi Corp. is the No. 1 smartphone brand, and Alibaba and Tencent have aggressively pushed their services.But India’s policy jeopardizes all those successes, and could have wider geopolitical consequences as the U.S. seeks to rally countries to stop using Huawei Technologies Co. for 5G networks. With China’s tech companies poised to become some of the most dominant in emerging industries like artificial intelligence, India’s actions may spur countries around the world to weigh the extent to which they let China collect user data -- and potentially economic leverage in future disputes.“Techno-nationalism will manifest itself increasingly across all aspects of geopolitics: national security, economic competitiveness, even social values,” said Alex Capri, a Singapore-based research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation. “It will be increasingly difficult to separate Chinese tech firms from the CCP and China’s geopolitical ambitions. They will find themselves increasingly locked out.”Read more: TikTok Among 59 Chinese Apps India Bans on Security FearsChinese internet firms have struggled to replicate their online services beyond their home turf, even before Washington lawmakers began raising concerns about the wisdom of allowing the Asian country’s corporations -- like ByteDance -- to hoover up valuable personal data. India amplified those concerns by accusing apps including TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat, Alibaba’s UC Web and Baidu Inc.’s map and translation services of threatening its sovereignty and security.India’s prohibition provides further evidence that nations are using tech to assert themselves geopolitically, following the Trump administration’s worldwide campaign to contain China and national champions like Huawei. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s actions follow the worst military clash between India and China in almost half a century.“Beijing should certainly worry that the impact of the deadly clash could push India toward the U.S.,” said Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University. “But these recent economic measures by India may not by themselves concern Beijing too much as it understands that Modi’s government, facing rising domestic nationalism, has to do something to soothe the public sentiments and retain legitimacy.”China-India Tensions Continue Despite Pledge to Disengage It remains unclear how India will enforce its decision, given TikTok -- for one -- has already been downloaded by roughly one in six people. But it follows a series of steps to curb China’s presence in the country, demonstrating the administration’s hardened resolve since long-simmering tensions boiled over after a deadly Himalayan border clash that killed 20 Indian soldiers.The country’s government procurement website has barred purchases of Chinese-made goods. Authorities have asked the largest e-commerce companies, including Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart, to start showing “country of origin” on goods sold. And India is said to be dragging its heels on clearing goods imported from China, stranding electronics at ports.“The Indian government thinks about governing the internet in a very similar way to China, which is blanket bans, asserting national boundaries on the internet and essentially carving out what would eventually become a version of the Indian Great Firewall,” said Dev Lewis, a research fellow at Digital Asia Hub in Shanghai. “Everyone’s struggling to deal with governing technology companies and apps, especially ones that cross borders. So when India takes a step like this, it sets a precedent for the things that you can do.”In terms of the immediate business consequences, ByteDance could be hardest-hit. India is its biggest market with more than 200 million TikTok users. During a brief ban last year, the Chinese company estimated it was missing out on half a million dollars a day of revenue. In a statement posted to Twitter, TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi said the company complies with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any user information with any foreign government, including Beijing.India’s prohibition could also give American companies a possible edge over Chinese players in a rare global tech market that is both populous and not yet saturated. While WeChat never made it big in India, banning it may help shore up Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp. Cutting out TikTok immediately gives Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube a boost.On Tuesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was “strongly concerned” about India’s actions. “The Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legitimate and legal rights of the international investors including Chinese ones,” he said.The Chinese Embassy in Delhi criticized India’s measure in a separate statement saying it “selectively and discriminatorily aims at certain Chinese apps on ambiguous and far-fetched grounds.”In India, TikTok Takes On YouTube in a Nasty Fight for DominanceBut for now, China doesn’t have many great options to retaliate. “While Beijing is highly adept at economic coercion, in this case it has somewhat limited options to act in a reciprocal manner,” analysts for the Eurasia Group wrote in a research note. “Bilateral trade is heavily weighted toward Chinese exports to India. Attempts to hurt India economically could blowback on Chinese companies.”(Updates with comment from the Chinese Embassy in India in penultimate paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • India Bans TikTok and 58 Other Chinese Apps Citing Security Concerns
    Bloomberg

    India Bans TikTok and 58 Other Chinese Apps Citing Security Concerns

    (Bloomberg) -- India banned ByteDance Ltd.’s viral short-video service TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, citing threats to its sovereignty and security as relations between the world’s two largest populations worsened.The unprecedented moratorium, announced days after border tensions in the Himalayas left 20 Indian soldiers dead, deals a blow to the most prominent names in Chinese technology. The banned services included e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s UC Web, social media leader Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and Baidu Inc.’s map and translation platforms.The move marks another attempt by India to reduce dependence on its neighbor’s products and hampers efforts by China’s largest corporations to expand beyond their own borders -- a collective endeavor encapsulated by TikTok’s phenomenal success abroad and particularly in India, ByteDance’s largest international market. The world’s most valuable startup responded by saying it will meet with Narendra Modi’s government to discuss the matter.“TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government,” said Nikhil Gandhi, the company’s local chief, in a tweet on its official account. “Further if we are requested to in the future we would not do so.”Click here for the Indian government’s statement and full list of banned Chinese appsIn an emailed statement, TikTok also said that its “team of around 2,000 employees in India is committed to working with the government to demonstrate our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country overall.”The ban threatens to ramp up tensions between two of Asia’s largest economies. As the border standoff that had simmered for nearly two months worsened, customs officials began halting clearances of industrial consignments coming in from China at major Indian ports and airports. The ban announced Monday also includes smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.’s Mi Video Call and Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like service.The unauthorized transmission and storage of Indian users’ data in overseas servers and “its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India” is a matter of deep and immediate concern requiring the emergency measures, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement on Monday. Representatives for Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu didn’t have immediate comment when contacted.“China is strongly concerned about the relevant notice issued by the Indian side. We are checking on and verifying the situation,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a briefing in Beijing Tuesday. “We want to stress the Chinese government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by international rules and local laws and regulations in their business cooperation with foreign countries. The Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legitimate and legal rights of the international investors including Chinese ones.”Still, it’s unclear how the ban will be implemented as most of these apps already reside on users’ phones. The government might need to block the app servers and prevent new users from downloading them. One in three smartphone users in India will be impacted by this ban, Tarun Pathak, associate director with Counterpoint Technology, told BloombergQuint.Meanwhile, the government’s decision to bar the apps began garnering support on social media.“It’s time to take some hard decisions to get out of China’s cyber clutches,” Nirmal Jain, chairman at financial services conglomerate IIFL Group, tweeted.While banning other Chinese-made products and hardware is challenging in Asia’s third-largest economy, the blockade of a wide swath of Chinese apps ranging from gaming and news content to music streaming and online retail is particularly significant.India, with its half-billion internet users, is an emerging arena for global technology companies from the U.S. to China. As hundreds of millions of first-time users come online in India, they do so on Chinese smartphones. Myriad Chinese apps are their doorway to the internet.For ByteDance, which counts India as its biggest market with over 200 million TikTok users, the move is a particular blow. ByteDance faced a brief ban in India last year, and is being scrutinized in Europe. It also faces mounting questions from U.S. policy-makers over whether it jeopardizes national security.“Some of these Chinese apps are not just for commerce but have deeply entrenched into the social fabric of our lives,” said Anil Kumar, chief executive officer of technology researcher RedSeer Consulting. “They know what you do, what you say, where you go. In the current context, they can be viewed as a threat to our national security.”(Updates with comment from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the eighth paragraph. A previous version of the story was corrected to remove reference to Clash of Kings.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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