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This basket consists of brick and mortar who have lost considerable market share to online competition.
(Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. is in talks to acquire a stake in the Indian television network controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, as the Japanese giant seeks to tap booming demand for content in the South Asian nation, according to people familiar with the matter.The Tokyo-based company is currently conducting due diligence on Ambani’s Network18 Media & Investments Ltd. before any possible offer, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. Sony is considering several potential deal structures, including a bid for the company or a merger of its own Indian business with Network18’s entertainment channels, one of the people said.Talks are at a preliminary stage and may not result in a transaction, the people said. Shares of Network18 surged as much as 19% in Mumbai on Thursday, while unit TV18 Broadcast Ltd. jumped 9.7%.While a successful deal may help Sony bolster its local offerings and take on upstart rivals such as Netflix Inc., it will give Ambani access to international content. The Indian tycoon’s wireless carrier, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., has spent almost $50 billion in the past few years on its network to disrupt India’s telecommunications industry and has been luring users by offering local and overseas programming.“Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis,” a spokesman for Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., said in an email, declining to comment further. Representatives for Sony in India and Japan didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments.The talks come at a time when competition is heating up for paying viewers in a potentially lucrative market with more than half a billion smartphone users. Streaming companies such as Netflix to Amazon.com Inc. Prime are increasingly offering programs created locally to lure subscribers. Ambani’s Jio, while having the technology platform, is limited by the paucity of content it can stream, making such a deal with Sony crucial.“India is a massive OTT market, and any international OTT play will need to bolster its local strategy,” said Utkarsh Sinha, managing director at Bexley Advisors, a boutique firm in Mumbai, referring to over-the-top or streaming media services. “More partnerships or strategic alliances like this are likely in the next year or so.”Inside the Most Watched YouTube Channel in the WorldReliance Industries, the oil-to-petrochemicals conglomerate, unveiled plans last month to set up a digital-services holding company to fulfill the mogul’s ambitions for an e-commerce platform aimed at taking on the likes of Amazon.com and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt.Sony operates in the South Asian country through Sony Pictures Networks India, which has a bouquet of channels including Sony Entertainment Television, reaching over 700 million viewers in India.TV18 Broadcast owns and operates 56 channels in India spanning news and entertainment. It also caters to the global Indian diaspora through 16 international channels.(Updates with analyst’s comment in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Baiju Kalesh in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Anto Antony in Mumbai at email@example.com;P R Sanjai in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at email@example.com, ;Sam Nagarajan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Arijit GhoshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- While the U.S-China trade war rages on, the tensions are exposing growing rifts between China and Silicon Valley.Leading venture capitalists and startup founders expressed concern over their governments’ fierce differences and the potential fallout. Among the dangers are a decline in cross-border investment, disruption in the supply chain and decreased collaboration in fields like artificial intelligence, wireless technology and cancer research.Signs of trouble are emerging in everything from venture capital to movie-making. Fundraising for dollar-based venture capital funds in China is down 75%, estimates Qiming Venture Partners’ founding partner Gary Rieschel. Olivia Hao, an executive at Beijing-based film production startup Baozou, said it is increasingly hard to make investments or buy other companies in the U.S.“Before, people were impressed when we said we had screenwriters from Hollywood,” said Hao on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing. “Now people say, why aren’t you using more Chinese creators.”China and the U.S. are edging closer to a trade deal but the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong and the U.S. bill on the city’s special status threaten to stall negotiations.The fight to rule the technology sector is at the heart of China-U.S. tensions. Over the last few decades, the two countries have woven together a world-spanning supply chain that helped create innovation like Apple Inc.’s iPhone and propel industries like AI and robotics.American money has flowed into China, lending the capital essential in creating many of the countries’ top technology companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Chinese and American engineers have traversed both countries, driving innovation at startups and large companies alike. All of that is under the microscope now that the U.S. is clamping down on Chinese investment in the U.S. and scrutinizing the capital flows between the two countries.“Foreign capital remains the primary provider of early stage risk capital in China,” Rieschel said, adding that “82% of venture capital goes to the U.S. and China, these two countries have to work together in areas like AI.”Increasingly, American tech companies, venture capitalists and startups face a narrow choice on how to deal with China: Either take the country at face value and decide that as a rational business, profits matter more than any kind of moral high ground, or make a conscious decision to stop pursuing business in a country that will require you to adhere to its viewpoints inside -- and outside -- its borders.There are signs that Silicon Valley, which long avoided politics and courted a close relationship with China, is now starting to turn. U.S. venture capital companies and startups are refusing Chinese limited partners and investors. There are suspicions around Chinese startups in the fields of semiconductors, artificial intelligence and robotics who want to do business in the U.S., or try to attract funds from American venture capitalists.A number of Chinese startups also are souring on the view that Silicon Valley is the bastion of innovation.“Of course it will take years for China to catch up on deep tech like chips, but when it comes to areas like logistics and retail, China is moving much faster,” said Spencer Deng, founder of startup Dorabot, which is based in Shenzhen but has offices in Atlanta. “In the last three years, can you name one new innovation that came from Silicon Valley?” he said.Dorabot is working with companies like Walmart Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc. on automated technology.China is also taking steps to reduce its dependency in key areas of technology including in chips. “China’s semiconductor industry is catching up, they will be competitors in the global stage, and it provides a great place for us to invest,” said Neil Shen, managing partner and co-founder of Sequoia Capital China.The country’s ambition for its semiconductor industry grew in recent years as it spends more on importing chipsets than oil each year. Beijing has injected tens of billions of dollars into its young chip sector to build mega factories and attract top talent as the China attempts to reboot its economy with advanced manufacturing.Note: The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.\--With assistance from Gao Yuan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum Murphy, James MaygerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Ten Mexican citizens have sued Walmart over the shooting at a store in the U.S. border town of El Paso, Texas, that killed eight Mexicans and left eight more injured, saying that Walmart did not do enough to protect its customers, Mexico said on Wednesday. The suspected gunman told police he was targeting "Mexicans" in the August shooting, which killed 22 people in total.
Casey's (CASY) remains on track with its value creation plan to improve sales and profitability. Also, management is focusing on improving distribution efficiency.
Wall Street's main indexes were lower on Wednesday on concerns that a "phase one" trade deal between Washington and Beijing may not be completed this year, and minutes from the Federal Reserve's October policy meeting offered little help. Investors appeared to be more focused on a Reuters report that completion of an initial U.S.-China trade deal could slide into next year as Beijing presses for tariff rollbacks. Earlier, a U.S. Senate measure aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid prolonged protests had escalated tensions with China and pressured the market.