Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
Hong Kong's next leader faces a public housing crisis. The city's real estate bubble, buoyed by low interest rates, limited supply and mainland money, is stoking unrest. Incoming Chief Executive Carrie Lam promises more affordable housing. It's better policy that's in short supply.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese biotech has revitalised Hong Kong's IPO market. Shares of WuXi Biologics popped as much as 39 percent on their debut on Tuesday. High earnings growth and a lack of exciting initial public offerings led to strong demand for the $511 million deal. This is good news for a bourse keen to attract a new breed of entrepreneurs.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jack Ma's big data ambitions have gotten a stamp of approval from investors. Shares of Alibaba rocketed up 13 percent on Thursday - the group's biggest daily rise since going public - after the company revealed startlingly optimistic revenue growth forecasts during its annual investor conference. It's a powerful vindication of Ma's forays into AI and cloud technology.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Samsung looks unprepared for a future without a prince firmly on the throne. The sprawling business empire, facing unprecedented legal risks, is preserving a structure that lets the Lee family keep nominal control of its $289 billion crown jewel via a small stake, despite an activist investor lobbying for an overhaul. The decision makes the group harder to steer, and the iconic South Korean brand owes much of its success to two generations of charismatic, if autocratic, rule. Without a decisive leader, the conglomerate risks strategic drift.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - WeChat is eating into the foundation of Jack Ma's empire. The billionaire controls Alibaba and Ant Financial, China's dominant e-commerce and payments outfits, together worth more than $350 billion. But users are increasingly turning to Tencent's all-in-one mobile messaging platform to pay and shop for things. The trend is a threat to Ma's behemoth.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The number two player in Chinese gaming just advanced another level. Sales at NetEase are soaring and its shares have almost doubled in a year. It also scored a real coup by bagging the Chinese rights to "Minecraft", the wildly popular block-building game. Yet the $37 billion group still looks cheap next to rivals Tencent and Activision Blizzard.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Apple's next iPhone will be key to its future in China. Sales in what was once the company's biggest growth market have now fallen for five straight quarters. Stiff competition with local handset makers and a weaker yuan have both hurt. While app-store sales are promising, a real turnaround hinges on the success of its much-anticipated, 10th-anniversary smartphone.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Taiwan faces a bigger threat than Chinese invasion: its own economic mismanagement. President Tsai Ing-wen has outlined plans to bolster growth, including a $29 billion stimulus package, but bolder reforms favoured by the business community look hobbled by politics. The irony is that a politician whose party is defined by resistance to Beijing may leave Taiwan more dependent on the mainland than ever.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's hottest news source has secured a sci-fi valuation. A recent fundraising values ByteDance, the group behind a popular news-feed app, at about $11 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. That the company has raised so much in a tricky sector suggests buzzwords such as artificial intelligence and big data can act like clickbait for investors.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting is defying gravity. A stalled $2 billion deal would add to a growing list of setbacks at LeEco, his empire that sprawls from video-streaming to smartphones and electric cars. But shares of Jia's flagship listed unit still trade at a huge premium to established giants like Alibaba and Tencent. The gulf between hype and reality is widening.