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Robyn Mak

Breakingviews - Baidu gets useful M&A advice from unlikely source

Nov 19 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Baidu is getting some useful M&A advice from an unlikely source. Days after the Chinese search-engine operator agreed to buy a short-video-streaming app for $3.6 billion, short-seller Muddy Waters has accused its owner Joyy of fraud. It's a blessing in disguise.

Breakingviews - China hangs its sharpest sword over online giants

Nov 10 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The global backlash against technology giants has reached China. The country’s antitrust watchdogs on Tuesday unveiled draft rules singling out "internet platforms" for potential monopolistic behaviour. The details cover everything from offshore structures to big data. There is plenty of room for interpretation but following the sudden regulatory halt of the Alibaba-backed Ant's massive initial public offering this month, the rules read ominously.

Breakingviews - Chinese vaccine developer flags corporate disease

Nov 09 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic opportunity is being undermined by an equally rare corporate governance disaster. Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine tests were showing promising signs before hitting a snag this week. The Chinese company’s shareholders can only sit by and watch, however, as an epic saga unfolds featuring a buyout attempt, boardroom coup and rarely triggered poison pill.

Breakingviews - Alibaba will feel the Ant sting

Nov 06 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alibaba is starting to feel the Ant sting. The e-commerce giant's ties to the reeling financial technology company are weighing on its $780 billion valuation. A suspended initial public offering and Beijing's new credit rules have hit just as growth at Alibaba's core shopping business slows. Boss Daniel Zhang will have to start pulling harder on other levers.

Breakingviews - Crushed Ant is just the start of China techlash

Nov 04 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s technology industry is facing an Ant-sized problem. An abrupt regulatory halt to the fintech company’s $37 billion initial public offering speaks to Beijing's waning tolerance for the clout wielded by online titans. Alibaba, Tencent and others have avoided concerns dogging their Western counterparts so far, but that could be about to change.

Breakingviews - Beijing puts Ant on a shorter leash

Nov 02 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ant mania is getting a reality check from Beijing. Days ahead of the company’s record-setting $34 billion initial public offering, founder Jack Ma was hauled in by regulators for a chat. Newly unveiled rules also would treat technology middlemen more like banks.

Breakingviews - Ant’s $312 bln valuation puts faith in fast growth

Oct 27 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ant is doing all it can to project prosperity. The financial technology company priced both sets of its shares with a lucky number eight, which sounds like "fortune" in Chinese. To live up to that symbolised measure of success, and a $312 billion valuation, it will have to grow quickly.

Breakingviews - Samsung chairman bequeaths a tainted empire

Oct 25 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Lee Kun-hee leaves behind an impressive, albeit deeply flawed, empire. The Samsung chairman, who transformed his father's noodle-trading business into a $355 billion smartphone and chipmaking colossus, has died at 78. The second-generation leader's mark on Korea Inc will endure, but so do scandals that threaten the family’s grip on power.

Breakingviews - Hyundai is primed for a chaebol tune-up

Oct 22 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hyundai may finally be ready to tinker with its chaebol setup. The South Korean company warned of another $2.9 billion charge for engine troubles, but electric vehicles should propel its upcoming financial results. That would provide the necessary momentum for a broader restructuring.

Breakingviews - SK Hynix’s $9 bln deal is chip sector’s quick fix

Oct 19 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - SK Hynix's chip deal is just what the sector needs right now. South Korea's semiconductor giant will buy Intel's NAND memory business for $9 billion - its largest acquisition ever. Less competition might prop up prices, which have plunged on uncertain demand. In the long term, stronger chipmakers may stand a better chance against Chinese entrants.

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