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 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tencent's healthcare push shows symptoms of hubris. China's $480 billion social-media and gaming giant has rapidly and quietly expanded into the sector, where apps linking patients to doctors and other health services are booming. The business opportunity helping upgrade the country’s inefficient medical system is real, but competition is fierce and online models are unproven.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Walgreens Boots Alliance is positioning itself for future healthy growth in China. On Wednesday, the U.S. drugstore chain said it would pay $416 million for 40 percent of Shanghai-headquartered peer GuoDa. A sensible shake-up of drug distribution and sales by Beijing is spurring consolidation and giving pharmacies a stronger hand. This deal gives Walgreens market insight and could be a springboard for more investment.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The modern economy is an intangible economy. In “Capitalism without Capital”, economics professor Jonathan Haskel and policy advisor Stian Westlake deliver an important and thought-provoking account of why this matters. They show how current policies are inadequate to tackle emerging social and economic challenges. But the book falls short of addressing the pressing issue of how to rein in dominant tech companies like Facebook and Google.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jack Ma is about to show off his new toys. China’s “Singles’ Day”, on Nov. 11, kicks off nearly a month of discounts and promotions. The extravaganza means lots of free PR and huge transaction volumes for Alibaba, his $480 billion behemoth. For investors, the stunts will also illustrate how supermarkets, augmented reality and mobile payments fit in Ma’s "new retail" strategy.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tech fervour is buoying Hong Kong’s new-issue market. Investors have snapped up shares in Razer, a maker of keyboards and mice for gamers, and China Literature, the electronic publishing arm of locally listed heavyweight Tencent. That contrasts with signs of fatigue over initial public offerings in New York and London. Limited supply, particularly in tech, has helped keep the market healthy.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's Baidu has stumbled in getting back to basics. Investors wiped more than 10 percent, or slightly more than $9 billion, from the web giant's market value in late U.S. trading on Thursday after it forecast disappointing sales for the rest of 2017. Baidu has cut costs and narrowed its focus to revitalise its search business. Unfortunately, that has yet to translate into less volatile results.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Warning signs are flashing after another big quarter at Samsung Electronics. The South Korean group's top executive, Kwon Oh-hyun, unexpectedly resigned on Friday following record-smashing forecasts for operating profit. An early lead in memory chips has fuelled blistering earnings growth at Samsung despite legal woes. But as rivals circle, a widening leadership vacuum looks worrying.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - President Xi Jinping’s closer embrace is bad news for Big Tech. China's government wants stakes and board seats at web giants like Tencent, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Beijing is already influential behind the scenes in technology, and given its tightening grip elsewhere, a power grab in this vital sector was all but inevitable. This will nonetheless cost investors.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's Sina is only likely to produce a qualified victory for activists. U.S. hedge fund manager Aristeia Capital wants the $8 billion web group to consider a sale or a merger with subsidiary Weibo. The former would never get past Chief Executive and Chairman Charles Chao, and the latter is a bad idea. But Chao could compromise by expanding the board, stepping up buybacks and handing out more Weibo shares.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - HTC is embracing an alternative reality. The ailing Taiwanese group is offloading part of its handset unit to Google for $1.1 billion. This will free up HTC to focus more on its risky but promising virtual reality business, where it is winning market share. Deeper ties with the U.S. giant might also help fend off rivals like Sony and Facebook.