HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Meituan Dianping's solid debut offers a recipe for its peers. Shares in the Chinese takeaway-to-taxi group rose as much as 7 percent in their Hong Kong debut on Thursday, taking its value to some $56 billion. That's respectable, after handset-maker Xiaomi’s fumbled start in July. Its sober expectations and big-name cornerstone investors helped restore appetites.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Didi Chuxing is falling way behind Uber on the road to an initial public offering. Both ride-hailing outfits burn heaps of cash and want to make market debuts soon, but new figures suggest they are traveling in different directions.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s one step forward, and two steps back for Alibaba. Three days after co-founder Jack Ma told a journalist that he planned to step down, the $420 billion e-commerce group confirmed that Chief Executive Daniel Zhang would succeed him as executive chairman in 2019. That’s laudable forward planning. And yet Monday’s official pronouncement raises as many governance questions as it answers.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jack Ma's exit is a teachable moment for China tech. The charismatic former English instructor and co-founder of Alibaba has told the New York Times he plans to retire. But Ma will still wield huge influence at the $420 billion company. Investors will want clarity on who really holds the reins.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elliott Management is running out of patience with Hyundai. The U.S. hedge-fund giant says the South Korean conglomerate is not making enough progress with its long-awaited overhaul. The complaint looks justified: the sprawling group has yet to follow up after investors nixed a $9 billion plan in May. With regulators stepping up pressure to reform, it may not be able to stall much longer.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's 5G ambitions will cross wires with M&A logic. Beijing might merge state-owned wireless carriers China Unicom and China Telecom to create a $70 billion-plus telco giant – and a market duopoly. Consolidation could accelerate the development of ultra-fast networks, but industrial policy goals will limit the financial benefits.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - JD.com shareholders just got an abrupt reminder about their investment. Richard Liu, the founder and chief executive of the $45 billion Chinese e-commerce company, was arrested in the United States for alleged sexual misconduct and released. Even if he is cleared – JD says the accusation is “unsubstantiated” – the episode renews questions about corporate governance and the use of legally untested structures.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - South Korea's chaebol overhaul is running into economic reality. The country’s competition chief just unveiled new rules to rein in multi-layered conglomerates, in what will be the first rewrite of antitrust rules in nearly four decades. Slowing growth, however, has made the likes of Samsung even more important to the country's jobs plight. That means corporate governance reform probably will wind up weaker than originally anticipated.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Amazon looks set to win the Pentagon’s $10 bln JEDI cloud contract, but Oracle is fighting back. Plus: Is it time for Airbnb to sell its China business? And should Elon Musk be worried about a Chinese Tesla lookalike listing in New York?
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Forget autonomous driving: The latest digital buzzword is medtech. Investors at last week’s annual RISE technology conference in Hong Kong talked up a coming healthcare artificial-intelligence revolution, and the hype is as palpable in Silicon Valley. Chinese firms are well positioned to take the lead.