HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Didi is cruising headlong into some rocky terrain. The Beijing-based ride-hailing giant on Thursday unveiled plans to go public in New York. Growth has resurged, but exuberant markets, U.S. political pressure and technology crackdowns will put this initial public offering to the ultimate road-test.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Deleveraging Evergrande is turning into a real migraine. Chinese watchdogs want lenders to stress-test their exposure to the developer, Bloomberg reports. In focus is troubled Shengjing Bank, but larger institutions are involved too.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s $59 billion answer to Zillow has an opportunity to remodel its corporate governance. The founder of online real estate broker Ke, Zuo Hui, left behind a 39% economic stake and 81% of the voting rights when he died last month. There's no good reason for a family trust to wield such feudal control. Converting the shares to common ones would be the right thing to do.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alibaba, is walking a tightrope. A record $2.8 billion antitrust fine resulted in a quarterly net loss – the Chinese e-commerce group’s first since going public. But Alibaba forecasts that annual sales will jump 30% to $144 billion in the next fiscal year. That should soothe jittery shareholders. Regulators, though, are increasingly at odds with the group’s competitive edge – its vast data trove.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s slow-moving population crash is speeding up. The government must now contemplate radical changes to policy to compensate, earlier than expected.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ping An Insurance may indemnify one costly deal with a better one. Not long after losing $1.5 billion in a failed property investment, the Chinese conglomerate plans to spend up to $7.9 billion to buy control of Founder Group, Peking University’s bankrupt corporate empire. A more synergistic acquisition would be welcome.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nike’s Chinese challenger has cashed out of a nationalist shopping spree early. The controlling shareholder of Anta Sports, a $46 billion sportswear maker, will pocket a whopping $1.5 billion in a rare share sale. The deal comes after Chinese consumers threatened boycotts of Western brands critical of Beijing’s Xinjiang policy, which was seen as benefiting Anta and local peers. It’s smart timing by a struggling company.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Chinese economy has managed to make double-digit economic expansion look disappointing. Output grew 18.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, but that was less than expected given last year was so dismal. Compared to the previous quarter, the recovery lost a surprising amount of steam. With limited monetary policy options, fiscal stimulus appears to be slowing at the worst possible time.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - What’s left for Chinese internet companies deprived of the ability to leverage user data, offer subsidies or abuse market dominance? Days after fining Alibaba a record $2.8 billion for anti-competitive behaviour, the antitrust watchdog has sent an ultimatum to dozens more, giving them a month to rectify behaviour and warning of severe consequences. Some companies can change easily. Others will have to find new revenue streams in a jiffy.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Megvii Technology’s political problems have turned into financial ones. The Chinese developer of artificial-intelligence hardware and software is angling to go public again, this time in Shanghai after a U.S. trade ban factored into its abandonment of a Hong Kong listing attempt a year ago. The mainland venue makes more sense, but the numbers are far from compelling.