What is the most popular app in China? You’re probably thinking WeChat. Though that might still be true, WeChat now has a serious challenger whose meteoric rise has taken China by storm (and WeChat’s owner Tencent by surprise). That is Douyin (抖音, literally “shaking sound” in Chinese), one of the most popular short video apps in China, as well as worldwide. It is owned by ByteDance (a.k.a Toutiao), an AI-driven media company in China and one of the world’s most …
China’s tech giants are waging a price war over smart speakers. But that’s ok with Chang Le, co-founder of Beijing-based start-up SoundAI, who sees it as a sign of market strength. Baidu just released its lower-end smart speaker Xiaodu at a special discount price of RMB89 (US$13.9), the same as Alibaba’s smart speaker Tianmao Jingling (Tmall Genie), and little more than JD.com’s Dingdong, which is selling at a discounted RMB79 (US$12). Chang says the price war is completely understandable because every …
On January 30, at China Renaissance Group’s 2018 New Year Media Communication Conference, Bao Fan, founder and CEO of China Renaissance Group, shared his views on the 2017 capital markets, blockchain and market competition. Below is an edited summary of his speech that originally appeared on Touzirenshuo’s Wechat channel. China Money Network is authorized to republish the post. It felt like 2017 went especially fast, in the blink of an eye. Indeed, 2017 was a triumphant year for our industry. …
This winter, people in Beijing and other major cities in China noticed more blue-sky days. This was a welcome sign of progress, until news reports surfaced about rural residents suffering freezing temperatures in their homes because coal-powered heaters have been banned while natural gas heaters, which were supposed to replace coal heaters, had not yet been installed.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has issued its annual report with some recommendations that may influence the debate as Congress moves forward with legislation aimed at broadening CFIUS reviews of foreign investment in the US. The legislation under consideration is squarely aimed at China without explicitly stating that fact.
RMB denominated private equity and venture funds continue to grow in size and importance, while U.S. dollar funds have seen their role in China’s private investment markets decline. Despite new data indicating that U.S. dollar funds will be further marginalized, there are signs that a very different group of players are setting up or showing renewed interests in establishing offshore U.S. dollar funds to deploy Chinese capital globally.
For the Chinese technology and venture capital community, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech opening the 19th congress of the Chinese communist party was everything it hoped for. The key words "artificial intelligence", "big data" and "innovation" were highlighted and emphasized repeatedly in the otherwise laborious three-hour address.
IDG Capital’s name appeared in a curious press release today. "Secoo: IDG Capital Will Continue to Support Undervalued Secoo After Restrictions Are Lifted," it reads. Secoo Holding Ltd, a Chinese luxury e-commerce retailer that raised around US$140 million in a NASDAQ IPO last month, has seen its share price nearly halve during the past three weeks after shares began trading on September 22. The company’s ADR closed at US$6.97 apiece on October 12, compared to its IPO price of US$13 …
When China’s largest footwear retailer Belle International was delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July following a US$6.8 billion take-private deal, the news was greeted with melancholy. "The Official Fall Of The King Of Shoes", read one headline, catching the sentiment of the time.
Deal activity in China was strong in 2016. AI and sharing economy were the top two buzzwords in capital markets. How has the situation changed in 2017? The tech channel at Tencent News and startup database IT Juzi jointly released a report on the venture capital trend in the first half of 2017. China Tech Insights is authorized exclusively to release the English version of the report, and China Money Network is republishing the report via a partnership with China …
It’s Monday morning, and Ms. Li, a sanitation worker at a Shenzhen apartment building is busy emptying leftover food from delivery boxes and collecting the plastic containers. On this day, she finds about 200 pieces, which she’ll sell for just RMB3 to augment her RMB2000 monthly salary. Monday morning offers the best pickings as the garbage can is full of food delivery bags dumped over the weekend.
Venture capitalists are throwing money at China’s cashier-free convenience stores. But will they actually make money, or learn once again that retail, even tech-driven retail, is a brutal business of low margins, low barriers to entry and high fixed costs?
It’s the paradox at the core of China investing: why has such a phenomenal economy proved such a disappointing investment destination for so many global institutional investors, PE firms and Fortune 500s.
China and the United States are both artificial intelligence superpowers. But China may soon be the clear leader, at least in terms of AI patents filed. The U.S. currently has more, with 35,508 AI patents, versus 34,345 for China. But as Chinese companies and scientists are filing AI patents at a faster pace, the nation is likely to hold more AI patents than the U.S. by year end, according to a report by Sequoia Capital China and Zhen Fund.
Hong Kong has failed in terms of innovation and technology development when compared with other countries in the region, including mainland China, Singapore and South Korea, famed Chinese angel investor Bob Xu said in a forum held in the special administrative region yesterday.
Whenever I see a small company having a startling large impact on the world, I look for an engine. I look for something that is amplifying what a relatively small number of people are doing. For example, the engine that rocketed Facebook (and Wechat) upwards was the economics and psychology of social media (plus viral marketing). The engine that powered Macau to become five times Las Vegas in a few years was the psychology of gambling plus 1.4B Chinese consumers. …
China is going cashless, no doubt. Chinese consumers spent a total of US$5.5 trillion via mobile payment platforms last year, or simply put, it was about 50 times more than their American counterparts (around US$112 billion), according to data from Forrester Research and iResearch. The credit of the country’s multi-trillion dollar mobile payment market goes to China’s third-party QR code-scanning mobile payment platforms, led by WeChat Pay and Alipay. Statistics show that from 2013 to 2016, the number of transactions …
I am frequently asked why our China Unicorn Ranking has 108 unicorns, while some Silicon Valley-based data firms have the number at 45. How do we explain the vast difference?
Two of China’s leading online education companies, backed by a who’s-who of top venture capital firms, are embroiled in an ugly public relations fight involving pornography, alleged hacking and threatened legal action. The episode has caused an outcry from investors and industry participants, with the latest being Baidu Inc., an investor and former parent of one company, releasing a statement with harsh words for all involved. The facts are still unclear, yet it seems certain that both firms are destined …
There have been a lot of discussions on China’s rising prowess in artificial intelligence, on how the Chinese are catching up or even surpassing the U.S. in leading the world’s most important future technology trend. The concerns are so real that the U.S. government is reportedly looking to strengthen scrutiny of Chinese investments in American AI companies.
In late July, I did a tour of Mobike’s headquarters in Beijing – and I had a fascinating talk with founder Hu Weiwei and VP of International Expansion Chris Martin. It was a fantastic experience and I left with a much better appreciation of the rocket-ship ride the company has been on. I am writing up three (more serious) business articles on the bike-sharing business from this experience. But here is a summary of my trip – and then five …
Despite being an export powerhouse, Chinese products have largely been run-of-the-mill stuff like cloth, shoes and toys. Change is on its way, however, and it’s coming on two wheels in the form of bike sharing.
"Look, they are stopping traffic for us," I told my fellow passengers, pointing to a Dalian city police car driving in front of our beige mini-bus.
A controversial new cybersecurity law came into force today in China. The law, with important changes to critical data processing and personal information collection, brings uncertainty to companies, especially those foreign entities operating in China, according to digital forensics firm KrolLDiscovery.
Looking at China Money Network’s China Unicorn Ranking of 102 companies worth a combined US$435 billion, three waves of technology investment jump out. Financial technology is a past wave in terms of opportunity, artificial intelligence is a present wave, while education and healthcare are waves that are only now gaining strength.
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded China’s sovereign rating to A1 from Aa3 today, with a stable outlook. The downgrade comes almost 15 months after Moody’s placed China on negative outlook on March 2, 2016.
It’s hard to predict which new products will take off and which will flop. The Segway was launched in 2001 to much media interest, but quickly became the subject of ridicule and fell into obscurity. Fifteen years later, the “hoverboard” – essentially a Segway without handlebars – somehow became one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts, with hundreds of factories in China churning out the two-wheeled trendsetter.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia teamed up with U.S. private equity giant Blackstone Group yesterday to launch a new investment vehicle dedicated to infrastructure development, primarily in the U.S. Anchored by a US$20 billion contribution by PIF, the two plan to raise another US$20 billion from other investors and leverage up their dry powder to US$100 billion.
China’s outbound direct investment will enter an "ice age" in 2017, due to the country’s continued tight control over capital outflows. But in the long term, more Chinese companies will seek acquisitions overseas and the sector still has significant room for growth, says a report issued by Sino-Europe private equity firm A Capital.
Chinese technology companies must innovate on frontier technologies and pursue a globalization strategy in order to compete successfully with U.S. rivals, says Wang Xing, head of Chinese group-buying and peer-review leader Meituan-Dianping.
China remains the global hot spot for shopping mall construction, as eight Chinese cities were listed among the top ten markets for shopping centers either planned or under construction, with Shenzhen and Shanghai occupying the top two spots.