Breakingviews

Local brands lead race for China’s savvy consumers

June 29, 2016

From shampoo to snacks, upstart Chinese companies are challenging foreign rivals, a new report shows. They heed digital trends, adapt to local tastes and respond to customers' increasingly sophisticated demands. Western firms that don't follow their lead risk being left behind.

China has more to lose from Western turmoil

June 28, 2016

As voters in developed countries reject globalisation, Premier Li Keqiang has called for more international economic cooperation. That makes sense: rising protectionism and resistance to foreign investment will hurt Chinese business and exacerbate its own economic slowdown.

Alibaba’s new candour is overdue but welcome

June 15, 2016

The Chinese e-commerce giant has promised to shed more light on the financial performance of a range of businesses. That’s a relief for investors amid an accounting probe by U.S. regulators. A better-than-expected revenue forecast also helped ease concerns about slowing sales.

Hong Kong could be a black belt in green bonds

June 14, 2016

China is pushing environmental finance, but rules and definitions are fuzzy. Hong Kong’s large pool of capital and transparent regulation give it the credentials to whip this immature market into shape. With just one green bond under its belt, however, the city has work to do.

Tencent can win with a $9 bln bet on Supercell

June 10, 2016

The Chinese web giant is reportedly talking about buying the maker of Clash of Clans at an unexpectedly high $9 bln valuation. Such a big deal would be a first for Tencent. But buying the games-maker from Japan’s SoftBank could pay off - if Supercell can keep churning out gems.

Jack Ma’s healthcare buyout is hard to stomach

June 9, 2016

The Alibaba boss’s buyout firm is bidding $1.4 bln-plus for U.S.-listed iKang. His minimum bid is 20 pct cheaper than an unfriendly approach from a rival, now dropped, which iKang’s CEO countered with a poison pill. Unless Ma pays more, outside investors will feel pretty icky.

Disney and Wanda can both ride China’s park boom

June 8, 2016

Mickey Mouse’s owner is opening a $5.5 bln Shanghai theme park. Meanwhile local rival Wanda, run by China’s richest man, plans a string of cheaper attractions in smaller cities. Despite Wanda’s fighting talk, the two serve different markets, and can thrive simultaneously.

India’s smartphone giant eyes China role reversal

June 3, 2016

Micromax has bested Chinese rivals in its home market. To realise its lofty goal of being one of the world’s top five handset makers by 2020, it must succeed in the People’s Republic. Raising the fresh capital required might be the easiest part for the Indian firm.

MSCI can still afford to shun China stocks

June 2, 2016

The index compiler must once again decide whether to add mainland shares to global benchmarks. Though regulators have made some reforms, memories of last summer’s mass suspensions and state intervention are still fresh. Another delay would give China more reason to open up.

SoftBank’s $8 bln Alibaba sale is late but prudent

June 1, 2016

Masayoshi Son’s tech and telecom conglomerate is offloading 4.2 pct of the Chinese e-commerce giant to pay down debt. The hugely successful investment is now more burden than blessing. As SoftBank takes a more disciplined approach to its portfolio, further disposals may follow.