Breakingviews

Activist faces long odds to stop Baidu video deal

July 20, 2016

Acacia Partners objects to a bid from Baidu's CEO for the group's video unit. The U.S. fund is right to highlight potential conflicts of interest. But it is hard to see an activist victory here, given the boss's influence. Same goes for China's other internet giants.

Samsung charges up electric car dream with BYD

July 15, 2016

The smartphone-to-chips giant will buy a stake in Tesla's Chinese rival. Having a local ally may smooth ties with Beijing after regulatory setbacks in the People's Republic – and ensure the cash-rich South Korean group gets a slice of China's turbo-charged electric car market.

AMC-Odeon deal is both trailer and closing credits

July 12, 2016

The U.S. cinema chain is buying its European peer for $1.2 bln. The deal ends Odeon's epic stint in private equity hands. It's a further sign of the global ambitions of Wanda, AMC's Chinese backer. And it could be the first of many post-Brexit deals by dollar-based buyers.

Alibaba highlights hurdles in Russia’s pivot east

July 12, 2016

Moscow wants closer economic ties with China, rather than dealing with an unfriendly West. But Russia's poor business climate makes life hard for Chinese companies, although they are used to draconian rules at home. Even e-commerce giant Alibaba has only made modest inroads.

Vanke battle is test of China’s shareholder rules

July 7, 2016

The country's top property developer is fighting with major holder Baoneng. The spat has produced a $7 bln deal, a motion to dismiss the board, and suggestions big stakeholders are colluding. The outcome will show whether China's public markets are up to protecting investors.

China’s giant savings bank not as safe as it seems

July 6, 2016

One in three Chinese citizens has money in Postal Savings Bank of China. It has fewer loans to bloated state firms and fewer bad debts than rivals. But big holdings of bonds issued by other arms of the Chinese state – and increased dabbling in shadow finance – still pose risks.

HK has to pore over cement deal that came unstuck

July 4, 2016

West China Cement shares crashed just before a takeover by rival Anhui Conch fell over. That suggests the news leaked somehow. Hong Kong regulators have already clamped down on insider trading, long seen as a big problem in the territory. A fast, thorough investigation is needed.

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.