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.

SoftBank’s $32 bln ARM bet gives investors a shock

July 18, 2016

The Japanese tech group has reportedly agreed to buy the UK chip designer. It's a pricey punt on connected devices, and an unwelcome surprise for those who thought SoftBank was focused on reducing debt. Shareholders remain at the mercy of Chairman Masayoshi Son's "crazy ideas".

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.

Nintendo’s augmented shares reflect new reality

July 14, 2016

The runaway success of the Japanese group's Pokemon app has sent its shares up more than 50 pct. That's a big vote of confidence in Nintendo's future mobile games, too. To justify the move, EBITDA will need to top 250 bln yen by 2018-2019 - more than double previous forecasts.

Temasek’s goals are bold for a low-yield world

July 8, 2016

The $180 bln Singaporean investor just suffered its first down year since the financial crisis. Still, it beat benchmarks, and some key holdings have since rebounded. However, Temasek is still targeting a feisty 8 pct annual return. That could skew future investment decisions.

Apple skips a few beats in streaming battle

July 1, 2016

The $535 bln iPhone maker may be mulling a purchase of Tidal, rapper Jay Z's online music service, to bolster its own. Meanwhile Spotify says Apple is harming it by rejecting an app upgrade. Apple has the clout to fend off rivals, but adding Tidal won't help get its rhythm back.

Japan’s chat app IPO is more Twitter than WeChat

July 1, 2016

Messaging platform Line is going public with a valuation of up to $6.6 bln. Like Chinese rival WeChat, it has lured millions with games and virtual stickers. Yet its user base has stopped growing. Like Twitter, it must now try to squeeze more revenue out of those people.

Lyft mulls trip out of capital destruction

June 28, 2016

The $5.5 bln ride-hailing app has hired Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst – an adviser with a knack for selling tech firms at hefty premiums. With rivals Uber and Didi raising and burning billions in an attempt to gain control of markets, M&A discretion may prove wiser than valor.

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.

Microsoft’s CEO abandons prudence with LinkedIn

June 13, 2016

Satya Nadella’s $26 bln deal could reinvigorate the software giant’s slipping grip on corporate computer systems and employee interactions. Paying a 50 pct premium for a flawed business raises several red flags, however. Microsoft’s M&A record doesn’t inspire confidence, either.