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Aug 19, 2014
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Sinopec petrol sale attracts a motley bunch

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By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Sinopec’s petrol station stake sale could drum up a mixed bunch. The Chinese oil giant is seeking investors to help develop Sinopec Sales, which operates its vast network of filling stations. Prospective buyers from food retail, energy, technology and private equity have been shortlisted, according to Reuters. But the price tag of around $16 billion for a 30 percent stake could force them to club together.

Aug 6, 2014

Xiaomi creative destruction may reach beyond China

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Ethan Bilby

HONG KONG, Aug 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Xiaomi has
overtaken the mighty Samsung to become China’s top
smartphone seller. Could the same success follow in Kuala Lumpur
and Bangalore? The four-year-old upstart’s rise is evidence of
the continuing creative destruction in the mobile market.
Xiaomi’s model of low-cost phones and software sales may squeeze
rivals elsewhere.

Aug 5, 2014
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Microsoft’s China dream sorely strains credibility

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By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Xbox gamers fear the “red ring of death”, a flashing light that can herald system failure. Microsoft, which makes the consoles, must be awaiting a similar sign in China. After 22 years, the tech giant has achieved little in the country, which looks to account for around 2 percent of revenue. Cloud services may multiply that over time, but political headwinds are raising the cost of business – possibly too high.

Jul 28, 2014
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China throws weight around on car parts costs

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By Ethan Bilby 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

China’s competition watchdog has forced luxury carmakers into a U-turn. The whiff of a probe into vehicle parts was enough to get Audi and Jaguar Land Rover to reduce their prices, even though neither has been publicly deemed to be abusing its position. Experience shows in China it is better to admit guilt early than risk bigger fines, or lose access to a critical market.

Jul 25, 2014
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Qualcomm turns from predator to prey in China

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By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bad news keeps piling on for Qualcomm. Beijing has branded the U.S. chipmaker a monopolist, even as its dominance, which rests on smartphone chips and 3G patents, may be sliding. If that weren’t enough, some Chinese customers aren’t paying their dues. As friction over U.S.-China spying persists, things may only get worse.

Jul 7, 2014
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Beijing Motor IPO lifts bonnet on China carmakers

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By Ethan Bilby 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist.  The opinions expressed are his own.

Beijing Motor is offering investors a glimpse under the bonnet of the Chinese auto industry. The carmaker part-owned by Germany’s Daimler is planning a Hong Kong listing it hopes will help it cash in on China’s expanding demand for new vehicles. But its profitability depends entirely on joint ventures with foreign groups. It’s a reminder that China’s car market has two speeds.

Jul 2, 2014
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Macau revenue drop augurs further slowdown

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By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Even Macau isn’t immune to China’s e-commerce boom. Online betting on soccer’s World Cup may have contributed to the first year-on-year drop in the enclave’s gaming revenue since 2010. That’s okay as long as tourist numbers keep rising.

Jun 18, 2014
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China veto is wake-up call for world’s dealmakers

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By Ethan Bilby 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Chinese regulators have sunk their first overseas transaction, killing a container-shipping alliance led by Denmark’s Maersk. The particular national interest made this tie-up especially vulnerable. But there’s a real risk China could torpedo other global deals.

Jun 9, 2014
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China-U.S. cyber spat risks corporate casualties

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By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

China’s security spat with the United States risks corporate casualties on both sides. The People’s Republic has responded to U.S. allegations of cyber spying by targeting American tech companies. A continuing dispute could lead to blocked deals in the United States and lost sales in China. Though companies can try to ease concerns, it’s hard for them to escape a political escalation.

Jun 5, 2014
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Chinese hiccup temporarily deflates dairy bubble

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By Ethan Bilby 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The world’s biggest milk importer is taking a break from its dairy diet. The price of milk-related products tracked by auction platform GlobalDairyTrade has fallen 25 percent since January. Though the decline is partly due to improving supply, demand from voracious buyer China has also fallen. That lull is unlikely to last.

    • About Ethan

      "Ethan is Reuters Breakingviews corporate China columnist based in Hong Kong. He joins the team having covered trade disputes, foreign affairs, and EU politics in Brussels. Ethan began working for Reuters as a graduate trainee in London and speaks Mandarin Chinese, Danish, Swedish and Spanish. Follow Ethan on Twitter at @EthanBilby"
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