Bureau Chief, Vietnam
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Feb 9, 2015

Alibaba places China smartphone business bet with $590 million Meizu deal

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a $590 million stake in an obscure domestic smartphone maker as the e-commerce giant tests ways to expand its mobile operating system in a shrinking, cut-throat handset market.

Extending a previously muted push into hardware, Alibaba said on Monday it will buy an unspecified minority stake in smartphone maker Meizu Technology Co. Dwarfed by rivals like Xiaomi Inc [XTC.UL], privately owned Meizu’s slice of China’s smartphone market is estimated by analysts at below 2 percent.

Jan 29, 2015

Alibaba quarterly revenue disappoints, shares fall

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (BABA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) shares fell more than 10 percent early on Thursday, wiping more than $25 billion of market value after third quarter revenue at the Chinese internet giant fell short of analysts’ expectations.

Revenue at the world’s largest e-commerce company rose 40 percent to $4.22 billion in the December quarter, short of the average analyst estimate of $4.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Jan 28, 2015

China regulator blasts Alibaba for illegal business on its websites

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A China regulator has accused Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) of failing to clean up what it called illegal business deals on the e-commerce titan’s platforms, in an unusually strong government criticism of one of the country’s biggest private firms.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), in a report published on its website on Wednesday, said many products sold on Alibaba’s e-commerce websites and services infringed upon trademarks, were substandard or fake, were banned or endangered public security.

Jan 21, 2015

China censures 11 officials over Shanghai New Year stampede

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has punished 11 Shanghai officials for failing to prevent a New Year’s Eve stampede that killed 36 people, injured dozens and dented the image of the country’s most cosmopolitan and best-managed city.

Municipal officials involved in the investigation blamed the stampede on government and Communist Party leaders from the Huangpu District, home to the riverfront Bund area where the disaster happened.

Jan 20, 2015

Alibaba, Tencent spend billions in race to be China’s one-stop online shop

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba and Tencent spent more than $8 billion last year alone backing often strikingly similar ventures, as the Chinese Internet giants race to create online one-stop-shops to win the digital loyalty of a tenth of the world’s population.

Before China became the biggest smartphone market, there was little overlap between the businesses of e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, social networking firm Tencent Holdings Ltd and search engine provider Baidu Inc.

Jan 17, 2015

China’s Xi congratulates new chairman of Taiwan’s ruling party

TAIPEI/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s President Xi Jinping on Saturday welcomed the election of Eric Chu as chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang party, the Xinhua news agency reported, which quoted Xi saying he hoped Taiwan-China relations would continue to move forward.

Taiwan and China have been at odds since the end of China’s civil war when the Kuomintang fled to the island leaving the Communists running the mainland. But business ties across the Taiwan Straits have increased since China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou took power in 2008.

Dec 7, 2014

Insight – Labour movement ‘concertmaster’ tests Beijing’s boundaries

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – When local officials warned striking shoe factory workers in China’s Pearl River Delta this summer that they were breaking the law, a slight, bespectacled figure barely 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 metres) tall faced them down.

“Where is the law that says striking is illegal? If this activity is prohibited by the law, then you need to say so with crystal clarity. Which law is it?” labour lawyer Duan Yi said he told them, with his characteristic growl.

Dec 7, 2014

Labour movement “concertmaster” tests Beijing’s boundaries

SHENZHEN, China, Dec 7 (Reuters) – When local officials
warned striking shoe factory workers in China’s Pearl River
Delta this summer that they were breaking the law, a slight,
bespectacled figure barely 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 metres) tall
faced them down.

“Where is the law that says striking is illegal? If this
activity is prohibited by the law, then you need to say so with
crystal clarity. Which law is it?” labour lawyer Duan Yi said he
told them, with his characteristic growl.

Dec 5, 2014

China stocks cool off on profit-taking, Hong Kong up on inflows

SHANGHAI, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Chinese stocks slipped early
Friday, but the fall was checked by soaring brokerage shares and
a key index could produce its best week this year as small
investors stayed bullish.

The main indices both rose over 2 percent before investors
booked profits, particularly on property shares that earlier
surged on speculation Beijing would ease policy further.

Nov 2, 2014

Police reputation and morale at stake in Hong Kong protests

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong police have been pushed and pulled in all directions during weeks of pro-democracy street protests, obeying orders to clear protest sites, allow protest sites to stay put, push back demonstrators and protect them from attack.

With no end to the standoff in sight, the police, long known as “Asia’s finest”, risk being cast as enforcers for an unpopular central government in Beijing or failing in their duty to ensure the city remains one of the safest in the world.