Chinese home appliances group Midea is expecting a huge jump in its 2014 earnings. The company published its semi-annual performance prediction for 2014, stating that during the first six months of 2014, the company’s net profit is expected to increase by between 45% and 60% over the same period of last year; its earnings will reach between CNY6.059 billion and CNY6.686 billion; and its earnings per share will be about CNY1.44 to CNY1.59.
Ecommerce titan Alibaba has a new social network. It’s a sort of Instagram that’s based around tagging brand names that appear in your photos. Rather than making it a standalone app, Alibaba’s newest effort, called Fun, is built into its Tmall shopping app and is rolling out to users in an update for iOS and Android. Tmall is an online marketplace for large vendors and major brands.
Ecommerce titan Alibaba took a 28 percent stake in Autonavi nearly a year ago. And then in February this year the firm proposed a full buy-out of Autonavi for a premium of US$21 per share. (UPDATE on July 16: Autonavi shareholders today voted in favor of the deal. The merger will be finalized later this month and then Autonavi will delist from NASDAQ). Today Autonavi confirmed it has accepted the deal for that acquisition price, pending the approval of shareholders. Autonavi closed trading yesterday at $20 per share. For shareholders it’s a large premium over the $16.54 value per share when it was first proposed in February.
Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank empire has been getting a lot attention in recent months, with a US$20 million splash of venture funding for the Phillipines, the debut of Pepper, the family friendly robot, and, the impending financial windfall from Alibaba’s IPO. Today, at the SoftBank World 2014 event, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, talked about Alibaba’s business philosophy and the coming shift of Customer to Business (C2B) corporate strategies.
Alibaba Group’s cloud computing subsidiary Aliyun and Inspur Group have formally reached a strategic cooperation to jointly explore smart city and administration cloud markets, provide comprehensive cloud computing solutions to various industries, and build an independent and controllable cloud service ecosystem. As representative enterprises and rivals in the Chinese cloud computing industry, Inspur Group and Aliyun will team to create a complete cloud service ecosystem, further accelerate the development of the industry, and establish a Chinese cloud service market structure with domestic companies as its core.
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba’s premiere mutual fund savings product Yuebao turned one year old this week, and announced it now holds RMB 574 billion (US$92 billion) in assets. That makes it the fourth-largest money market fund in the world, according to the company’s official blog. That’s pretty impressive, but those assets are growing at a much slower clip now than they were in the first quarter of this year. This is due to a variety of reasons.
China’s e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has established a new department, which is responsible for the integration of businesses involving the mobile browser, search, and gaming services. This department will take care of the mergers that Alibaba is looking to make with other companies that exist in the mobile space. The first such company is UCWeb, which is a prominent mobile Internet browser company. By teaming with UCWeb, Alibaba is expected to further solidify its growing dominance of the mobile space.
Chinese ecommerce leader Alibaba last night updated its SEC prospectus, revealing, among other things, details about last week’s acquisition of mobile browser maker UCWeb. The deal, which Alibaba proclaimed to be the biggest in Chinese internet history and bigger than Baidu’s US$1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless, cost Alibaba US$479 million in cash and 12.3 million company shares for the remaining one-third of UCWeb.
Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma continued his company’s pre-IPO bachelor party today by signing a deal with China Post to deliver online purchases to anywhere in China within 24 hours, according to ShanghaiDaily. China Post is the country’s biggest postal service, and has offices pretty much everywhere, including rural areas. The two companies are also looking into making international deliveries via China Post’s global network.
Yesterday, Alibaba and UCWeb jointly announced the former’s full acquisition of the latter, publicly calling it the biggest merger in the history of Chinese internet companies. Today, UCWeb founder and CEO Yu Yongfu gave an interview to foreign media to discuss his company’s role within Alibaba moving forward. While he remained vague about some of the details, here’s everything we’ve learned so far:
While many in the Chinese mobile games market see Tencent’s domination of distribution and publishing is almost inevitable, the other giant players in the market have other plans. In 2013, search giant Baidu spent $1.9 billion buying app distribution outfit 91 Wireless, and now ecommerce giant Alibaba – which is about to IPO in the US – has fully acquired UCWeb. It’s best known for its UC browser, which in China has spawn the UC 9Game platform, which provides a combination of Android app distribution and social interaction for players.
SAN FRANCISCO: China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched an American shopping website as the company continues a deal binge ahead of a widely anticipated US listing. The online shopping site, called 11 Main opened on a beta, or test, basis for consumers and is invitation-only in terms of the merchants it features, the site said in a statement.
China’s biggest ecommerce company Alibaba will wholly-acquire the country’s biggest mobile browser maker UCWeb, according to a joint announcement made today. Alibaba will buy all the shares of UCWeb that it does not already own. UCWeb CEO Yu Yongfu will become part of Alibaba’s new strategic decision-making committee, and all 3,000 of UCWeb’s employees are now under the Alibaba umbrella as part of the “Ali UC mobile business group” (translation ours).
Before Alibaba’s long-awaited IPO hits Wall Street later this summer, the ecommerce giant will have its finger in one new pie – it’s going to be a mobile telco operator in China. Alibaba has rolled out a promotional page today detailing its mobile pricing plans, which cover 3G, SMS, and voice calls. The service will be called Ali Telecom in English, and ‘Ali Tongxin’ in Chinese.
SINGAPORE: Singapore Post (SingPost) and Alibaba Group Holdings have announced on Wednesday (May 27) that the Chinese Internet company will invest S$312.5 million for a 10.35 per cent stake in the national postal service provider. In a statement to the Singapore Exchange today, SingPost said it has agreed to a deal with Alibaba Investment Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group, for the purchase of 30 million existing shares and 190.1 million new ordinary shares as part of the investment.
Stock market speculators are salivating over Alibaba’s eventual IPO later this summer, but it’s far from the first appearance China’s ecommerce leader has made in the US. Alibaba has invested almost US$1 billion into American tech firms, both within the ecommerce sector and outside of it. The company even has a special investment office based in San Francisco, where it scouts out promising startups to support.
The world is waiting for Alibaba to hit Wall Street this summer as its IPO will likely be bigger than Facebook’s. That means China’s ecommerce market matters more than ever. New figures out today show that spending on China’s ecommerce sites keeps growing, hitting a grand total of RMB 446.44 billion (US$74.03 billion) in Q1 2014 – which is up 27.6 percent on the same time a year ago.
Amid rumours e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking to expand into North America and set up shop in either B.C. or Oregon, experts say the Chinese company may not have such an easy time making inroads here. Alibaba filed documents for an initial public offering in the U.S. last week, signalling it may be ready to launch business on this side of the Pacific.
Aliyun (AliCloud), the cloud computing division of Alibaba Group, has announced that it will open its first data facility in Hong Kong on May 12. This move marks Aliyun’s initial step in its international expansion plans. The opening of the data center was announced less than a week after Alibaba had listed in the US in one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) in the industry, according to TechCrunch. It would seem that Aliyun is not keen to expand into the US. It is instead aiming to tap into Chinese companies in Southeast Asia and the Greater China region.
Alibaba’s cloud computing subsidiary Aliyun announced that its Hong Kong data center will be formally put into today, May 12. Following those in Hangzhou, Qingdao, and Beijing, the Hong Kong data center becomes the company’s fourth site. This new data center is jointly built and operated by Aliyun and Hong Kong Towngas Telecom. The network’s optical fiber will not only connect to mainland China, but also cover international carriers in Hong Kong, Singapore, U.K., U.S., and Europe.