|Bid||333.800 x 0|
|Ask||334.000 x 0|
|Day's Range||330.000 - 336.400|
|52 Week Range||251.400 - 405.000|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.56|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||35.19|
|Earnings Date||Aug 13, 2019 - Aug 19, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.00 (0.31%)|
|1y Target Est||388.16|
(Bloomberg) -- The city of Suzhou, known as “the Venice of the East” for its web of intricate waterways, captured the imagination of Marco Polo when he journeyed through China more than seven centuries ago.Today it’s drawing attention for another grand project: a sprawling network of databases designed to track the behavior of China’s population. Sitting next to Shanghai with an economy larger than Finland’s, Suzhou was one of a dozen places chosen in 2018 by President Xi Jinping’s government to run a social-credit trial, which can reward or punish citizens for their behavior.The system, dubbed “Osmanthus” after the fragrant flower the city uses as an emblem, collects data on nearly two dozen metrics, including marital status, education level and social-security payments. Authorities have given it national awards even as Western politicians like U.S. Vice President Mike Pence lambaste social credit as ushering in an Orwellian dystopia that could serve as a model for authoritarian regimes around the globe. But dozens of interviews with the people most affected by the system paint a nuanced picture of the technology in its early stages. Few of the entrepreneurs, volunteers, public servants and other Suzhou residents surveyed said they had even heard of Osmanthus, which is supposed to help shape laws, regulations and standards across China by 2020.China’s Radical Plan to Judge Each Citizen’s Behavior: QuickTakeSuzhou’s experience raises questions about the dozens of similar scoring projects that local cities are now rolling out. If residents are unaware of a system designed to change their behavior for the better, then what’s the point of having it? And if it’s struggling to take off in a city lauded by authorities, what are the chances it can be implemented effectively across the nation anytime soon?“China has an interest in overstating its capacity to collect and analyze data, like they overstate their capacity to monitor with surveillance cameras and facial recognition,” said Jeremy Daum, a senior fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School. “They want people to believe that misconduct will get caught.”A three-story brown and white building near the city center is the public face of Suzhou’s social-credit system. Here individuals can ask questions about their scores.On a recent Monday afternoon, the building was largely empty. Two staff shuffled papers and typed at computers, while six seats reserved for visitors were vacant. One woman who entered was lost and asked for directions. The lone self-service machine, emblazoned with logos for Osmanthus and state-owned telecoms company China Unicom, was unplugged.A female official in jeans and a t-shirt, who only gave her family name Xi, said about 10 people come in each day. Most are small-business owners who want to verify that they’ve been removed from a financial credit blacklist after paying off a debt. She said she’s hardly ever seen anyone come in to check their social-credit score.Proponents of the system says it hews closely to the financial scores pioneered by William Fair and Earl Isaac in the U.S. in the mid-1950s. Today, FICO scores form the basis of the vast majority of loans made to individuals in the U.S. — with occasional debates over how they’re formulated and whether consumers have enough access to them.“People could end up living in fear, worrying that they are being watched all the time.”But China’s social-credit scores arguably go a step further by using the country’s vast surveillance network — public CCTV cameras, payment systems and more — to monitor citizens. While good behavior — such as volunteering, paying bills on time or avoiding fines for littering — is supposed to be rewarded with financial perks, bad behavior can abruptly leave residents without access to financing and public services.Osmanthus collects data on individuals from around 20 government departments, including social security and civil affairs, according to the local administration. Citizens start out with a neutral 100 points and can build them up to a maximum of 200 through good behavior. Like many other provinces trialing the system, Suzhou hasn’t yet introduced rules to define bad behavior, or the number of points that can be deducted.But perks for good behavior also are unclear. Lu Wenting, a Suzhou resident who says she does about 24 hours of volunteer work each week, said that she had never heard of Osmanthus, even though it’s supposed to grant public transport benefits to those with high scores. She found out her own score was a healthy “123” after Bloomberg reporters helped her look it up on the WeChat app run by Tencent Holdings Ltd.About one in eight of the 13 million people monitored in Suzhou had a score above 100 as of last August, according to local media reports. Only 4,731 were below 100, and all were so-called defaulters who hadn’t paid back loans or had failed to obey court rulings. That leaves more than 11 million people with scores at the baseline.Still, the idea of punishment is already sparking worries. A citizen in Yiwu, a city in neighboring Zhejiang province that is also running a trial, said he was denied a bank loan because a traffic cop deducted three points from his score for failing to give way to pedestrians crossing a street. Residents with a score of at least 100 points qualify for “civilization loans” with favorable interest rates.“People from lower levels of society could break rules without knowing and find their scores lowered and get shut out of more and more opportunities,” said Chen Shicai, a resident in Suzhou, expressing worries that social credit could worsen inequality in a country that already grapples with huge wealth divisions.One problem is how to integrate social credit into existing legal systems to ensure there are checks and balances to prevent abuse. China’s use of technology and informants among the Uighur minority groups in the far western province of Xinjiang suggest that the programs could become more oppressive as they develop.“I worry that regulations may become too specific, such as parking in the wrong spot,” said Su Su, an insurance saleswoman in Suzhou. “People could end up living in fear, worrying that they are being watched all the time.” Five provinces or municipalities — Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hebei, Hubei and Shaanxi — have established local credit regulations, but there are no national rules. Zhejiang and Shanghai placed clear restrictions on data collection that exclude personal information on religious beliefs, genetics, fingerprints, blood types and medical history.“While most of the trials are leaning towards encouraging people with convenience and perks, local authorities need to exercise caution when it comes to punishment," said Han Jiaping, director of the Credit Research Institute affiliated with the Ministry of Commerce. “Government at all levels shouldn’t over-punish and infringe people’s privacy and legitimate rights.”Another wrinkle is that many residents see more value in competing systems. At the 105-year-old Suzhou Library, citizens with high Osmanthus scores are supposed to be able to get longer book loan periods. But library staff said most people checked out books using their Zhima Credit number, a private credit score from Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial. Few people even ask about their Osmanthus score.“It’s more like a vanity project,” said Diao Yun, a Suzhou resident who works for a private company. “There’s no promotion of the system in the city — no billboards, no ads or public campaign as far as I see. It’s distant from people’s daily lives.”Cities and officials looking to build and implement a social-credit system face a bewildering array of official guidelines and documents from the State Council and other central and regional government bodies. Those rules relate to everything from assessing creditworthiness to punishing cultural performances on the internet that have a “heinous” social impact.In Suzhou, the main roadblock to promoting the system is inter-department squabbling over data sharing and who will pay for perks, according to a report in the state-owned Suzhou Daily. The paper said only 30 of the 70 departments are sending data directly to the platform, with others worried about transferring information without a legal requirement.“People could end up living in fear, worrying that they are being watched all the time.”Those teething problems mean that many residents in Suzhou are unaware of the system. None of the staff questioned in the subway, parks and museum knew anything about the scoring system or alleged perks, such as priority non-emergency service at hospitals.Another problem is at the national level. Xi and his team are engaged in an escalating trade war with the Trump administration that threatens to further hurt growth as companies get caught in the line of fire.It’s not a priority among China’s top leaders to push through a nationwide social-credit scoring system now even if Suzhou and other localities can set up workable models, said Zhang Jian, an associate government professor at Peking University.“President Xi and his government have been caught up ‘fire fighting’ internal and external pressures since last year,” Zhang said. “I doubt the party leaders are willing to expend the time, energy and political capital to roll out the plan.” To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dandan Li in Beijing at email@example.comSharon Chen in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, Adam MajendieAlice TruongFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Naspers Ltd.’s biggest shareholder is considering whether to reduce its 245 billion rand ($16.5 billion) stake in Africa’s biggest company because of concern it’s overexposed to a single stock, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund is being encouraged by its manager, the Public Investment Corp., to reduce its Naspers shareholding of about 16%, said three of the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. Any decision is ultimately up to the GEPF.Naspers’s value has grown 72-fold since 2004 on the back of the success of an early-stage investment in Chinese games developer Tencent Holdings Ltd., which listed in Hong Kong that year. That’s turned Naspers, a Cape Town-based internet technology investor once focused on South African newspapers, into a 1.53 trillion rand ($101 billion) global entity. But it’s also made the company dependent on China, where it has little influence. The shares gained 2% in Johannesburg as Tencent gained in Hong Kong.“Naspers success is dependent on the Chinese government,” said Tahir Maepa, deputy general manager for members affairs of the Public Servants Association, whose 240,000-members make it the biggest labor union representing contributors to the GEPF. “It’s a huge risk, not only for the PIC, it’s a risk for the South African economy and the JSE,” he said, adding that the GEPF should “definitely” cut its stake.The rapid growth also means Naspers accounts for almost 25% of a shareholder-weighted index on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. While that will be reduced when the company spins off its Tencent stake and other internet-focused assets into a new vehicle listed in Amsterdam next month, its 73% holding in that entity, known as NewCo, will only cut its weighting in Johannesburg by about a quarter, according to Naspers. Furthermore, Naspers and NewCo are both reliant on the Tencent investment, which is worth more than the company as a whole.Tencent has been struggling with a Chinese government crackdown on addiction to computer games, and regulators are currently working on an overhaul to the approval process for new titles.Read More: China Outlines New Approval Process for World’s Top Games MarketNaspers currently makes up almost 21% of the value of the GEPF’s listed equity holdings, the fund said in an emailed response to questions. “The GEPF does review its benchmarks from time to time,” although “not all reviews lead to changes.” The pension fund didn’t answer a query about whether it has held talks with the PIC about the Naspers stake.Naspers declined to comment on discussions with specific investors. “The formation and listing of NewCo is in response to shareholder requests,” spokeswoman Shamiela Letsoalo said in an emailed response to questions. The move will allow investors to move “some of their weight off the JSE onto (Amsterdam’s) AEX index while at the same time continuing to lock in continued high returns,” she said. “This will likely result in shareholders having more balanced weightings and will help to reduce any overhang.”Read More: Naspers CEO Bets on Dutch Listing to Fix Tencent DiscountWhile Naspers acknowledges that the company’s assets and management will overlap with NewCo “there are also important differences,” Letsoalo said. The parent group will separately own news business Media24, online marketplace Takealot and “continue to invest in South Africa’s fast-growing ecommerce and internet segment,” she said. “These differences will cause many investors to view them separately within their portfolio.”NewCo will hold various internet businesses around the world, including Russian social-media network Mail.ru Group Ltd. and Indian food-delivery service Swiggy as well as Tencent.The debate over the stake in Naspers has been going on for months. One element being discussed is whether the GEPF should change its holding from an arrangement known as a full SWIX, or shareholder-weighted index, to one called a capped SWIX, where a single stock can make up a maximum of 10% of the funds, three of the people said. Any sell down would be done in phases, one of the people said.Phased SelldownLast October, another of the PIC’s clients, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, sold Naspers shares to switch from a full SWIX position to a capped one, the fund said in an emailed response to questions. Prior to this it had used derivatives to hedge the risk but found this too costly, it said.What to do with the GEPF’s Naspers stake is being considered by the fund’s board of trustees, one of the people said. Pierre Snyman, a member of the board and chairman of the Public Servants Association, declined to comment.Some senior members of the GEPF are opposing cutting the shareholding, said one of the people.“The PIC does not publicly discuss its strategy on specific investee companies,” Deon Botha, its head of Corporate Affairs, said in a response to queries.(Adds closing shares in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org;Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at email@example.com;Janice Kew in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John McCorry at email@example.com, ;Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The Chinese super app is so sewn into the lives of people in China — who use it to work, play, pay and everything in between — that it is hard to last a day without it. Its messaging app WeChat boasts over 1bn accounts and users on average spend more than a couple of hours a day on it. Tencent chairman Pony Ma was “definitely looking at our WeChat messages every day”.
Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd launched its first overseas video streaming service in Thailand on Friday, as it ramps up its presence outside China. Tencent is diversifying from its core Chinese gaming business, which has been beset by regulatory problems, pushing revenue growth to its slowest-ever in the first quarter. Tencent's existing Thai user base made the country a good first target for its push into Southeast Asia, said Jeff Han, Senior Vice President of Tencent Penguin Pictures, which produces original content for the streaming business.
This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at...
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore ride-hailing giant Grab held talks to acquire payments provider 2C2P Pte and was turned down, according to people familiar with the matter, a sign of the ambitions Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup has in financial services.Grab was one of multiple possible bidders interested in 2C2P with preliminary offers ranging up to about $200 million, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The payments startup, also based in Singapore, decided instead to raise additional capital to keep expanding as an independent company, they said.Grab’s move underscores the growing interest in Asia’s burgeoning mobile payments market as more consumers move online to shop, order meals and book flight tickets and hotel rooms. Driven by the proliferation of new technologies and startups, the region’s financial services are undergoing a transformation, while governments across Southeast Asia are pushing ahead with efforts to create cashless economies.Representatives for Grab and 2C2P declined to comment.Grab, founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, is valued at $14 billion, according to CB Insights. To live up to that lofty figure, the company is expanding beyond ride-hailing with ambitions to create an an all-in-one “super app” in Southeast Asia, similar to Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat for China.Its GrabPay service allows consumers to pick up the tab for rides and order food, and it’s expanding into lending and insurance. In 2018, it debuted a financial technology platform and launched Grab Ventures to fund promising startups. Grab is also said to be considering applying for a digital banking license if Singapore’s regulator allows it.2C2P was founded in Bangkok in 2003 by Aung Kyaw Moe, a Myanmar-born computer programmer. The company counts Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., airlines and online marketplaces among its 350 large customers. 2C2P helps companies such as Thai Airways, Agoda, Traveloka, Lazada, Zara and Central Online Shopping accept different types of payments online from Southeast Asian customers.2C2P’s revenue grew 74% to $52 million in 2018, after more than doubling in 2017, according to the company’s filing with Singapore’s regulator.To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
With the US-China tech war remaining the biggest story in town, we’ve got a scoop for you on how Huawei is aiming at the big new market of autonomous cars. Also singed by tech war fire is a Chinese company’s plan to become the first homegrown mass producer of DRAM chips. China’s warning to global tech giants marks a further salvo.
(Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.Japan’s Line Corp., which has been investing heavily into fintech operations, may see the new businesses break even in as early as one to two years, co-Chief Executive Officer Shin Jung-ho said in an interview.The services, which will eventually include banking, stock trading, loans and insurance, could turn a profit in three years, depending on how quickly the company can get the necessary licenses and attract users, Shin said. The next two to three years are a crucial window for figuring out user needs and the company is focusing on the home market and Taiwan first, he said.The operator of Japan’s most popular messaging platform, facing a stagnant user base and a business model that relies on advertising, is doubling down on payments to underpin other financial offerings and transform into an all-in-one app like Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat. The company last year raised 148 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in a convertible bond sale to help fund the expansion. Its shares fell to the lowest since the initial public offering in June on the prospects of losses ahead.“Fintech itself is a proven monetized model, the only problem is how fast we can secure a meaningful size of users,” Shin said in a interview with Bloomberg Television at the company’s Tokyo headquarters. “We need three to four years of investment to establish” the business, he said.Key InsightsSubscribers to financial services may eventually approach those users in its messaging service, Shin said. Line has 80 million monthly active users in Japan, 21 million in Taiwan, 44 million in Thailand and 19 million in Indonesia.Line is already the dominant player in payments in Taiwan.The company aims to start operations at Line Bank, a partnership with megabank Mizuho Financial Group Inc., in Japan next year, pending regulatory approval.Despite having an early foothold in many global markets, Line has focused its messaging operations on four Asia countries. Fintech service may serve as a vector for global expansion again, Shin said.“The messenger competition is over. Nowadays we need another innovation. Fintech can be that candidate.”\--With assistance from Adrian Wong.To contact the reporters on this story: Stephen Engle in Beijing at email@example.com;Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Must-Know Updates for Tencent Investors(Continued from Prior Part)Sony and Microsoft outpace Tencent in games revenue growthTencent (TCEHY) and kids gaming platform Roblox have entered a strategic partnership geared toward grooming the next
Do violent video games promote aggression? Chinese authorities think so. The grisly nature of some games helped trigger a freeze on commercial approvals last year. A censored version of Tencent's battle ...
Investing in emerging markets can be perilous, and we're not just talking about the returns. Back a country that dismembers journalists, or rigs elections, and it could be argued your capital is not just ignoring bad political actors, but enabling them. Thanks to the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF (ticker 'FRDM'), you can enjoy all the joys of historically outsized returns with a clean conscience.
Tencent’s battle-royale game PUBG Mobile has become the world’s top grossing mobile title, according to analysts, raking in $146m last month to overtake the Chinese internet group’s previous hit Honour of Kings. The figures suggest Tencent’s core games business is recovering after a Chinese government freeze last year on approvals for new titles. Tencent’s mobile game revenues were Rmb21.2bn in the first quarter, down 2 per cent from the same period a year ago due to fewer new games releases.
A subsidiary of Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings has dashed out from its investment in a publisher of mobile videogames with a bundle of cash.
How China's Tech Stocks Have Performed since Start of May(Continued from Prior Part)TME metricsTencent Music Entertainment (TME) was listed as an ADR (American Depository Receipt) in December 2018. The stock closed trading at $14.0 on December 12,
Tariff tensions have knocked down their shares, creating an opportunity for investors. Meanwhile, a handful of lower-profile Chinese stocks look attractive. One to avoid: Baidu.
Tencent Holdings Ltd. plans to roll out marquee title Call of Duty Mobile to markets from the U.S. and Europe to Latin America, accelerating efforts to plumb new avenues of growth as uncertainty grips its Chinese home market. The world’s largest game developer plans to tap the marketing and distribution network it built when rolling out hack-and-slash hit Arena of Valor. Tencent now plans to expand that team by hiring more developers abroad, and also explore other genres to target international gaming aficionados, said Palo Alto-based Vincent Gao, overseas marketing director for Tencent’s TiMi Studio Group and Arena of Valor.
HSBC has quietly launched its first digital wallet targeting start-ups and other small businesses in Hong Kong in an effort to fend off intensifying competition from Tencent and Alibaba in its most lucrative market.
Tech analyst R Wang says out of all the tech giants, Apple might be poised to separate itself from those being probed by the government.
Venture capital firms Northzone Ventures and Anthemis Group, both previous backers, also participated in the new round. Including the new money, TrueLayer has raised $47 million to date, it said in a statement Tuesday. It would consider expanding to Asia and Australia and so was eager to attract investors from that region, Francesco Simoneschi, TrueLayer’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement.