BIDU - Baidu, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
116.37
+1.59 (+1.39%)
At close: 4:00PM EST
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Previous Close114.78
Open115.00
Bid0.00 x 800
Ask0.00 x 800
Day's Range114.74 - 116.96
52 Week Range93.39 - 186.22
Volume1528567
Avg. Volume3,567,339
Market Cap40B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.77
PE Ratio (TTM)9.07
EPS (TTM)12.83
Earnings DateFeb 19, 2020 - Feb 24, 2020
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est145.33
  • Business Wire

    Baidu’s Facemoji Keyboard Releases Kaomoji Report

    As 2019 comes to a close, Baidu, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) today released a report revealing the most popular kaomoji used globally on its Facemoji Keyboard and Simeji apps throughout the year, as well as other findings and trends.

  • China’s Curing Cancer Faster and Cheaper Than Anywhere Else
    Bloomberg

    China’s Curing Cancer Faster and Cheaper Than Anywhere Else

    (Bloomberg) -- Zhang Haitao was a basketball-loving teenager who dreamed of going to a specialized sports high school when he got a pain in his right arm that just wouldn’t go away. It turned out to be acute lymphoblastic leukemia.The discovery set Zhang and his family, from a village deep in the mountains of southwestern China's Sichuan province, on a journey familiar to most cancer patients — a revolving door of hospital visits, blood tests and three rounds of chemotherapy. It was then that Zhang’s doctor suggested a last-ditch option: an experimental gene therapy being trialed by a Chinese startup called Gracell Biotechnology Ltd.After spending three weeks in the hospital in May — during which white blood cells were removed from his body, genetically engineered, and then infused back in — an analysis of Zhang’s bone marrow in June showed his body was clear of cancer.Seven months later, monthly medical tests conducted at a hospital in the nearby Chinese metropolis of Chongqing show he remains cancer free. “I don’t remember much about the treatment as I had a fever throughout,” said Zhang, who’s now almost 16 and spends his days playing video games and texting his friends. “It seems like a new solution that will give people hope.”Read more about how China is overhauling its healthcare systemThe therapy Zhang received was Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T cells, known as CAR-T, and it’s being hailed as one of the most exciting developments in the quest to cure cancer. First developed by Israeli scientist Zelig Eshhar in the 1980s, CAR-T re-works the genes of the body’s own immune cells so that they actively seek out and destroy cancer cells. While it’s been embraced by researchers and drugmakers around the world, perhaps nowhere is CAR-T having more impact — and being pushed dangerously close to its limits — than in China, home to the world’s biggest cancer population and some of the most ambitious experiments.CAR-T works by supercharging T-cells, the body’s main line of defense against disease, so that they latch onto and destroy cancer. In clinical trials, leukemia patients who failed to respond to other therapies have shown remission rates of over 90% within two months of treatment.Though drug giants Novartis AG and Gilead Sciences Inc. have been marketing CAR-T globally since 2017, it’s expensive. The process of engineering an individual’s cells in a laboratory and then replicating them has also meant that some patients with more aggressive cancers can die waiting for treatment.That’s where Gracell’s therapy was revolutionary. Instead of the two to three weeks taken by current treatments from American and European drug makers, the Shanghai-based company — set up by a group of veteran Chinese cell-therapy researchers — is churning out cancer-killing immune cells overnight.And they’re doing it much cheaper in some cases than global pharmaceutical giants. Gracell has developed a process using genetic engineering that speeds up the cell production stage, according to founder William Cao Wei. Gracell plans to price its CAR-T treatment for about 500,000 yuan ($71,000), well below the $475,000 price tag for Novartis’ Kymriah, the Swiss company’s CAR-T therapy used to treat the type of blood cancer that Zhang had. A similar treatment from Gilead, based in Foster City, California, costs $373,000.The aging population and a raft of lifestyle factors mean that more new cancer patients are emerging in China than anyplace else in the world, giving the country a significant stake in the global fight to find a cure. Emboldened by the government’s push to become a scientific superpower and to dominate the field of genetics, Gracell and other Chinese biotech startups are racing ahead, with China likely to approve CAR-T for widespread use as early as next year. Up for grabs is a market for cancer drugs and experimental treatments that has exploded to $133 billion a year worldwide, according to life sciences researcher Iqvia Institute.“There can be both cooperation and competition between us and CAR-T developers in developed markets,” said Cao, who is also Gracell’s chief executive officer. “But there will definitely be competition.” That drive to forge ahead — and in front — can be seen in the way China is approaching regulation of CAR-T. The country is weighing new rules that would loosen oversight of the revolutionary technology, allowing academic ethics committees within hospitals to approve new CAR-T treatments and then administer them to patients for a fee.That would markedly loosen China’s current framework, which is presently in line with the approach taken by regulatory bodies like the U.S Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. These entities are the sole authorities in their jurisdictions that evaluate and approve all CAR-T therapies before they are cleared for public use.There is concern among researchers, regulatory experts and drugmakers themselves that allowing hospitals to market treatments for a fee could cause profit-making to trump ethical considerations. In a 2016 case widely reported in the Chinese media, a 22-year-old college student with a rare type of tissue cancer called synovial sarcoma died after going through an experimental cell therapy at a Beijing hospital.“Hospitals can become both players and referees at the same time”Before his death, the patient posted an essay online claiming the hospital had falsely advertised the treatment’s effectiveness, and that Chinese search engine Baidu Inc. had displayed the hospital’s advertising so that it appeared like a credible search result rather than a paid commercial. The essay went viral and sparked an outcry on Chinese social media over the ethics of private hospitals and the regulation of therapies for serious illnesses.Censured by the Cyberspace Administration of China, Baidu responded by restricting the number of sponsored posts to 30% of a results page, and established a 1 billion yuan fund to fight fraud. The hospital did not respond to requests for comment.It’s not the only death allegedly linked to genetic cell therapy in China. Last year, a hospital in the eastern city of Xuzhou was sued over the death of a lymphoma patient who died after receiving a CAR-T treatment. The patient developed severe side effects, including bleeding within the abdomen. The patient’s family argued that the treatment led to his death, but the hospital and doctor said it was the result of late-stage cancer. A court is yet to rule on the case.China’s proposed new framework is reminiscent of its wider approach to the regulation of science, an area President Xi Jinping has prioritized as part of his ambition to cement the country as a world power.The research of He Jiankui, an American-educated Chinese scientist whose revelation last year that he’d edited the genes of twin baby girls ignited a global firestorm, was signed off by the ethics committee of a Shenzhen hospital. The experiment, which He claimed made the twins immune to HIV, wasn’t backed by peer-reviewed data and still hasn’t been verified. Scientists around the world have condemned it as an irresponsible use of a technology that has the capacity to alter the very building blocks of life. The long-term effects of Crispr, the gene-snipping tool used by He and embraced by Chinese researchers, are also yet to be fully understood.China’s new draft rules on CAR-T could give rise to the same scenario, critics say.There’s no guarantee that the hospital committees have the qualifications to evaluate such a complicated therapy, said Tao Xin, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer at Hogan Lovells LLP who specializes in the health-care regulatory law of both the U.S. and China.“The proposal indicates that hospitals can charge a fee for the therapy, in addition to approving its own therapy,” he said. “With these two combined, are we going to see a replay of the 2016 incident? If there’s money to be made and I get to decide whether to do it or not, that’s really controversial.”Read about how Crispr is being used in China’s quest to make a super pigGracell’s Cao is also critical of the new framework as it removes the role of an independent entity that evaluates the therapy’s safety and efficacy: “Hospitals can become both players and referees at the same time.”Novartis and Gilead declined to comment on China’s regulatory plans, while a spokesman for the National Health Commission, the body in charge of governing the country’s health sector, said that the proposed new rules are still under discussion.Read about how Chinese parents are using DNA tests to map out their children’s livesMeanwhile, Chinese companies are racing ahead on CAR-T and attracting hundreds of millions of dollars from investors like Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, as well as global pharmaceutical giants. Venture capital investment in Chinese biotech firms climbed to $17.6 billion last year, quadruple the amount from 2015, according to consultancy ChinaBio LLC. Gracell — which counts Temasek and Lilly Asia Ventures, the venture capital firm spun off from Eli Lilly & Co. as investors — says 32 of the 35 patients it’s enrolled in its China-based trials over the past year have gone into complete remission “with minimal residual disease tested negative” four weeks after the CAR-T infusion — a clinical term that basically means there was no evidence of disease remaining in their bodies, the highest possible efficacy level for a therapy.Other Chinese startups like Nanjing Legend, a unit of Hong Kong-listed Genscript Biotech Corp., and U.S.-listed Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc., have developed similar capabilities.In 2018, Novartis paid $40 million for a 9% stake in Shanghai-based Cellular Biomedicine, and will use their cell therapy facility to manufacture its Kymriah treatment, which is currently being assessed for approval by China’s drug regulator. The startup is also developing its own CAR-T therapies and testing their potential against solid tumors, not just blood cancers. Chief Executive Officer Tony Liu Bizuo said Cellular Biomedicine’s digitized and automated process cuts the cell engineering time from four weeks to less than 10 days.Cellular Biomedicine is now mulling building a bigger cell production facility with the Shanghai government, as demand for cell therapy grows and on expectations more commercial CAR-T treatments will be approved in China in the coming years. In a sign of the support startups are getting from the authorities, the city’s government has earmarked a 4 million square feet space for cell therapy research. Of the 21 cell therapies currently in clinical trials approved by China’s drug regulator, 11 are being conducted in the lab, which is fast becoming the nation’s CAR-T Ground Zero.The next frontier is to make CAR-T as accessible as any other drug, and Chinese startups are at the leading edge. Dubbed “universal CAR-T,” this involves finding a way to take T-cells from healthy people and engineering them so that they can be infused into any cancer patient. Gracell is studying the use of donor white blood cells, marking a step toward that goal. Other startups like French company Cellectis SA are also racing to make universal CAR-T a reality.“I’m very impressed with the pace of technological progress in China and the expansion of CAR-T research coming so rapidly,” said Bruce Levine, a professor specializing in cancer gene therapy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.“We all want these therapies to move fast and some are very good, but we need to be aware that some could be moving too fast for their expertise, even if they have very good intentions,“ he said.Read about how a Chinese genetics giant wants to tailor drugs to people’s DNAAfter a year in and out of hospital, Zhang, the teenage cancer patient in Chongqing, is starting to make plans for the future. If it wasn’t for the leukemia, he’d be in his first year of high school now.“I don’t think I can go to sports school anymore, but I hope to learn a professional skill,” said Zhang, who’s now a foot taller than his aunt, Chen Chunhua, his primary caregiver. “I want to grasp this chance I have.”While China’s approach to CAR-T may be criticized as moving too fast, Chen, who left her job at a ceramics factory to care for Zhang when he got sick, is thankful he had access to the treatment, which wouldn’t have been possible in China had the boy fallen ill just a year earlier.“I’m so happy we had this option within China,” she said. “It really helps to lessen our burden.”  \--With assistance from Dong Lyu.To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, Anjali CordeiroFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investopedia

    Why Tesla Is Rebounding as China's Electric Car Market Faces Shakeout

    Leading Chinese billionaire entrepreneurs are investing heavily in electric vehicles, but their roads to profitability may be rocky.

  • From Wall Street to the Great Wall: 3 Chinese Stocks with Over 20% Upside
    TipRanks

    From Wall Street to the Great Wall: 3 Chinese Stocks with Over 20% Upside

    There’s Star Wars, there’s the Cola Wars, and these days, we all know about the Trade Wars. The US and China have been at loggerheads for the last two years as the economic superpowers fight it out on the international stage. Will they ever reach an agreement, won’t they? It has started to resemble a soap opera.Apart from the continuous trade battle, China has had other issues to deal with; its ever-growing economy has been showing signs of slowing down, and the ongoing protests in Hong Kong have been a concern for democratic nations across the globe.With all the noise in the background, and with recent rumors Chinese stocks will be delisted from US stock exchanges exerting more downward pressure, Goldman Sachs unearthed some interesting findings. The key takeaway was that the hedge funds are actually increasing exposure to Chinese stocks with a collective of $2.1 trillion in equity positions.Since August, when trade tensions started to cool down, companies with big China exposure have beaten the market, with Goldman saying their firms with the most amount of sales in China outperformed the S&P 500 by 7%, providing 17% returns over the last 3 months.With this in mind, we took advantage of TipRanks’ Stock Screener to zoom in on 3 Chinese stocks that are Buy-rated, and ones specifically set for gains in the 12 months ahead.Baidu (BIDU)First off to Beijing, which is home to Baidu, the company everyone likes to call ‘The Google of China’, for good reason, too. Baidu ranks as the fourth largest website in the world and has the second largest search engine. It was also the first Chinese company to list on the NASDAQ-100 index.The internet giant, though, has a had rough year in the market. In May, following a horrible second-quarter report and a perfect storm of increasing competition, a struggling local economy, and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, the company lost 33% of its value. It is down by 27% year-to-date. However, after a solid Q3 report, the Chinese search engine leader started showing signs of life. So, this naturally begs the question: is the bottom in for Baidu?Oppenheimer’s Jason Helfstein believes so. Noting Baidu’s strong 3Q, and the stabilization of its core business, the 5-star analyst said, “As the No. 1 search engine in China, BIDU benefits from limited search competition. Meanwhile, large ecommerce, mobile communication, and content platforms have been aggressively competing for consumer attention, weighing on BIDU growth and margins. However, we are now seeing competitive pressure subsiding and management has reduced investments to stabilize margins, making the stock a better value play.”To this end, Helfstein upgraded his rating to Outperform and set a price target of $145, indicating potential upside of 25%. (To watch Helfstein’s track record, click here)All in all, the rest of the Street’s take is a bit more varied. With 11 Buy ratings and 4 Holds over the previous three months, the internet giant is a ‘Moderate Buy." Its $140.21 average price target brings upside potential of 22%. (See Baidu stock analysis on TipRanks)Huya (HUYA)Moving on now, we turn our attention to Guangzhou, which houses the headquarters of live streaming platform, Huya.The platform’s primary focus is gaming and eSports, though it has been broadening its remit by adding reality shows, musical performances, and animated content to the platform.The company is expanding internationally, and currently has 17 million monthly active users outside China, and has set its sights on 20 million by the end of the year. A driving force propelling it forward is the Huya-owned Nimo TV, a Spanish language live streaming platform with markets predominantly in Latin America. There are half a billion Spanish speakers worldwide, a huge market for Nimo TV to tap into.With a strong Q3 report displaying beats across the board, and with total revenue coming in 5% higher than estimates, Credit Suisse’s Kenneth Fong is impressed, noting, “We view HUYA as the leader in the online game live-streaming market in China—it can further ride on this secular tide of online-game live-streaming popularity and medium-term industry structural drivers from 5G network upgrade and cloud-gaming.”Following the analyst’s positive evaluation, Fong maintained an Outperform rating and raised his price target from $28.50 to $30. This implies a handsome increase of 65% from the current share price. (To watch Fong’s track record, click here)Though not many have weighed in with an opinion on Huya in the last 3 months, those who have are singing its praises loudly. Overall, three out of four analysts rate the Chinese streamer a Buy, while the average price target stands tall at $27.05. (See Huya stock analysis on TipRanks)Yum China Holdings (YUMC)Our Chinese expedition finishes in Shanghai, home to fast food restaurant company, Yum China, and no, that’s not what Trump said following his first KFC on Chinese soil.We say that because YUMC owns KFC and Pizza Hut in China and it has built a strong presence across the country. Specifically, KFC outlets are opening in smaller cities at a faster pace than the company expected due to the demand foraffordable meals and the ability to turn a quick profit from these locations. Yum China is still coming to grips with demand: last year’s target of 350 new outlets was eclipsed by the eventual opening of 556.HSBC’s Lina Yan believes Yum is a ‘highly efficient operator’ and thinks ‘Yum China can expand even faster than many investors think’.The analyst noted, “An impressive return on invested capital (ROIC) indicates the company’s efficiency. We see this increasing to 68.5% in 2021e from 59% in 2018, driven by increases in what is already a stand-out asset turnover ratio (6.8x last year). Globally, quick service restaurants are gauged on ROIC rather than growth, as a higher ROIC supports higher investor returns. For Yum China, the difference is that it simultaneously generates strong growth. If we are right about rising demand for fast food in China, its valuation multiples should be rewarded on both fronts.”With this glowing assessment, Yan initiated coverage on YUMC stock with a Buy rating, and a price target of $58.10, implying 28% upside from current levels.Currently YUMC has a Strong Buy consensus rating from the Street, with all 3 analysts tracked over the last 3 months rating the stock a Buy. An average price target of $56.35 indicates a potential 26% increase from its current share price. (See Yum stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • Alphabet Launches Waymo App on App Store to Boost User Reach
    Zacks

    Alphabet Launches Waymo App on App Store to Boost User Reach

    Alphabet (GOOGL) gains momentum in autonomous driving space with the launch of Waymo's ride-hailing app on App store.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla, Baidu, Lyft, Alibaba and Intel
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla, Baidu, Lyft, Alibaba and Intel

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla, Baidu, Lyft, Alibaba and Intel

  • What Is Baidu, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:BIDU) Share Price Doing?
    Simply Wall St.

    What Is Baidu, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:BIDU) Share Price Doing?

    Today we're going to take a look at the well-established Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU). The company's stock saw a decent...

  • Benzinga

    Big Tech Firms Pose Global Financial Stability Risks: FSB Report

    Technology giants are bringing digital financial services to more people in the world than ever, but the authorities should be watchful for anti-competitive practices and unfair advantage over traditional ...

  • GlobeNewswire

    Baidu Leads the Way in Innovation with 5,712 Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications

    Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) has filed the most AI-related patent applications in China, a recognition of the company’s long-term commitment to driving technological advancement, a recent study from the research unit of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has shown. Baidu filed a total of 5,712 AI-related patent applications as of October 2019, ranking No.1 in China for the second consecutive year. Baidu’s patent applications were followed by Tencent (4,115), Microsoft (3,978), Inspur (3,755), and Huawei (3,656), according to the report issued by the China Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, a research unit under the MIIT.

  • Methode Electronics (MEI) Q2 Earnings & Sales Miss Estimates
    Zacks

    Methode Electronics (MEI) Q2 Earnings & Sales Miss Estimates

    Methode Electronics' (MEI) second-quarter fiscal 2020 results suffer from strike at General Motors and currency rate fluctuations.

  • Okta's (OKTA) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates
    Zacks

    Okta's (OKTA) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates

    Okta's (OKTA) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results benefit from new customer additions and growing international momentum driven by increasing adoption of Identity solutions.

  • Domo (DOMO) Q3 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Revenues Rise Y/Y
    Zacks

    Domo (DOMO) Q3 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Revenues Rise Y/Y

    Domo's (DOMO) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results benefit from solid portfolio, expanding partner base and new customer wins.

  • Autonomous Vehicles Aim New Highs With Driverless Tests
    Zacks

    Autonomous Vehicles Aim New Highs With Driverless Tests

    Alibaba (BABA)-backed AutoX applies for testing its self-driving vehicles, without in-car driver backup, thereby stirring competition in the autonomous-vehicle tech space.

  • These 10 stories will drive investing for the next decade
    Yahoo Finance

    These 10 stories will drive investing for the next decade

    Peak globalization is one of 10 investing themes Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has highlighted for the next decade. Shifting demographics and automation are two other stories with investment implications.

  • Shopify (SHOP) in Focus: Stock Moves 6.1% Higher
    Zacks

    Shopify (SHOP) in Focus: Stock Moves 6.1% Higher

    Shopify (SHOP) saw a big move last session, as its shares jumped more than 6% on the day, amid huge volumes.

  • Smartsheet (SMAR) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates
    Zacks

    Smartsheet (SMAR) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

    Smartsheet (SMAR) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results benefit from customer wins and growth in business value.

  • Philips' New Imaging Solution Expands Healthcare Portfolio
    Zacks

    Philips' New Imaging Solution Expands Healthcare Portfolio

    Philips (PHG) expands footprint in the health tech space with the introduction of next- generation imaging solution.

  • Business Wire

    Baidu Keyboard Apps Surpass 40 Million Users

    Baidu’s AI Technology and Partnerships with Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Sanrio Deliver Engaging Content

  • Zscaler (ZS) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/Y
    Zacks

    Zscaler (ZS) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/Y

    Zscaler's (ZS) first-quarter fiscal 2020 results benefit from solid top-line growth driven by growing adoption of the company's cloud platform security solutions by global enterprises.

  • Billionaires Investing in China Electric Cars Face Shakeout
    Bloomberg

    Billionaires Investing in China Electric Cars Face Shakeout

    (Bloomberg) -- Some of China’s wealthiest tycoons steered billions of dollars into electric-car companies in order to fuel the country’s dreams of becoming a leader in the field. Now a reckoning may be looming as car sales slow and the government reduces subsidies for the nascent industry.That leaves the flagship companies of Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hui Ka Yan and Robin Li facing an increasingly steep path to profitability on their bets that electric vehicles can be smartphones-on-wheels connecting passengers to other businesses. Their capital, along with dozens of startups raising $18 billion, helped inflate an electric bubble that now looks to be in danger of popping.China’s car market is experiencing a prolonged sales slump, prompting EV makers to slash earnings outlooks. With China considering further cuts to the subsidies for consumer purchases in order to force automakers to compete on their own, a shakeout is looming that not even the tycoons’ support may be able to prevent, said Rachel Miu, an analyst with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. “For the new kids on the block in the EV space, it’s a steep uphill climb,” she said.Here’s what China’s richest people have to show for their companies’ EV investments:Alibaba: Xpeng Coupe, AccusationsJack Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in September after amassing a $40 billion-plus fortune, but China’s richest man retains his board seat -- and influence -- at the e-commerce emporium he created. Alibaba has participated in several funding rounds for Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., or Xpeng Motors, including one in 2018 that raised 2.2 billion yuan ($313 million) for the carmaker co-founded by former Alibaba executive He Xiaopeng.Xpeng launched its first vehicle, the five-seat G3 SUV, last year and has sold 11,940 vehicles so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The company, founded in 2014, also is teaming up with more-established automakers. A factory built with Haima Automobile Co. can produce 150,000 EVs annually. Another should soon begin assembling the P7 coupe, scheduled to begin deliveries next year.The journey hasn’t been without controversy, though, as some engineers bound for Xpeng stand accused of stealing from their ex-employers in the U.S. In March, Tesla Inc. sued a former engineer, alleging he uploaded files, directories and copies of source code to his personal cloud storage account before resigning. Also, a former Apple Inc. engineer was indicted last year for allegedly pilfering self-driving car secrets on his way to an Xpeng job. His trial is upcoming.Xpeng wasn’t accused of wrongdoing.“We are very adamant that we pursue our own R&D,” President Brian Gu said. “Copyright is very important to us.”Hangzhou-based Alibaba, the second-largest shareholder in Xpeng, didn’t answer specific questions about the automaker.Xiaomi Corp., the consumer-electronics company, participated in another $400 million fundraising round, the automaker said Nov. 13.Tencent: NIO Lists, Then CutsPony Ma’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., whose WeChat messaging app helped make him China’s second-richest person, led a $1 billion investment round in NIO Inc. in 2017. With more than 26,000 vehicles sold, NIO’s one of the few Chinese startups making multiple models, and it beat rivals with an initial public offering in New York last year.But losses piled up with the overall sales slump and as the company, which has been described as “China’s Tesla,” plowed money into marketing and real estate. It sponsored a Bruno Mars concert and opened luxury clubs for NIO owners that feature showrooms, coffee bars and performance spaces. By August the company had opened 19 NIO Houses over 22 months, and combined rental expenses were equivalent to 6.3% of revenue during the 12 months ended March, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.“NIO chooses the direct sales mode and pays great attention to user experience,” the company said. It doesn’t plan to close its existing clubs -- or open new ones.NIO lost $2.8 billion in the 12 months ended June on revenue of $1.2 billion, and its shares have plunged this year. The Shanghai-based company cut about 20% of its workforce through September. Separately, NIO has said that Tencent and Chief Executive Officer William Li planned to inject $100 million each into the company, though the carmaker hasn’t clarified whether the investment has been completed.“Our sales have been under pressure since the subsidies went down,” Li said. “It has come to a new era that one can only win customers with quality products and services.”Shenzhen-based Tencent expressed support for EVs but didn’t answer specific questions about NIO.Evergrande: High HopesOne of the more startling entrants in the EV industry is property developer China Evergrande Group, which declared it wanted to be the world’s biggest manufacturer within three to five years. That means surpassing Tesla, which just opened a factory in Shanghai. Between September 2018 and June 2019, Evergrande invested more than $3.8 billion in EV-related companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, and will start producing its Hengchi brand next year.Evergrande, which wants to open 10 production bases, plans to spend 45 billion yuan on new-energy vehicles between 2019 and 2021. On Nov. 10, a unit announced it would spend almost $3 billion to boost its stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB to 82% from 68%.Billionaire chairman and founder Hui Ka Yan, who’s diversifying into businesses such as soccer and health care, acknowledged there isn’t much overlap between Evergrande’s real-estate business and its EV ambitions.“We don’t have any talent, technology, experience, or production base in manufacturing cars,” Hui said. “How can we compete with the century-old automakers in the world?”His answer: by opening Evergrande’s wallet.“Whatever core technology and company we can buy, we will buy,” he said.Yet Hui’s whatever-it-takes strategy may take a toll on Evergrande because of the cash-burning nature of NEV investments. The company’s forecast of spending 45 billion yuan is probably an underestimate, and that may exacerbate its cash crunch, according to BI.“This could crimp its home-sales margin given an urgency to sustain price cuts to boost cash collection from sales,” analyst Kristy Hung said in a Nov. 22 report.Baidu: WM Factories, LawsuitRobin Li, the CEO of China’s dominant internet search-engine company, made WM Motor Technology Co. part of Baidu Inc.’s move into autonomous driving. Baidu led a fundraising round this year that generated 3 billion yuan for the Shanghai-based automaker. Baidu owns a 13% stake.WM rolled out an electric SUV last year and has delivered more than 19,000 vehicles, Chief Strategy Officer Rupert Mitchell said. So far this year, WM sold 14,273 of its battery-powered SUVs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts WM behind market leader BYD Co. -- backed by Warren Buffett -- and NIO, but ahead of Xpeng. WM launched a second SUV model on Nov. 22.WM has an advantage over rivals started by employees from internet companies, Mitchell said. Founder Freeman Shen used to run Volvo Car Group in China.“We are not moonlighters from the technology industry that are having a crack at mass-market automotive,” he said.Volvo parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has sued WM, seeking 2.1 billion yuan compensation for alleged copyright infringement, Chinese state media reported in September. WM has denied wrongdoing.WM is producing vehicles at fully owned factories, which helps maintain quality control, Mitchell said. The company, which is opening a second factory next year that can make 150,000 vehicles annually, wants to raise another $1 billion, Mitchell said.Baidu declined to comment.(Updates 16th paragraph to clarify status of NIO investment)\--With assistance from Emma Dong, Tian Ying and Gao Yuan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at beinhorn1@bloomberg.net;Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at czhang714@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, ;Emma O'Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 5 Asian Stocks Gurus Agree On
    GuruFocus.com

    5 Asian Stocks Gurus Agree On

    Stocks to consider as markets cool down on weakened trade optimism Continue reading...

  • Alibaba’s Hong Kong Rally Is At Risk From Three Misconceptions
    Bloomberg

    Alibaba’s Hong Kong Rally Is At Risk From Three Misconceptions

    (Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s landmark $11 billion share sale and listing in Hong Kong on Nov. 26 was galvanized by expectations the Chinese e-commerce giant will attract a vast pool of capital from its home country. But some investors caution against unrealistic expectations, especially by mainland investors, and highlight certain restrictions that still govern -- and potentially curtail -- trading activity in Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares.The company’s sheer size and the unprecedented nature of its secondary listing (the primary listing is still in New York) and unique management structure present challenges for investors hoping to gauge everything from Alibaba’s inclusion in indexes -- crucial because they direct the flow of capital from tracker funds -- to its listing status.Here’s what we know.1\. Will Alibaba get added to the Hang Seng Index?Not right now. Alibaba will be added to Hang Seng Composite Index on Dec. 9, but it isn’t qualified to join the benchmark Hang Seng Index or the Hang Seng China Enterprise Index because they comprise only primary listings and corporations without so-called weighted voting rights (WVR).Membership of the 50-member Hang Seng is coveted by corporations because it could trigger billions of dollars of inflows from funds tracking the 50-year-old gauge. Hang Seng Indexes Co. plans a consultation in the first quarter to discuss issues including whether firms with weighted voting rights, like Alibaba, should be eligible for the HSI. Any conclusions should be published by May, Daniel Wong, its head of research and analytics, said in a statement. Even if the index compiler decides to overhaul its rules, the required process means it may not be until late 2020 before Alibaba could join the major Hang Seng benchmarks.Representatives for HKEx and Alibaba declined to comment.Read more: Why Now, and Why Hong Kong, for Alibaba’s Share Sale?: QuickTake2\. Will Alibaba be included in the stock connect program?Maybe, but a lot hinges on policy makers. China doesn’t spell out criteria or qualifications for joining the program, which allows mainland investors to buy stocks listed in Hong Kong. Unlike the HSI, the program isn’t limited to primary listings. It does require review by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the stock market watchdog.The first companies in stock connect with weighted voting rights were Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi Corp., which mainland investors got access to in late October through the program. That’s after similarly structured Chinese firms started listing in July on Shanghai’s new tech-focused Star board. Many investors expect Beijing to ultimately allow Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares to trade through the stock link with the city as well.But it may not necessarily be in China’s best interest to do so. That’s because other U.S.-listed Chinese firms -- among the country’s largest corporations, from JD.com Inc. to Baidu Inc. -- may be encouraged to follow in Alibaba’s footsteps and conduct their own secondary listings in Hong Kong, bypassing the Shanghai or Shenzhen bourses. That may run counter to Beijing’s longstanding ambitions of developing healthy, vibrant mainland exchanges, particularly as unrest grips Hong Kong.3\. Can Alibaba change its primary listing to Hong Kong?It’s possible -- thereby attracting investors with a preference for main listings, and at the same time scoring brownie points with some in Beijing who could view that as supporting China’s policy ambitions. Alibaba was given the green light to list in Hong Kong based on a new “Secondary Listing” rule, or Chapter 19C. It allows companies to conduct follow-on share offerings without complying with more stringent rules laid down by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. governing first-time listees.Alibaba may enjoy special status in having more freedom to comply with Hong Kong listing requirements. Under rules laid out in a consultation paper in April last year, Chinese firms that went public before Dec. 15, 2017 don’t need to comply with “WVR” safeguards if they later switch their primary listing to Hong Kong. Alibaba, which debuted in New York in 2014, said in its Hong Kong listing prospectus it’s a “WVR” company similar to Meituan and Xiaomi.Meanwhile, Alibaba employs a fairly unique structure in which a group of partners have the right to nominate a majority of the firm’s board -- exerting outsized influence on Alibaba’s direction.In addition, Hong Kong listing rules say if trading volume there exceeds 55% of global turnover over an entire fiscal year, the stock has to adopt primary listing status in Hong Kong. HKEx gives such Chinese companies a year to comply. But with Hong Kong’s stock registration office listing just 23% of outstanding Alibaba shares as of Nov. 28, a majority of trading volume occurring there may be a tall order.\--With assistance from Paul Geitner and Fox Hu.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Kevin KingsburyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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