|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||5.35 - 5.38|
|52 Week Range||5.32 - 9.67|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
Nov.12 -- Brian Gu, vice chairman and president at Xpeng Motors Techonology Ltd., talks about the company's fund raising and growth strategy. The Chinese electric-car maker has raised $400 million from investors including technology company Xiaomi Corp., as it seeks a spot among China’s more serious contenders in the market. Gu speaks with Yvonne Man and Tom Mackenzie on "Bloomberg Markets: China Open."
I bet when you woke up this morning, you weren't thinking that there would be a 108 megapixel camera phone, and yet this is the world we live in today. Xiaomi has officially unveiled the CC 9 Pro, and it features a sensor with the highest resolution you'll find on a phone, period. Read our full story on Engadget: https://www.engadget.com//2019/11/05/xiaomi-cc9-pro-108-megapixel-smartphone/#/
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese consumers are rediscovering their appetite for iPhones.Apple Inc. shipped 10 million iPhones in China during September and October, based on Bloomberg’s calculations from government data on overall and Android device shipments. That’s the first indication of the company’s performance following the autumn release of its latest gadgets, and it shows iPhone shipments up 6% from a year earlier, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, which is run by the country’s technology ministry.That affirms expectations that Apple’s iPhone 11 is selling more strongly than its predecessor, particularly in a market that’s second only to the U.S. in its importance to Apple’s bottom line. The company had recently been stuck in a rut in China, ceding ground to local rivals like Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp., which offer more enticing pricing, better specifications and increasingly premium design. Apple also lost market share to Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei globally prior to the iPhone 11’s release. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has said new pricing, a monthly payment program and trade-in offers helped the iPhone’s performance in China.“Chinese customers seem to be receiving the iPhone 11 series better than last year’s models because of the lowered retail price,” said Nicole Peng, a Canalys analyst. “We see weaker shipments for old models but the latest products are going strong.”Read more: Apple Assembler’s Profit Beat Signals Good iPhone 11 DemandOverall Chinese smartphone shipments dropped 5% to 69.3 million units during the two months, according to reports published by the academy, which is run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and tracks the number of smartphones that get permits to be sold in China.Apple took major strides to increase battery life in its iPhone 11 and 11 Pro devices while lowering the starting price by $50. After years of stagnation in cameras, the company overhauled the iPhone’s image quality this year, catching up to category leaders Google and Huawei. This approach drew an overwhelmingly positive critical reception.In China, however, Apple still faces an uphill climb against local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi. Beyond new device sales, Apple’s other major challenge there will be to make available more of its lucrative subscription services. As the company transitions to a business model more reliant on recurring fees -- such as via iTunes Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade -- their unavailability in China becomes increasingly a hurdle to growth.Apple Now Has the Best Smartphone Cameras: iPhone 11 Pro Review\--With assistance from Colum Murphy.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao Yuan in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Chinese electric vehicles maker Xiaopeng Motors has raised $400 million in a Series C funding round, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. What Happened Xiaopeng Motors, better known as Xpeng, ...
HONG KONG/BEIJING, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer XPeng, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Wednesday it has raised $400 million from investors including Xiaomi Corp to fund its growth. Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier about the fundraising and about Xiaomi being an investor. XPeng, which announced the fundraising in a statement, did not comment on its valuation.
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese electric-car maker Xpeng Motors Technology Ltd. has raised $400 million from investors including technology company Xiaomi Corp., as it seeks a spot among China’s more serious contenders in the market.Private-equity firms and individual investors including founder He Xiaopeng also took part in the funding round, the company said Wednesday in a statement.The startup said in June it has produced 10,000 units of its G3 sport utility vehicle, putting it in competition with local rivals such as NIO Inc. and global competitors including Tesla Inc. in the world’s biggest EV market.Yet demand in China is sputtering, with EV sales falling for months since the government cut subsidies earlier this year. The slump has raised speculation among investors that only a small fraction of China’s aspiring electric-car makers will survive.Xpeng is working with Xiaomi in developing technologies connecting smartphones with vehicles. Xpeng’s backers also include ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.The carmaker said it also secured “several billions” of yuan in unsecured credit lines from China Merchants Bank Co., China Citic Bank Corp. and HSBC Holdings Plc.To contact the reporters on this story: Ville Heiskanen in Singapore at email@example.com;Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at email@example.com, Ville Heiskanen, Will DaviesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer XPeng, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Wednesday it has raised $400 million from investors including Xiaomi Corp to fund its growth. Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier about the fundraising and about Xiaomi being an investor. XPeng, which announced the fundraising in a statement, did not comment on its valuation.
(Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. logged more than 268 billion yuan ($38.3 billion) of purchases during its Singles’ Day bonanza, exceeding last year’s record haul after a 24-hour shopping marathon.An estimated half-billion shoppers from China to Russia and Argentina swarmed the e-commerce giant’s sites to scoop up everything from Apple Inc. and Xiaomi Corp. gadgets to Ugandan mangoes. The company again hosted a televised entertainment revue in Shanghai to run alongside the bargain-hunting, this time enlisting Taylor Swift and Asian pop icon G.E.M. to pump up sales.The world’s largest shopping event has become an annual ritual for Asia’s largest company, part showcase of commercialism and part publicity blitz. Also referred to as “Double 11” because it falls on Nov. 11, it’s closely watched by investors keen to gauge how willing Chinese consumers are to spend as economic growth threatens to slip below 6%.Tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to fuel uncertainty and roil global commerce. Among China’s largest corporations, Alibaba is expected to better ride out the storm, thanks to booming online consumption in the world’s No. 2 economy. On Sunday, Alvin Liu, a Tmall general manager, said Alibaba doesn’t expect any impact on its cross-border import business from an ongoing trade spat.“Alibaba will probably be the one that will be able to circumvent and come out from the trade war in better shape” versus Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., Richard Wong, head of ICT for the Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan, told Bloomberg Television. “The current sentiment and confidence in terms of spending is still relatively high.”While Alibaba and its rivals routinely trumpet record sums in the event’s aftermath, it’s unclear how much Nov. 11 sales actually will contribute to the bottom line given the enormous discounting involved. A good result however could bolster Alibaba’s effort to raise as much as $15 billion in a landmark Hong Kong share sale this month, according to people familiar with the matter.Singles’ Day emerged as a uniquely Chinese antidote to the sentimentality surrounding Valentine’s Day. Emerging on college campuses across the country, it takes its name from the way the date is written numerically as 11/11, which resembles “bare branches,” a local expression for the unattached.It’s now become an excuse for people to splurge. Last year, sales at Alibaba climbed 27% to 213.5 billion yuan, equivalent to $30.7 billion at the time. This time, purchases grew 26% from the year earlier. More merchandise is sold online over the 24-hour period than during the five-day U.S. holiday buying spree that begins on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday.Alibaba’s U.S. traded shares were down 1.9% Monday to $183.70 at 11:25 a.m. in New York.Alibaba saw 100 million new users join the shopping festival this year, according to Jiang Fan, president of the company’s e-commerce marketplaces Taobao and Tmall.“This is the power of expanding into less developed regions,” he said. “We hope this event can help more factories and farmers.”Read more: Alibaba Said to Seek Up to $15 Billion in Hong Kong ListingIt’s Time for Alibaba to Slay Jack Ma’s Monster: Tim CulpanBut the company faced stiff competition this year from smaller platforms including JD.com Inc. and Pinduoduo Inc. -- the aggressively expanding upstart that’s encroaching on the market leaders’ turf. They vied for the wallets of Chinese shoppers particularly in relatively untapped rural areas. All employ heavy discounting and hard-sell tactics in the run-up to and during the 24 hours in a bid to best the previous year’s record.“Overall, we think this year will likely see a more competitive Double 11 period,” Ella Ji, an analyst at China Renaissance Holdings Ltd., said in a report. “We anticipate each platform will spend more on subsidies.”Daniel Zhang, who took over as Alibaba chairman from billionaire Jack Ma in September, pioneered the show in its present form in 2015. The Singles’ Day impresario passes the baton this year to Fan, a potential successor to Zhang himself.“Over the years, we’ve seen consumers become more diverse and younger. Each generation of consumers needs their own peers to serve them,” Zhang said in a post on Alibaba’s blog. “I think this young team is the future.”The 2019 edition came with slight twists to the formula. Alibaba, stung by criticism it harmed the environment by shipping an estimated 1 billion packages in a single day -- has enjoined its logistics arm Cainiao to set up recycling centers at 75,000 locations. It says it will also work with courier companies to pick up used boxes and wrapping.An expansion into Southeast Asia and less-developed areas in China plus newer services -- such as transactions on food delivery site Ele.me, grocery store chain Hema and travel service Fliggy -- bolstered the total. The company also brought in livestreamers including Kim Kardashian to appeal to younger buyers.Other aspects remained the same. Singles’ Day has always been an opportunity for Alibaba to test the limits of its cloud computing, delivery and payments systems. Leaving little to chance, Alibaba sent teams across the nation ahead of Nov. 11 to help myriad outlets prepare for the festival. Some 200,000 brands had been expected to participate in 2019‘s edition of the festival.“Singles’ Day is becoming popular outside of China, especially in the ASEAN region,” said Patrick Winter, Ernst & Young Asia Pacific managing partner. “You’re also seeing how it’s growing in smaller cities in China.”(Updates with new user number in tenth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Molly Schuetz, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Fitbit (FIT) shares have gained 15% today. Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) announced that it will acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion, according to a press release.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. lost ground to Samsung and Huawei in the third quarter when global smartphone sales rose on a quarterly basis only for the first time in two years, according to Canalys.Apple shipments fell 7% to 43.5 million units in the July to September period, just before the well-received iPhone 11 hit global store shelves, the researcher estimated. Samsung Electronics Co., taking advantage of the lull, introduced a plethora of cheaper high-volume models to grow sales 11%, while a strong home market drove Huawei Technologies Co. shipments 29% higher.The global smartphone market is showing signs of life after users replaced aging devices and demand from markets such as India surged with the proliferation of low-priced plans. On Thursday, Samsung reported a 32% jump in operating income at its mobile division, while Apple’s holiday-quarter outlook trumped analysts’ expectations. The Korean company retained global leadership while Chinese rival closed the gap, thanks to pent-up demand that built up during the previous quarter when Washington blacklisted the networking giant. Xiaomi Corp. and Oppo rounded out the top five.The prognosis for Huawei however is uncertain given the Trump Administration put it on the U.S. Entity List, which prohibits it from using the latest Android versions in new devices. Shipments to its home market surged 66% in the quarter but only rose about 18% sequentially abroad, and many analysts foresee a drop in overall international sales because of its inability to access American software and circuitry.“Huawei is not out of the woods yet,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton. “It will be a major challenge to retain its overseas volume if the Entity List saga is not resolved in the coming months.”Read more: Samsung Profit Beats on Strength of Smartphones and Displays(Updates with Canalys’s comments from the second paragraph. A previous version of the story corrected legend labeling in the first chart.)To contact the reporters on this story: Sohee Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gao Yuan in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
China's three state telecoms on Thursday announced the roll-out 5G mobile phone services, marking a key step in Beijing's ambitions to become a technology superpower at a time when it remains locked in trade tensions with Washington. China Mobile's, China Unicom and China Telecom's said on their websites and online stores that 5G plans, which start from as low as 128 yuan a month, will be available from Friday, allowing Chinese consumers nationwide to use the ultra-fast mobile internet service. Beijing had originally said it would launch the ultra-fast mobile internet service, which promises to support new features such as autonomous driving, early next year.
(Bloomberg) -- Google’s Pixel smartphones have always been defined by iPhone-beating cameras, backed by the know-how of its software coders. With the release of the Pixel 4, however, the company has lost its lead -- through a combination of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 11 camera improvements and its own lack of progress.Alphabet Inc.’s Google is selling the Pixel 4 through all four major U.S. wireless carriers for the first time. And it’s priced like a premium device: the 5.7-inch Pixel 4 starts at $799 and the 6.3-inch Pixel 4 XL costs $899. That’s at least $100 more than the iPhone 11 but without software like iMessage that many Apple users consider a social imperative in the U.S.Apple Now Has the Best Smartphone Cameras: iPhone 11 Pro ReviewWith the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, Apple closed the photography gap with better low-light image quality. Its camera software also makes those photos easier to take by automatically enabling night mode when required. Apple remains way ahead of any other phone maker when it comes to video quality.Deprived of its signature advantage, the Pixel 4 struggles to stand out in a crowded smartphone market. The design -- including materials, proportions and screen bezels -- is utilitarian. When compared with more polished handsets from Apple and Samsung Electronics Co., the Pixel 4 is unremarkable. With a single-digit slice of the smartphone market, Google also lacks the user loyalty and inertia to keep selling without a killer feature.Recent UBS research put only battery life above price as the top consumer buying consideration, and Google took a step back on that front in 2019. Both Pixel 4 devices have worse battery life than their 2018 predecessors, and both dramatically lag comparable iPhone 11 models. Users will reliably get through a day with the larger Pixel 4 XL, but Google reduced the battery size of the smaller Pixel 4, which makes it uncompetitive against flagship Android devices like the cheaper OnePlus 7 Pro.“To maintain a great fit in-hand, we shrunk the battery slightly from the prior Pixel 3 device. We then leaned more heavily on software to deliver all-day battery, and designed features accordingly,” a Google spokesman said.Aside from Apple, Google is going up against Samsung’s juggernaut smartphone lineup and a legion of Chinese device makers with better specs and more aggressive, futuristic designs. OnePlus, Xiaomi Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. offer better value for money with big batteries, super-fast charging, dual SIM card slots and even 5G wireless options. They can’t all match the Pixel’s camera, but they aren’t miles behind and Huawei also achieves outstanding low-light photos.Google created a camera zoom function that relies more on artificial intelligence than optical hardware. It works well and is a technical feat, but it’s not going to make the difference in stores. Google also introduced live transcription of calls and a new face-unlocking function with the Pixel 4, but those are nice extras rather than compelling reasons to own the latest device.The company has yet to answer the difficult question of how to market a software-powered machine in a world where hardware and specs are still the main differentiating factors for consumers. The same UBS research that ranked battery life as the top requirement put camera specs way down in 12th place. Digital assistants like Google’s Assistant barely registered in the survey.Even if Google had retained its lead in both those categories, its path to selling more Pixels was never going to be through maintaining the status quo. The company needed to address a wider market than the tech and photography enthusiasts that have long been the Pixel’s core demographic, and it simply didn’t do so with the Pixel 4.Google’s longer-term aspirations for its smartphone line remain unclear, more than three years into the initiative. The company prices and markets Pixels like mainstream premium devices, including high-profile advertising during the NBA Finals earlier this year. But then it designs them like niche products with limited spec sheets and an austere appearance.In a year when Apple is enjoying better-than-expected iPhone demand thanks to its new sweeteners of longer battery life and better cameras, Google has failed to make any comparable improvements. The company that is most able, and should be most motivated, to disrupt the smartphone status quo has let another year pass without truly committing to the task.To contact the reporter on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair Barr, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The co-founder of China’s SenseTime Group Ltd. was visiting New York to encourage more collaboration with the U.S. on artificial intelligence when he heard the news: The Trump administration had blacklisted his company. So much for more cooperation.Xu Bing, the 29-year-old co-founder, knew SenseTime was at risk given rising tensions between China and the U.S., but the timing took him by surprise. He was spending a few days showing off his latest products and meeting other AI researchers earlier this month when the Commerce Dept. put his company and seven others on its “Entity List,” prohibiting American companies from providing crucial supplies like semiconductors. His phone flooded with calls and emails from worried employees and investors.SenseTime is emblematic of the clash between the world’s two biggest economies. China is seeking to evolve economically by moving beyond manufacturing into the technology vanguard, with the explicit goal of dominating key fields like AI. Donald Trump’s administration is increasingly adamant about containing China’s rise, arguing that companies like Huawei Technologies Co. steal intellectual property and threaten national security, while startups like SenseTime and Megvii Technology Ltd. are complicit in human rights violations in the country’s Xinjiang region.The company’s founders are a bit stunned at getting caught in the crossfire. They are mostly academics who decided to commercialize their technology five years ago, drawing attention from both U.S. and China governments because of the applications for surveillance. Now, they plan a shift away from hardware, which requires American chips, to focus on software for facial recognition and other applications. The founders think they can survive the existential threat.“Long-term, the fundamentals of business are still most important,” says Xu, “so that’s what we will focus on.”SenseTime, whose $7.5 billion valuation is the highest for an AI startup in the world, is trying to reassure investors, employees and customers. The company said in a statement that it is “deeply disappointed” at the blacklisting decision and will seek relief. It emphasized it complies with all laws in local jurisdictions.“These are real risks for tech companies in China,” says Crawford Del Prete, president of the market research firm IDC.SenseTime has been preparing for the worst. The company raised about $2.5 billion last year from investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte., according to a person familiar with the matter. That forestalls the need for an initial public offering any time soon. China surveillance giant Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. warned last week that it may lose customers in overseas markets because it was part of the U.S. blacklisting.Megvii, another AI startup that was blacklisted this month, is pressing ahead with its IPO plans, effectively testing whether investors will take on the risks of a blacklisting. (Megvii also says it’s done nothing wrong and plans to fight the U.S. ban.)For SenseTime, the biggest challenge of the Trump move is that it will lose access to U.S. semiconductors, particularly from Nvidia Corp. The chips are incorporated into AI cameras and other hardware SenseTime sells to corporations and government agencies. Without them, SenseTime will be able to market software that customers or resellers can then install on their own cameras or servers -- but not the hardware itself. That will likely cut into growth, given that hardware accounts for about half its revenue. Software sales tend to be higher margin.Sales are likely to triple this year to about $900 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Even though growth is expected to flag, revenue may still double annually for the next three years, the people said.“We’re very much prepared for the long game,” says Xu Li, chief executive officer of SenseTime and another co-founder.All this is a far cry from the company’s debut in 2014. Xu Li was a PhD student in computer science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong when he hit it off with a few other AI academics and they founded SenseTime.It didn’t go smoothly. Xu spent most of his time recruiting scholars rather than calling on customers. Skeptical salespeople fled. Finally, a venture investor warned Xu he needed a business plan.“You recruit PhDs and publish papers. You’re not making a company, you’re making a university,” Xu recalls the backer telling him.After nine months without any sales, Xu stumbled on an opportunity. Peer-to-peer lending was taking off in China, but fraud was so common that companies were desperate for help. SenseTime devised a system to conduct face scans with motion -- turn your head, wink, stick out your tongue -- to prove users were real people. The first client paid 20 million yuan ($2.8 million). Soon, companies were lining up for its services.Next, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. asked for support in creating customized photo albums for users. Then Bytedance Inc., the parent of viral short-video app TikTok, tapped SenseTime to build filters that beautify streamers by slimming faces and toning complexions in real time as they sing and dance.Business really took off with security-camera technology. China’s public security bureau owns about 30 million surveillance cameras, but only about 1% are so-called smart cameras that can analyze what they’re recording. It costs $500 to $3,000 to upgrade a device, depending on how many functions one wants — to identify faces, traffic, a fire or an explosion. Providing software to upgrade government cameras accounts for about 35% of SenseTime’s revenue, according to people familiar.The rest of the company’s revenue comes from commercial clients like property developers, shopping malls and mobile phone providers, the people said. There were about 176 million video surveillance cameras monitoring China’s streets, buildings and public spaces in 2016, compared with 50 million in the U.S., according to IHS Markit.The company emphasizes it doesn’t do business directly with government agencies. But the public security bureau can buy its software and products via third party providers. Its software is compatible with cameras made by Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Panasonic Corp.Competition is tough. Some clients test SenseTime’s image recognition alongside Megvii’s software. China’s video surveillance equipment market, excluding home gear, is projected to grow annually by 14% to $20.1 billion in 2023, according to IDC.“The application of AI has developed very fast,” says Francis Leung, the former chairman of CVC Greater China who invested personally in SenseTime. “It’s beyond my expectations.”SenseTime is developing similar camera technology for health care, education, logistics and driverless cars. And it’s exploring other markets, which come with attendant complications.In Hong Kong, where SenseTime has its headquarters, the precariousness of the present moment is evident. Protesters have rattled the city for months, provoking the local government by calling for more autonomy from China. The co-founders are predominantly from the mainland, but many are permanent residents of Hong Kong.Xu, the CEO, has been pushing the company to develop its own AI chips and expand into Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. The idea is that even if it loses access to U.S. chips, China will over time develop equivalents via local champions like Huawei, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. or SenseTime itself.He concedes Trump’s blacklisting has rattled some customers and employees. But the process of building a business is similar to academic research -- long and slow.“Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Xu. “We will continue thriving.”\--With assistance from Candy Cheng.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. While...
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp plans to launch more than 10 5G phones in 2020, CEO Lei Jun said on Sunday, speaking at the World Internet conference in the eastern Chinese town of Wuzhen. According to Lei, demand for the phone exceeded the company’s expectations and led to supply chain issues. “People in the industry fear that next year 4G models won’t sell, this is a step you have no choice but to take,” Lei said.
China's Xiaomi Corp is shedding its image as a budget brand by widening its India product portfolio to include pricier, high-spec smartphones and smart TVs, a senior company executive said on Monday. Xiaomi, which began selling devices in India in 2014, has outflanked South Korea's Samsung Electronics as India's top smartphone player, according to tech research firm Counterpoint.
China's Xiaomi Corp is shedding its image as a budget brand by widening its India product portfolio to include pricier, high-spec smartphones and smart TVs, a senior company executive said on Monday. Xiaomi, which began selling devices in India in 2014, has outflanked South Korea's Samsung Electronics as India's top smartphone player, according to tech research firm Counterpoint.
(Bloomberg) -- Ant Financial Services Group is seeking a syndicated loan of up to $3.5 billion at a lower rate, joining other Chinese technology giants in their bid to slash debt costs.The company is in talks with lenders for a $2.5 billion financing that comes with a $1 billion greenshoe option, according to people familiar with the matter. The price talk for the three-year loan margin is less than 100 basis points over Libor, said the people, who are not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The company didn’t immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial last came to the syndicated loan market in 2017, raising a $3.5 billion three-year facility that pays a margin of 135 basis points over Libor, according to Bloomberg data. The latest funding plan comes amid a refinancing spree for Asian tech firms as they take advantage of abundant liquidity from lenders in the wake of fewer loan deals in the region.Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. is in talks for a $1 billion refinancing at its lowest rate after Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. clinched its biggest and cheapest dollar-based facility in August. Ant Financial’s affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. completed an amendment and extension of its $4 billion loan in May.Ant’s new loan, if completed, will be used for general corporate purposes, the people said. The company is formally known as Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co.\--With assistance from Apple Lam and Carol Zhong.To contact the reporters on this story: Annie Lee in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Neha D'silva at email@example.com, Chan Tien HinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- One of the most successful Silicon Valley-Asia venture capital firms is counting on the humble mom-and-pop store that dominates India’s retail landscape to hold its own against Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.Menlo Park, California-based GGV Capital, a $6.2 billion investor in some of the biggest unicorns in the U.S. and China including Airbnb, Xiaomi Corp., and Slack Technologies Inc., is backing startups that serve the tiny, family-run businesses known as kiranas.“It’s all about powering the little guys,” said Hans Tung, managing partner, in a recent joint interview with fellow investor Jixun Foo in Bangalore, where the duo was meeting a dozen entrepreneurs. “We’re backing startups that provide technology and working capital to make kiranas more efficient, so that these mom-and-pops can become e-commerce and lending enablers in their communities,” Tung added.From the poshest neighborhoods to teeming slums, typical Indian kiranas are cramped spaces that can just about fit a king-size bed but are chock-full of sacks of rice, lentils and dried chili peppers. Their floor-to-ceiling shelves are stacked with toothpaste and cooking oil, and their shopfronts festooned with colorful bags of potato chips, tiny sachets of shampoo and pickles. With their personalized service, the stores usually offer door-step delivery and interest-free credit.GGV, which has focused almost exclusively on China and the U.S. for two decades, is bullish about India. “We are seeing the same movie played out a little differently in emerging economies,” said Tung. “India can be very big over the next 10 years.” As much as 20% of the $1.9 billion fund raised by the VC firm last year will be allocated to India as well as Southeast Asia.India has the market size and talent pool to make things happen and now investors are lining up with capital, said Foo. GGV Capital will write $5-10 million in checks in the case of very early-stage entrepreneurs and $50 million checks for later-stage startups, he said.The firm has built an investment strategy around kiranas based on the premise it’s better to play with a model that already exists rather than building new supply chains that could take as long as a decade to materialize. GGV’s first such investment amounting “to tens of millions of dollars” is in Udaan, a Bangalore-based B2B marketplace for small businesses, the partners said. More recently, GGV has put money in Khatabook, a mobile app that’s a digital version of the bahi khata, or the hand-written ledger that owners of tiny businesses traditionally use to keep track of daily accounts. It’s an earlier-stage bet so the investment is “lower”, Tung said.Large global investors like Tiger Global Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners and even consumer giant Unilever’s investing arm are backing technology startups that serve kiranas but GGV Capital is the first to crystallize a proposition that goes beyond India to include the neighborhood-store equivalents of kiranas in Indonesia, Vietnam and Latin America.“Across these countries, the value of the average online order is still low and the cost of last mile logistics is very high,” said Foo. “Entrepreneurs are finding a different way by empowering the mom and pops and that can get e-commerce going.”In India, even the biggest conglomerates including Tata and Reliance have been unable to diminish kiranas’ dominance while newer online retail entrants Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart are trying to embrace them, using the shops to facilitate deliveries or offer assistance to customers going online for the first time. Reliance has already said it will equip kiranas with technology as part of its online-offline e-commerce model.GGV also sees the neighborhood stores as more than a place to shop. “If you power them up and earn their trust, they can be the place to serve the community far beyond just groceries and daily necessities,” said Tung.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Risk-off sentiment prevailed in the Hong Kong and mainland China stock markets on Wednesday, following news overnight of an impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump, leading to the Hang Seng's biggest daily decline in a month.The Hong Kong benchmark closed 1.28 per cent lower at 25,945.35, dragged down by a broad decline across sectors " the usually safe health care stocks and technology shares were among the biggest losers. Wednesday's drop was the index's biggest since August 26 this year, when it fell by 1.9 per cent.Index heavyweight Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited plunged by 5.3 per cent to HK$9.9, while CSPC Pharmaceutical Group lost 3.8 per cent to HK$15.6.The declines came as analysts at Moody's Investor Service said on Wednesday China's ongoing reform of bulk purchase of drugs will boost sales of drug makers, but might squeeze their profits as competition to be included in a purchase list could lead to a price war.Among the technology heavyweights to decline on Wednesday were Xiaomi, the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker, as well as Apple supplier AAC Technologies, which dropped 4.4 per cent to HK$8.9 and 3.5 per cent to HK$41.8, respectively. Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings was another casualty, dropping 2.1 per cent to HK$328.6."The [Trump] impeachment hearing certainly brings a negative flow of news headlines. But we do not expect it to introduce a fundamental change to the Hong Kong market," said Kevin Leung, executive director of investment strategy at Haitong International Securities.He said profit taking had continued for about two weeks after the Hang Seng Index hit the 27,000 level, and suggested investors avoid sectors more closely related to the trade talks, such as technology and manufacturing. Defensive sectors included health care, mainland consumption and education, he said."If there can be any uptick catalyst to push the market higher, it could be consumer data related to the mainland October Golden Week," he added.Analysts at RBC Capital Markets called the impeachment inquiry, announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "a small step", but one that had triggered a sell-off in risk assets and the US dollar."We would note that this is only a small step on the road to impeachment, which would ultimately require a 2/3 majority in the Republican-controlled senate and that it is not clear yet whether the House will vote to endorse the inquiry ... leading to charges against Trump," they said in a note on Wednesday.In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 1 per cent down at 2,955.4. The Shenzhen Component Index dropped 1.4 per cent to 9671.1 and the technology-heavy ChiNext fell1.3 per cent to 1672.7. The banking sector held out above water, while telecommunications, electronics and equipment makers led the declines.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.