|To: John Carragher who wrote (710)||5/24/2020 8:37:07 PM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|Probably. They appear to have weathered the COVID storm and aren't facing any real pushback as they continue to expand overseas. Plus they don't have to worry about western companies entering their domestic market. Amazon should be so lucky. The negative, as always, corporate governance and a lack of transparency. Always a trading stock for me.|
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|From: Glenn Petersen||6/19/2020 9:11:53 AM|
|Alibaba and JD.com handle a record $136.51 billion in sales during major Chinese shopping event|
Published Fri, Jun 19 20201:48 AM EDT
Updated 5 hours ago
China’s two biggest e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com handled $136.51 billion of sales through their platforms during one of the country’s biggest shopping events.
- China’s two biggest e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com handled $136.51 billion of sales through their platforms during one of the country’s biggest shopping events.
- Known as 618 because it falls on June 18, the festival was being closely watched for signs about the health of the consumer in China.
- The record numbers on 618 may point to a recovery with the Chinese consumer.
Known as 618 because it falls on June 18, the festival was being closely watched for signs about the health of the consumer in the world’s second-largest economy, as it looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
JD.com said transaction volume totaled 269.2 billion yuan ($37.99 billion). This figure is the total value of all orders for products and services placed on the company’s online platform, regardless of whether the goods are sold, delivered or returned. That was more than the 201.5 billion yuan in transaction volume last year.
Meanwhile, Alibaba said gross merchandise value or GMV stood at 698.2 billion yuan ($98.52 billion). GMV is a figure that shows sales across the e-commerce giant’s shopping platforms.
In China, there are two major shopping events. The first, 618, was started by JD.com. The second, Singles Day on Nov. 11, was created by Alibaba. But nowadays, both e-commerce firms join in on the promotions amid rising competition in the country’s online shopping space.
Alibaba raked in record GMV of 268.4 billion yuan on Singles Day last year. Its 618 GMV is over two times that figure.
The record numbers on 618 may point to a recovery with the Chinese consumer. Retail sales fell 2.8% in May from a year ago, but online sales of physical consumer goods rose 15.6%. JD.com and Alibaba have benefited from the acceleration of the shift to online shopping in China.
JD.com’s U.S.-listed shares are up 72.5% this year while Alibaba has risen 5.4%.
Both companies also carried out secondary listings in Hong Kong. Alibaba listed shares in Hong Kong in November while JD.com’s shares started trading on Thursday.
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (713)||7/8/2020 11:29:33 AM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|Exclusive: Alibaba's Ant plans Hong Kong IPO, targets valuation over $200 billion, sources say|
June 8, 2020
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, plans a Hong Kong float as soon as this year and targets a valuation of more than $200 billion, said two sources with knowledge of the matter.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba's financial affiliate, is pictured at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China January 24, 2018. Picture taken January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shu Zhang/File Photo
The world’s most valuable tech “unicorn” had been looking to sell shares in Hong Kong and mainland China simultaneously, but is now leaning heavily towards the Asian financial hub first because it would probably face a smoother listing process, the sources and a third person with knowledge of the matter said.
It is looking at selling between 5% and 10% of its shares in an initial public offering, said one of the sources, in what would be one of the world’s biggest listings this year.
The company has been working with its advisers on the planned float in recent months, said the sources, who cautioned that details have yet to be finalized and are subject to change.
In response, Ant said the information about its IPO plans was incorrect. Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The sources sought anonymity as the information was private.
Ant, based in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou, is 33% owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ( BABA.N) ( 9988.HK) and is controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
Although valued at about $150 billion in its last funding round in 2018, small trades in the secondary market late last year gave it an implied valuation of $200 billion.
Ant is China’s dominant mobile payments company, offering loans, payments, insurance and asset management services via mobile apps.
However, recent years have seen it emphasise its technology prowess amid increased regulatory scrutiny of financial risk.
The company wants to be referred to in English as “Ant Group Co,” its spokeswoman said. It won regulatory approval in May to change its legal name in Chinese to Ant Technology Group Co.
Ant generated revenue of about 120 billion yuan ($17.10 billion) last year and almost 17 billion yuan in net profit, according to financial documents seen by Reuters.
Ant said the information was incorrect.
A Hong Kong listing of Ant - one of the world’s most hotly-anticipated IPOs - would be a boost to the city’s status as a global capital markets centre as its leaders come under fire for China’s imposition last month of a tough national security law.
This year, however, capital-raising has been helped by the broader tension between China and the United States, with several U.S.-listed Chinese firms planning secondary listings in Hong Kong to help establish an investor base closer to home.
In November, Alibaba itself raised $12.9 billion in a secondary listing.
Reporting by Julie Zhu; Additional reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Jennifer Hughes and Clarence Fernandez
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|From: Glenn Petersen||7/20/2020 9:01:05 AM|
|BABA owns 33% of Ant Financial.|
Chinese fintech giant Ant to go public in dual Shanghai-Hong Kong IPO
PUBLISHED MON, JUL 20 20205:39 AM EDT
UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
Ryan Browne @RYAN_BROWNE_
-- Ant Group said Monday that it would list its shares on both the Shanghai stock exchange’s STAR board and the Hong Kong stock exchange.
-- The firm is best known as the parent company of Alipay, which alongside Tencent’s WeChat Pay has become wildly popular in China.
-- With a reported valuation of $150 billion, Ant’s listing could mark one of the biggest IPOs of 2020
Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial
Bobby Yip | Reuters
Chinese fintech firm Ant Group has begun the process of a concurrent initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba, said Monday that it would list its shares on both the Shanghai stock exchange’s STAR — a Nasdaq-style tech board — and the Hong Kong stock exchange. The dual listing will help Ant “accelerate its goal of digitizing the service industry in China,” the company said.
“Becoming a public company will enhance transparency to our stakeholders, including customers, business partners, employees, shareholders and regulators,” Ant CEO Eric Jing said in a statement. “Through our commitment to serving the under-served, we make it possible for the whole of society to share our growth.”
Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial, did not disclose how much it was seeking to raise in the dual IPOs or when it would go public. Ant is best known as the firm behind the Alipay mobile wallet, which alongside Tencent’s WeChat Pay has become a wildly popular alternative to cash in China.
It is the world’s largest so-called “unicorn” company, with a reported valuation of $150 billion. The company’s listing could mark one of the biggest IPOs of 2020, in the face of a tough global economic environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The firm is reportedly seeking a $200 billion valuation.
Listing on the STAR board would mark a major win for China, which is looking to attract local tech stars to the mainland Chinese market. Last week, China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC debuted on the STAR market, seeing its shares more than triple in the first day of trading.
It also shows that Hong Kong may still be seen as an attractive option for companies, despite domestic and geopolitical tensions over the introduction of a new national security law in the special autonomous region last month.
—CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||7/29/2020 9:44:00 AM|
|Chinese companies look to ride a new cross-border e-commerce wave driven by the coronavirus|
PUBLISHED TUE, JUL 28 20208:32 PM EDT
Evelyn Cheng @CHENGEVELYN
-- “There is a trend towards more direct shipping out of China through digital cross-border shopping channels, which helps alleviate some of the downtrend in Chinese exports driven by the trade wars and increasing political tensions between China and other countries,” Suresh Dalai, senior director at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal focusing on retail operations in Asia, said in an email.
-- Persistent uncertainty around U.S.-China trade tensions is also pushing Chinese businesses to look at different markets – and different platforms.
-- Chinese logistics companies such as Alibaba’s Cainiao are looking to ride this growth trend.
Containers and trucks at the port of Qingdao, China on February 14, 2019.
Some Chinese companies are tapping a new growth opportunity in online shopping amid trade tensions and the coronavirus pandemic.
While e-commerce has become a part of modern life around the world through giants such as Amazon and Alibaba, online shopping remains a fraction of overall retail sales. Even in China, where delivery has become integrated into urban life, online sales of physical goods still only account for about a quarter of overall retail sales, according to official data.
That portion is generally expected to increase, in China and worldwide. More businesses are also tapping e-commerce platforms to sell directly to consumers, rather than going through traditional store distribution systems.
“There is a trend towards more direct shipping out of China through digital cross-border shopping channels, which helps alleviate some of the downtrend in Chinese exports driven by the trade wars and increasing political tensions between China and other countries,” Suresh Dalai, senior director at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal focusing on retail operations in Asia, said in an email.
“Evidence of this cross-border trend comes from the rise of cross-border shopping sites such as AliExpress, Alibaba.com, and Globalsources.com, and particularly in (Southeast) Asia,” he said.
In Southeast Asia alone, the internet economy for the region of 570 million people off the southeastern coast of China is expected to more than triple to $300 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025, according to an “e-Conomy SEA 2019” report from Google, Temasek and Bain.
That estimate came before the coronavirus pandemic, which has since accelerated demand for online shopping due to widespread stay-home orders.
Cross-border financial payments platform Payoneer saw volumes in May and June triple from a year ago, said general manager Eyal Moldovan.
“The phenomena of ecommerce and selling directly … (is) going to stay,” he said. “Chinese are becoming now the winners of it all, the Chinese sellers who were fast to adopt and continue to deliver the necessary goods and are adapting to the choice of the consumers that want to shop.”
For example, Chinese household and consumer goods chain Miniso said it’s kept to a plan to release 100 new products every seven days even as it has shifted much of its business online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Even with the economic shock of the virus, American consumers are buying. What used to be typically $12 spend per customer at a physical store is now $60 to $70 in an online order, said Vincent Huang, vice president of Miniso’s international business department. That’s according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.
“After the virus, we plan to expand, including offline,” he said, adding that the company has plans for a 20% to 30% retail price cut through improving supply chain efficiencies.
Most of Miniso’s suppliers are in China. The company said that at the end of 2019, it had more than 3,900 stores and a presence in over 70 countries and regions worldwide.
Impact of trade tensions
Chinese factories are also exploring “business-to-consumer” (B2C) sales on e-commerce platforms that bypass wholesale distributors to sell directly to individuals. Buyers can purchase a customized version of an item, while a factory can produce inventory as needed.
In addition, persistent uncertainty around U.S.-China trade tensions is pushing Chinese businesses to look at different markets – and different platforms.
Guangdong-based coffee machine company HiBrew started selling through AliExpress in July 2019, partly in an effort to reach the European market, according to HiBrew general manager Zeng Qiuping, based on a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. Before that, he said the company’s primary market was the U.S., but tariffs made costs prohibitive.
The international trade environment is making “business-to-business” (B2B) wholesale selling more difficult, while better logistics networks let sellers reach more customers, he said. The majority of factories still need to rely on traditional wholesale supply chains to survive, Zeng said. “But B2C, a new consumption model, will continue to grow. It hasn’t reached the ceiling yet.”
Boost to logistics
The direct selling model is already growing within China.
Alibaba’s Taobao e-commerce platform launched a “Special Edition” in March focused on factories, many of whose commercial orders have been delayed or canceled as a result of the virus’ spread globally, according to Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao. An initial call for export-oriented businesses attracted 300,000 Chinese factories and 110 million orders, the company said. As of this month, at least 1.2 million factories have joined the platform, with sales rising sixfold between June and July, according to Cainiao.
Increased online shopping is spurring demand for delivery services:
-- Cainiao’s logistics services accounted for 4% of overall revenue in the first three months of the year, but was one of the fastest growing units at 28% growth year on year.
-- Germany’s DHL said operating profit rose 16% in the second quarter from a year ago to about 890 million euros. “Since end of March the company has recorded a positive development of shipment volumes driven by e-commerce, both internationally and in the German parcel business,” according to a July 7 release.Chinese courier company SF Express disclosed an 84.22% growth in operation volume from June 2019 to June 2020, from 374 million tickets to 689 million tickets.
-- “China’s logistics scale is the greatest,” Charles Guowen Wang, director at think tank China Development Institute, said in an interview last month, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. “If this pace can be maintained, the gap with international players will narrow.”
Need for tech
Several Chinese start-ups are looking to take advantage of these trends.
The virus has caused orders to fluctuate more and forced the digitalization of the logistics industry in order to improve efficiency, Mingming Huang, founding partner at Future Capital Discovery Fund, said in a statement, according to a CNBC translation.
“Future Capital believes that in the future, the best logistics company will definitely be a technology company,” Huang said.
The firm’s investments include Duckbill, which uses artificial intelligence to make truck dispatches more efficient, third-party logistics platform in Southeast Asia Inteluck, and Syrius Robotics, which sells services for warehousing and logistics automation.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||8/23/2020 11:52:56 PM|
|Jack Ma’s Ant Group Produces $3.5 Billion Profit in Six Months as IPO Looms|
Results show how lucrative the Chinese financial-technology giant’s business has been as it gears up for blockbuster offering
By Stella Yifan Xie
Wall Street Journal
Aug. 20, 2020 12:03 pm ET
HONG KONG—Ant Group Co., the Chinese financial-technology giant backed by billionaire Jack Ma, earned roughly $3.5 billion over a recent six-month period, showing how lucrative the company’s business has been as it gears up for a blockbuster initial public offering.
Financial results released Thursday by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., BABA 3.04% which owns a 33% stake in Ant, showed that the soon-to-be-listed company posted a profit of about 9.2 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) in the three months to March, and around 15.5 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in the quarter ended December 2019.
Ant owns Alipay, a highly popular mobile-payments network that is used by more than 900 million people in China to spend money online and in physical stores, pay bills, take public transportation, and make big-ticket purchases. The company also provides a range of financial services to millions of businesses in the country. It supplies technology to financial institutions and other organizations, and sells financial products including mutual funds and insurance policies to scores of individuals.
The Hangzhou-based company, which was valued at $150 billion in a private fundraising round in June 2018, said last month that it is planning concurrent initial public offerings on stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The combined offerings could be among the largest in history, and would take place roughly six years after Alibaba’s own record-setting $25 billion IPO in New York.
Alibaba, which last year added a second listing in Hong Kong, reports financial results using U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, so its profit figures for Ant could differ from the results that Ant will disclose in its coming listing prospectus.
Ant is aiming for a market capitalization of more than $200 billion when it goes public, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. That would make it more valuable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and place it close to PayPal Inc., whose market capitalization was recently above $220 billion following a big share-price run-up this year.
The first quarter is usually a seasonally weaker period for Ant as business activity slows down around the country’s Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.
The three months to March 2020 included weeks in which many cities in China were under lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus across the country. During this period, many restaurants and businesses were closed and people were largely confined to their homes, and curbed spending as a result.
Still, Ant’s first-quarter profit was more than 500% higher than the same period a year ago, according to Alibaba’s filings. The companies didn’t provide reasons for the year-over-year surge.
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