Monday, 16 July 2018
What happened: ZTE’s shares soared by 12% in Hong Kong after the US lifted its ban preventing the company from sourcing components from American manufacturers. ZTE stocks opened up 5.5% and rose more than 12%. However, this is still 40% lower than when the company suspended trading in April.
Why it’s important: The ban, which was imposed after ZTE was found to have been shipping US-made goods to Iran illegally, threatened the future of the company, crippling it for the past two months. According to reports, more than $11 billion was wiped off ZTE’s market share, and massive losses were incurred due to fine payments. However, more uncertainty is still to come as a bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking to overturn the decision amid greater trade tensions between China and the US. —Christopher Udemans
优客工场聘请何一兵出任公司首席顾问 – 动点科技
What happened: China’s co-working space operator Ucommune has appointed a new chief advisor, He Yibing (何一兵), a well-known Internet entrepreneur who worked with Jack Ma on China Yellow Pages. He will be in charge of the company’s future product structure plans, internet technology development and application of co-working spaces, as well as strategic planning and research of the internet ecosystem.
Why it’s important: Ucommune is looking to grow its footprint in China in order to consolidate its leading position in the increasingly competitive co-working space market. The company recently acquired smaller rival Workingdom for RMB 300 million. In March, Ucommune acquired Chinese co-working space Woo Space. —Nicole Jao
What happened: Indonesian startups Pundi X is looking to build an off-line cryptocurrency sales network in the region and expects to deploy some of its 5,500 point-of-sale devices in Hong Kong by the end of August.
Why it’s important: This will broaden the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for retail payments and will also challenge the position of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which denied bitcoin as a qualified means of payment. However, the authority also said it won’t regulate cryptocurrencies, which leads to the question whether consumers are aware of the volatilities of cryptocurrencies when it comes to buying everyday items like meat and rice. -Jiefei Liu
《阿修罗》上映3日突然撤档 7.5亿元投资恐打水漂 – Securities Daily
What happened: Azura, an RMB 750 million ($110 million) budget Chinese fantasy film that took 6 years to complete, suspended cinema screening at 10 pm July 15, less than 3 days since its launch on July 13. Online speculation suggests the movie was pulled due to disappointing performance. The film is reported to have invited top special effect teams and film tech companies including those behind Game of Thrones, Captain America, and the Shape of Water. The film’s box office revenue until 6pm July 15 was RMB 47 million, a tiny fraction of the total investment. Douban (often referred to as the Chinese “Rotten Tomato”) rates the film as a 3.1, the lowest for any fantasy film on the site.
Why it’s important: The film’s failure signals 2 trends in China’s content and entertainment market. The first trend: technology is merely a tool and content is king. AI and the use of advanced filming techniques may enhance film production efficiency and visual experience, but it can guarantee no emotional reciprocity. The second trend: budget and stars are no more attractive to audiences. Internet and social media have flattened channels for comments and critics. If viewers are not happy, then the feeling quickly spreads – neither capital nor celebrity can save it. – Runhua Zhao
雪球宣布获1.2亿美元D轮融资 蚂蚁金服加入战略投资-Sina Tech
What happened: Chinese financial social media Snowball Finance (Xueqiu.com) announced that it has raised $120 million Series D. The company’s valuation is reportedly $400 million to $500 million. Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial joined this round as a strategic investor.
Why it’s important: While Chinese are getting richer, more people are seeking for investments channels. Xueqiu.com, released in November 2011, doesn’t only has a Facebook’s Newsfeed-like platform, but also offers stock quotes, business news and analysis reports for each stock on those markets. Now being one of the most popular social networks for Chinese investors, the platform has attracted over 12 million monthly active users. —Emma Lee
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