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  1. #1
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    [EN] As Alibaba and Tencent swell, so does their political risk

    HENNY SENDER
    September 20, 2017

    Virtually every day, the People's Daily and its English-language counterpart, the China Daily, feature either President Xi Jinping or Premier Li Keqiang -- or both -- on their front pages. That is hardly surprising since the newspapers reflect the views and wishes of the Chinese Communist Party. More surprising, though, is the fact that one of China's most highly valued startups, Toutiao, a customized news website backed by Sequoia Capital China, also features the two leaders prominently most days.

    No matter how powerful or influential a new-economy company in China may be, any of them -- or any billionaire businessman -- runs the risk of incurring Beijing's wrath or envy. Most companies worry about losing out to the competition or being disrupted by a sudden change in technology. But in China, the biggest risk is political. And today, Chinese tech titans Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings are the focus of an intense debate about the extent to which they are vulnerable to that risk.

    To some analysts, the two have an immunity that others can only dream of. "They are the darlings of China," said the head of tech banking for a major international bank in Hong Kong. "They are trophies. They demonstrate the New China."

    Some say that it is in Beijing's interest to establish harmonious relations with the pair. "Ali and Tencent are instruments of government policy. The government can use them to manage the entire private sector," said the head of a Beijing-based merchant bank. "Better to control two large companies than hundreds of smaller ones. And the two wittingly hand over all their data to the government."

    Others counter that the only thing that matters is how powerful Alibaba and Tencent are -- and because they have enormous power, the government is going to put them under close scrutiny. This is particularly true in sensitive areas such as news, where their soft power exceeds that of any government media outlet.

    After an editorial in the People's Daily appeared recently attacking Tencent for the amount of time kids spend playing its popular "Honor of Kings" game, Tencent responded with alacrity. It instantly announced that it would limit young players to no more than an hour a day -- a prescription that is easily evaded by savvy gamers, but never mind. The point was to be seen to take the criticism of lack of social responsibility seriously.

    Both companies do everything they can to publicly align themselves with Beijing's policies and priorities. When the government launched its latest campaign to attract private corporate capital to state-owned enterprises, both quickly wrote checks to telecommunications company China Unicom in August. Both also give generously to charities -- especially those that support education.

    Different strokes

    The two founders, meanwhile, have adopted contrasting methods to mitigate the political risk they face personally.

    Jack Ma Yun of Alibaba loves the limelight and visibly tries to court the leadership. He hosts international gatherings at his Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, head office, which is lined with photos of important visitors that have made the pilgrimage there. He is on stage everywhere in the world reminding his audiences how many jobs he has created at home and abroad, pointing out that trade is never a zero-sum game. The diminutive leader identifies with "the little man" both literally and figuratively; indeed, his most oft-used line is his support of the small enterprise and small-businessman on both sides of the Pacific.

    Yet precisely because of his very visibility and habit of speaking out, Ma has become a risk factor for Alibaba. Remaining in the public eye makes it all too easy to say something that could anger Beijing. In addition, by buying the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post in 2015, he is held responsible for anything that appears in the paper, which has led him to complain to friends that there has been a downside for him in the purchase, they say.

    By contrast, Pony Ma Huateng of Tencent is self-effacing and has virtually no public profile. He would never boast of his connections with the top leaders in Beijing as Jack Ma is wont to do. On the rare occasions that he surfaces in public, as he did recently in Hong Kong to sponsor a government initiative in the Greater Bay Area of Macau, Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta of southern Guangdong Province, it makes headlines.

    Whether his low profile will be enough to keep from appearing threatening in the eyes of the government, though, is anyone's guess. In Xi Jinping's China, where onetime darlings can suddenly find themselves under investigation, immunity can never be a sure thing.

    "Ali and Tencent have so much to lose," the banker concluded.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/AC/...political-risk

  2. #2
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    Finnish authorities to help promote Alipay

    Xinhua
    2017-09-20

    Chinese digital payment platform Alipay has got the endorsement by Finnish authorities to promote the use of the paying method.

    Finpro, an umbrella organization comprising sectors that promote tourism, investment and export for Finland, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Alipay on Monday to enhance the cooperation.

    The number of overnight stays by Chinese tourists in Finland from January to July this year grew by 43 percent compared with last year, which is the fastest growth among all foreigners, according to Heli Mende, head of global sales promotion of Visit Finland, a tourism industry committee under Finpro.

    Mende said it is very important to understand the needs of travelers coming to Finland so that they can enjoy better travel experiences.

    "Alipay is a perfect example of this kind of development, and we can make it easier for travelers to come to Finland, to go to restaurants, to buy souvenirs, or to pay their accommodation in hotels and so on," she said.

    The access of Alipay has increased rapidly in the Nordic, with a global off-line shopping festival was launched in the Arctic city of Rovaniemi last year, and the first on-board Alipay was activated on Finnair flights early this year.

    Stockmann, a leading department store in the Nordic, also introduced Alipay as one of its payment tools earlier this month. Stockmann Group's CEO Lauri Veijalainen said the Chinese payment system is straight-forward and client-friendly, which coincides with the high-level services that Stockmann is well known for.

    "Alipay with its all supplementary products will be a very good part of that (Stockmann's service), from today actually," said Veijalainen, referring to the installation of Alipay system in the Stockmann flagship in central Helsinki starting on Monday.

    Rita Liu, Alipay's chief in Europe, said the cooperation with Finnish authorities would further explore the scenarios that have access to Alipay and thus better serve Chinese tourists.

    "Chinese not only can buy things abroad with Alipay, they can also have fun at more recreational facilities with more information at hand and easier payment methods," she told Xinhua after the MOU was signed.

    Apart from tourism, the utilization of Alipay will also enable faster growth of business exchange between China and Finland, said Antti Aumo, Vice President of Finpro.

    "Whether it is export of goods from China to Finland, from Finland to China or investments from China to Finland, all those will result in the increase in business travel," he said.

    "Alipay is a significant payment platform in China. It makes it easier in increasing the business travelers to be able to pay with the financial instrument that you are familiar with in your home market," added Aumo.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._136622076.htm

  3. #3
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    China to further cross-border e-commerce to boost foreign trade



    Mu Xuequan
    2017-09-20

    China will set up more cross-border e-commerce pilot zones in favor of trade facilitation to boost China's global competitiveness, according to a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

    The meeting decided to extend the success of cross-border e-commerce pilot zones to more cities with good infrastructure and strong trade and e-commerce development potential across the country. The original initiative was set in motion by the State Council in Hangzhou in 2015 before being expanded to another 12 cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, since early 2016.

    Some good practices are going national, such as the development of online comprehensive service platforms incorporating custom clearance, logistics, tax refund, payment, fund raising and risk control services and offline industrial parks providing whole-industrial-chain services.

    "We need to enable the healthy development of cross-border e-commerce and speed up the growth of new engines, making the foreign trade sector more adaptive to new circumstances and better endowed with new cutting edges," Li said. "The prospect of cross-border e-commerce is very bright."

    Statistics by the Ministry of Commerce shows that 220 countries and regions across the world were covered by China's cross-border e-commerce network as of 2016, with a turnover of 5.85 trillion yuan (891 billion U.S. dollars), up by 28.2 percent year-on-year.

    The total volume of foreign trade via cross-border e-commerce in the 13 pilot zones reached 163.7 billion yuan in 2016, up by more than 100 percent year-on-year. More than 400 third-party platforms were established and 20,000 cross-border e-commerce trade companies were established in the pilot zones.

    The government will further reform to streamline administration, enhance compliance oversight and improve service, and improve the policy matrix for cross-border e-commerce, to boost efficiency and reduce costs of doing business.

    Developing the entire value-chain of e-commerce will be a form of support measures, including establishing overseas storage facilities covering key countries and markets and logistics networks.

    "We need to expand and clone good experience and practices accumulated, and lay down the rules in a timely manner. The new growth drivers' capacity to boost employment, extend the industry chain and buttress growth cannot be overestimated," the premier said.

    The meeting on Wednesday also decided to support the exploration and innovation efforts by the pilot zones. Different online platforms will be integrated to better provide one-stop services to share information, regulatory credentials and enforcement resources.

    Paralleled efforts will be made to match online platforms with robust offline industrial cluster development and comprehensive service provision.

    The government will also step up the development of credit system in the cross-border e-commerce sector and improve mechanisms to evaluate e-commerce sector, safeguard transactions, better protect consumers, IPR and manage risks.

    "Government oversight should be both enabling and prudent. Producers and platform companies should live up to their responsibilities, while the government's focus is on enhancing compliance oversight," Li said.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._136624771.htm

  4. #4
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    Shentong (STO) Express: 200,000 parcels and packages a day


  5. #5

  6. #6
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    Outro mundo possivel

    Esse pessoal nas tocas renderia um episódio da série Black Mirror.

  7. #7
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    UN report reveals millions trapped in modern slavery

    Xinhua
    2017-09-20

    An estimated 40 million people are today trapped in modern slavery, mostly women and girls, and 152 million children are subject to child labor, almost one in ten around the world, a latest UN report revealed on Tuesday.

    The new research, developed jointly by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Walk Free Foundation, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has revealed the true scale of modern slavery around the world.

    The data, released during the UN General Assembly, shows that among the 40 million people trapped in modern slavery -- 70 percent are women and girls. One in four victims of modern slavery are children, which totals about 10 million.

    Meanwhile, some 152 million children, including 64 million girls and 88 million boys, are subject to child labor, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world, the report says. The largest part of them, or 72 million, are living in Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific with 62 million, the Americas with 11 million, Europe and Central Asia with 5.5 million, and the Arab States with 1.2 million.

    More than 70 percent of child laborers remains in agriculture, while a little over 17 percent work in the services sector and almost 12 percent in industry.

    "The message... is very clear," says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, "the world won't be in a position to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless we dramatically increase our efforts to fight these scourges."

    The report also finds out that an estimated 25 million people were in forced labor in 2016, including 16 million in forced labor exploitation in private sectors such as domestic work, construction and agriculture. About five million were in forced sexual exploitation, and just over four million, or 16 percent of the total, were in forced labor imposed by their state authorities.

    It's a shame on us all, says Andrew Forrest, chairman and founder of the Walk Free Foundation, an international human rights organization to help end modern slavery globally.

    "This speaks to the deep seated discrimination and inequalities in our world today, coupled with a shocking tolerance of exploitation. This has to stop," he added.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._136624213.htm

  8. #8
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    Sean Parker: The internet is not the answer for those seeking change

    Joanna Walters
    20 September 2017

    Sean Parker is one of the biggest names associated with the earliest days of social media, but the tech billionaire on Tuesday urged those interested in activism to go offline if they wanted to make their voices heard.

    “As much as I thought the internet could be our salvation, I eventually came to the conclusion that we have to solve our own problems, and it took the election of Donald Trump to wake everyone up,” he said.

    Parker, the creator of Napster and an early president of Facebook, took a shot at Silicon Valley when he was asked about tech entrepreneurs who may still believe that social networks are one of the most potent forces for positive change in the world. They are guilty “of a level of naïveté”, he told a conference on social justice and activism in New York organized by Global Citizen, a nonprofit focused on ending extreme poverty.

    “If you’ve made a few billion dollars from your startup you are entitled to be a bit arrogant, but it turns out maybe you are better at getting 14-year-old girls to put on things than you are at fomenting revolution,” he said.

    He added that social media has “splintered” the traditional ways of organizing movements and connecting people.

    “The social fabric of the world is changing because of social media. We have to rebuild it to get things done. We are living in perilous times, populism, nativism, is not necessarily left or right, it’s mob rule and it almost inevitably leads to tyranny. This is not the normal ebb and flow, something much darker and more frightening is afoot,” Parker said.

    Parker told Global Citizen co-founder Hugh Evans, in a discussion panel at the event held at New York University on Tuesday, that many activist groups were mobilizing online these days, but: “We have got this online group-forming behavior to translate into the offline world.”

    ...

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...seeking-change

  9. #9
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    Alibaba-backed Chinese supply chain firm BEST debuts on NYSE


    Empower Business Enrich Life

    Xinhua
    2017-09-21


    Chinese supply chain firm BEST Inc., backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, made its trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wednesday.

    BEST priced its IPO offering at 10 U.S. dollars per American Depositary Receipt (ADR), the lower end of the pricing range of 10 dollars to 11 dollars given by the company, trading under the ticker symbol of BSTI.

    BEST raised 450 million dollars at 45 million ADRs, which is smaller than the 869.4 million dollars expected a couple of days ago when BEST planned to price 62.1 million ADRs between 13 dollars and 15 dollars per ADR.

    However, it is still the biggest Chinese IPO in New York so far this year.

    The company started trading at 11.48 dollars per share on Wednesday, jumping 14.8 percent from its pricing.

    BEST is a leading and the fastest-growing logistics smart supply chain service provider in China. Its multi-sided platform combines technology, integrated logistics and supply chain services, last-mile services and value-added services.

    The company has been focusing on scale and growth, through the expansion of network and service coverage, in line with its philosophy to build and invest for the long term.

    BEST is backed by Alibaba and Cainiao Network. The company has a strategic relationship with its largest shareholder, making it a key logistics provider to the world's largest retailer, as Alibaba's platforms serve more than 10 million merchants and more than half a billion consumers.

    For the six months ended on June 30, 2017, BEST's revenue was 1.2 billion dollars, up 133.5 percent from the same six months a year ago, while its net losses for the six months ended on June 30 were 92.1 million dollars, 1.06 percent narrower than the year-ago period, according to the company's filing.

    The company was founded by Johnny Chou, former president of Google China, and is led by a team with technology and logistics expertise.

    "New York is one of the world's most important financial centers. By choosing NYSE to go public, BEST will have a better international vision, which can better serve our customers in the future," Chou told Xinhua before the opening bell on Wednesday.

    Investors kept a close eye on IPO this year, as public offerings have been slowing down these years.

    Proceeds from the U.S. IPO market were only 18.8 billion dollars last year, down from 86.6 billion dollars in 2014, according to investment banking firm Renaissance Capital.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._136624933.htm

  10. #10
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    CICC jumps 19% after Tencent buys stake

    Founded in 1995, CICC, one of the mainland’s most prestigious investment banks, was China’s first joint venture investment bank, a tie-up between the state-owned China Construction Bank and Morgan Stanley. The latter sold its stake in CICC in 2010.

    Tencent has agreed to buy 207.5 million new H-shares of CICC, representing 12.01 per cent and 4.95 per cent, respectively, of the total issued H-shares and the total issued shares of CICC, on a fully diluted basis.

    Alice Woodhouse
    2017-09-21

    China International Capital Corp popped as much as 19 per cent in Hong Kong on Thursday after Tencent announced a $370m investment and “strategic co-operation” with the brokerage.

    Tencent and CICC have agreed to cooperate on areas including wealth management and asset management in a deal that follows internet rival Alibaba’s push into wealth management through its Ant Financial division.

    Tencent’s messaging app WeChat boasts about 938m active users, many of which use its mobile payment system, while CICC is China’s oldest brokerage.

    CICC shares were up 12.5 per cent in morning trading in Hong Kong following the announcement.

    Tencent shares were up 0.5 per cent. The benchmark Hang Seng index dipped 0.2 per cent.

    https://www.ft.com/content/075e0f33-...d-c0de2d8243c0

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