United Kingdom

Ethan Bilby

Xiaomi’s upward valuation hike hard to justify

04 Nov 2014

A new funding round could give the Chinese smartphone group a valuation of $50 billion - five times its mooted price last August. That suggests a valuation comparable to tech giant Apple. While Xiaomi is growing fast, it lacks its U.S. rival’s dominance or innovation.

Macau’s casinos worryingly reliant on high-rollers

03 Nov 2014

A drop in big spenders could push Macau gambling revenue to its first annual drop on record. Forecasts for next year still seem too optimistic. If VIP gamblers shrink in number, the likes of Galaxy Entertainment and Wynn Macau would be especially hard hit.

Train merger could be China’s ticket to elite club

29 Oct 2014

Coupling together two big train-builders into a domestic monopoly sounds like a step backwards. But it would help China better compete against an oligopoly of big, rich-world rivals. For a growing superpower, that probably seems a good enough reason to bend the market norms.

Sinopec’s petrol station revamp is an uphill job

25 Sep 2014

The Chinese oil giant wants to sell more from its 23,000 pump-side stores. But even if non-fuel sales rise sixfold, the unit won’t be worth a lot more than the $58 billion valuation put on it by outside investors. Breakingviews’ calculator spells out the scale of the challenge.

China smartphones set to pick off global giants

09 Sep 2014

Home-grown manufacturers dominate in the People's Republic, shipping three in four phones in the quarter ending June. In the rest of the world, their share is less than 20 percent. Yet low costs are helping them dial in new emerging market customers. Global rivals face a fight. Read the view

China Mobile’s foreign foray risks meagre returns

21 Aug 2014

The dominant Chinese operator is using its $73 bln cash pile to hunt for growth overseas. The strategy has failed to create value for other telcos. Expansion may help to push Chinese technology, but rival governments may be wary about allowing China Mobile to take control.

Sinopec petrol sale attracts a motley bunch

19 Aug 2014

The Chinese oil giant is seeking investors for its vast network of filling stations. Retail, energy, technology and private equity groups are keen. With a price tag of $16 bln for a minority stake, they will have to club together. That will make it harder to exert influence.

Microsoft’s China dream sorely strains credibility

05 Aug 2014

After 22 years, it’s hard to believe how little the U.S. tech giant has achieved in China. The country looks to account for just 2 percent of Microsoft’s revenue. Cloud services and Xbox sales may multiply that. But an antitrust probe raises the cost of business - possibly too high.

China throws weight around on car parts costs

28 Jul 2014

The whiff of a price probe into vehicle parts was enough to bring concessions from luxury groups Audi and Jaguar Land Rover. That will hit profits, but experience shows in China it is better to admit guilt early than risk bigger fines, or lose access to a critical market.

Qualcomm turns from predator to prey in China

25 Jul 2014

Beijing has branded the US chipmaker a monopolist, even as its dominance, which rests on smartphone chips and 3G patents, may be sliding. If that weren’t enough, some Chinese customers aren’t paying their dues. As friction over US-China spying persists, things may only get worse.

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