HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alibaba or Tencent? The Chinese tech titans, with a combined market valuation of $900 billion, face slower growth in their respective strongholds of video games and e-commerce. Both are also fighting for dominance in financial services but, overall, Tencent has an edge that justifies a higher earnings multiple.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Uber Technologies has recipes to avoid food delivery indigestion. The U.S. ride-hailing giant hopes a $795 billion global takeout market can offset slowing growth in its core business. Established rivals like Europe’s Takeaway.com suggest there are ingredients to aid success.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Uber's tangled alliances are getting messier. The U.S. ride-hailing giant's imminent initial public offering, set to value it at as much as $100 billion, has laid out details of deals struck in recent years as it pulled out of hyper-competitive markets like China, taking stakes in local rivals instead. The pacts look worryingly asymmetrical, though, tying up mostly Uber.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Dan Loeb's second appearance at Sony may be just what the Japanese conglomerate needs. The American activist’s return as an investor in the $60 billion PlayStation-maker provides a catalyst for management to split the company into a pure-play chips business and a more focused-entertainment group coveted by Apple, Amazon and Netflix – and with more resources to fight them.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Samsung Electronics investors seem to be focused on the silver linings rather than two big clouds. South Korea’s $270 billion semiconductor manufacturer already flagged a dismal first quarter because of a glut in memory chips. A more concentrated market means supply cuts could lift prices, but it may take time to overcome stockpiled inventories and weaker demand.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's 5G noise is scrambling positive signals from ZTE. A three-month ban that stopped U.S. suppliers from selling parts to the telecoms-equipment giant dragged it to a $1 billion loss in 2018. ZTE's Hong Kong shares are up almost 50 percent so far this year anyway, on the promise of next-generation networks. That looks premature.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Driving a hard bargain could backfire on Hyundai. The South Korean conglomerate's auto-parts business has offered less than half the $2.2 billion in dividends wanted by pushy U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management. Meanwhile, Hyundai's carmaker rejected another of the activist's proposals. These stingier options may ultimately cost it investor support when it comes to a broader restructuring.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Lenovo's reboot could run low on battery. The world's top PC-maker more than doubled pre-tax earnings in the December quarter from a year earlier, confirming a turnaround under boss Yang Yuanqing is underway. That's mostly powered by cost cuts in the $9 billion group's handset and server units. But with demand cooling for both, a Lenovo comeback may be difficult to sustain.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain has thrown Huawei a European lifeline. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has decided it can manage the risks from using the Chinese giant's kit to build next-generation 5G wireless networks, the Financial Times says. That would make London the first major power to challenge Washington’s campaign against the telecoms equipment-to-smartphone maker. It may not be the last.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ant Financial has taken a big step into Europe amid a global backlash against Chinese technology. Jack Ma's $150 billion payments-to-wealth management group has snapped up WorldFirst in the UK. The deal, which comes a year after a failed bid for U.S.-based MoneyGram, revives Ant's overseas push. But heightened European anxiety about China suggests future acquisitions may not be so easy to close.