500.com (NYSE:WBAI) agreed to invest in ordinary shares representing 51.0% of equity interest in each of Qufan Internet Technology Inc. and Shenzhen Qufan Internet Technology Co., Ltd. for an aggregate cash consideration of RMB110.5M (approximately US$16M).
500.com will cooperate with Qufan to help develop and promote its mobile social poker games platform.
Many beaten-up Chinese tech names are up strongly on a morning the Nasdaq is up 1%. The gains comes after the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges respectively rose 3.3% and 4.1% overnight; strong new loan data and PBOC cash-removal efforts helped.
Alibaba (BABA +6.7%) is one today's standouts, and that naturally means Yahoo (YHOO +5.8%), which (for now) is still pursuing a reverse spinoff of its core business to better monetize its 384M-share Alibaba stake, is also posting big gains. Fellow Chinese e-commerce firms JD.com (JD +7.6%), Vipshop (VIPS +7.9%), LightInTheBox (LITB +6.7%), and Dangdang (DANG +8.3%) are also doing well.
Other big gainers include Weibo (WB +9.5%), Momo (MOMO +16.8%), Leju (LEJU +9.4%), NetEase (NTES +6.7%), Changyou (CYOU +6.5%), Bitauto (BITA +8.9%), 58.com (WUBA +6.8%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +5.8%), NQ Mobile (NQ +5.4%), 500.com (WBAI +5.6%), Baozun (BZUN +6.7%), and Xunlei (XNET +6.8%).
500.com (WBAI -0.8%) directors Catherne Qin Zhang, Jeffrey R. Williams, Zhe Wei, and Jun Niu have stepped down, effective Nov. 22. Angel Yan Ki Wong, the president of financial consulting firm Advanced Capital, has joined the board, and will chair the Audit Committee.
Long-time 500.com bear Muddy Waters is amused. "$WBAI - a favorite mystery of 2015. Today announced 4 directors resigned (5 weeks ago), has zero revenue, but amazingly has market cap."
Of note: The lack of revenue stems from an online lottery suspension that has been lifted. 500.com is expected to produce revenue in Q4 and Q1.
After suspending online lottery sales earlier this year, Beijing plans to allow provinces to approve plans for lottery sales and payouts.
Chinese online sports lottery vendor 500.com (WBAI +5.8%) has turned in a good day, and so has Qihoo (QIHU +4%), whose value-added service revenue has been pressured by the suspension. A broader rally in Chinese tech stocks is likely helping out, as is a 1.8% gain for the Nasdaq.
500.com was hammered earlier this year due to suspension worries, but eventually rebounded. Shares +16% YTD in what has been a rough year for many Chinese Internet stocks.
After selling off yesterday due to inflation data that put markets on edge, U.S.-traded Chinese tech stocks are rallying today (CQQQ +3.3%) in the wake of a 2.3% overnight gain for the ever-volatile Shanghai composite (it made an 8-week high). Hopes that the government will step up efforts to reform state-owned enterprises are believed to be playing a role.
Alibaba (BABA +3.1%) has reached its highest levels since August, and is up 10% from where it traded before Barron's issued a very bearish column in mid-September. FQ2 results arrive on Oct. 27.
Also rallying: YY (YY +3.1%), Vipshop (VIPS +3.6%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +4.7%), Qunar (QUNR +3.4%), NQ Mobile (NQ +4.5%), 500.com (WBAI +6.1%), and Baozun (BZUN +5.5%).
A slew of Chinese Internet stocks are underperforming on a quiet day for equities after Beijing reported China's consumer price index rose 1.6% Y/Y in September (slightly less than an expected 1.8%) and its producer price index fell 5.9% (the biggest drop since the financial crisis), triggering fresh fears about slowing growth.
The Shanghai exchange fell a moderate 0.9% overnight. The Nasdaq is currently up 0.3%.
U.S.-traded names selling off include Vipshop (VIPS -3.5%), Bitauto (BITA -4.2%), Autohome (ATHM -3.9%), JD.com (JD -2.9%), Jumei (JMEI -8.7%), Autohome (ATHM -3.9%), Xunlei (XNET -3.6%), 500.com (WBAI -2.8%), and Wowo (WOWO -4.2%). JD has received a cautious note from 86 Research.
U.S.-traded Chinese tech stocks are seeing fresh selling pressure (CQQQ -2.9%) after Beijing announced it's halting major stock purchases to prop up local markets. Authorities also arrested nearly 200 people for actions deemed to have a destabilizing effect on markets.
Decliners include giants Alibaba (BABA -3.9%) and Baidu (BIDU -3.1%), as well as Ctrip (CTRP -4.4%), Qunar (QUNR -4.8%), Vipshop (VIPS -4.7%), JD.com (JD -3.2%), Jumei (JMEI -4.2%), NetEase (NTES -5.8%), Momo (MOMO -4.4%), and 500.com (WBAI -4%). The Nasdaq is down 0.8%.
Separately, the WSJ has taken a look at Alibaba and JD's efforts to grow sales to rural Chinese shoppers, as urban user growth slows. The number of rural Chinese shopping online rose 41% last year to 77M (compares with a rural Chinese population of 600M), outpacing the 17% growth seen in urban shoppers. Chinese rural per capita income was still less than 1/3 of urban levels as of 2013.