Fri, Mar. 20, 12:20 PM
- #3 Chinese search engine Sogou is planning an IPO that will feature a $3B+ valuation, Bloomberg reports. Sources add Sogou, which is controlled by Sohu (SOHU +3.7%), could see an offering in 2H15.
- Sogou has been easily outgrowing Sohu's portal and gaming ops: Its revenue rose 70% Y/Y in Q4 to $119M. It had an estimated 6.9% Q4 Chinese search share, trailing Baidu's (NASDAQ:BIDU) 74.4% and Qihoo's (NYSE:QIHU) 17.3%.
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) bought a 40.9% stake in Sogou in 2013 for $516M, and has integrated Sogou's services with its wildly popular WeChat mobile messaging platform (recently hit 500M MAUs). Aside from search, Sogou's services include a Web directory, games, and popular Chinese-language typing software (Sogou Pinyin).
Wed, Mar. 18, 2:10 PM
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) had Q4 revenue of RMB20.98B ($3.43B), +24% Y/Y (slightly slower than Q3's 28% growth) and beating a consensus of RMB20.5B. Net income attributable to equity holders rose 51% to RMB6.72B, beating a consensus of RMB6.26B. Free cash flow rose 72% to RMB9.18B ($1.47B).
- WeChat monthly active users (MAUs) rose 7% Q/Q and 41% Y//Y to 500M. WhatsApp (700M+ MAUs) and Facebook Messenger (just reached 700M) are the only mobile messaging platforms with larger bases.
- The QQ messaging/gaming platform had 815M MAUs, up 1% Y/Y but down by 5M Q/Q; 576M QQ users are now on "smart devices." The Qzone social networking platform saw MAUs rise 4% Q/Q and 5% Y/Y to 654M (540M on smart devices).
- Tencent continues towering over China's gaming industry: Online game revenue rose 41% Y/Y to RMB12B, fueled by mobile WeChat/QQ gaming growth. Going forward, Tencent aims to "diversify and capitalize on our strong title pipeline for PC and mobile games to penetrate into new genres."
- Social networking revenue rose 50% to RMB5.2B, aided by in-game purchases and subscription revenue growth. Online ad revenue rose 75% to RMB2.6B (video ads provided a lift), while e-commerce revenue fell 87% to RMB446M thanks to the JD.com partnership. "Other" revenue sources rose over 3x to RMB768M.
- G&A spend rose 44% to RMB4B, while sales/marketing rose just 1% to RMB2.1B. Op. margin rose to 35% from 28%.
- President Martin Lau argues ad monetization and low mobile gaming payment rates and leave plenty of room for future growth. "Facebook has been able to build a very large advertising business on a social network. Advertising will be a major contributor to our revenue.”
Mon, Feb. 16, 5:17 PM
- Ford (NYSE:F) confirms it's in talks with Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) over adding hands-free apps to models in China.
- A partnership which includes Tencent's popular WeChat app (+375M domestic active users) could have high strategic value for the automaker.
- Last summer, GM joint venture Shanghai OnStar launched a limited platform with Tencent.
Mon, Feb. 16, 12:41 PM
- Select Chinese automobile industry stocks rose today in reaction to Friday's reports on Apple's interest in the electric vehicle market.
- BYD Group (BRK.A, BRK.B) was up 11% in Hong Kong trading off speculation the company could partner with Apple on an EV project.
- NavInfo rose 10% in Shenzhen with the company viewed as ripe to see an investment from Apple. Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) has a double-digit stake in NavInfo.
- Shares of parts maker Ningbo Joyson Electronics were up 10% in Shanghai. Ningo is becoming a bigger player in the Chinese automobile industry through acquisitions.
- Kandi Technologies (NASDAQ:KNDI) is also a stock to watch to see if the Apple sphere of influence touches it.
- Previously: WSJ: Apple car project is for real, and it's a minivan (Feb. 13 2015)
- Previously: Apple aftershocks: Maybe it's Toyota that should be worried? (Feb. 14 2015)
Wed, Jan. 21, 2:55 PM
- Alibaba (BABA +3.5%) and Baidu (BIDU +3.6%) have posted big gains in U.S. trading after the Shanghai Composite rose 4.7% overnight (its biggest gain in 5 years). China's other Internet giant, Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY), hasn't been left out of the fun: Its shares rose 3.8% overnight in Hong Kong, leaving the company sporting a $155B market cap.
- Baidu recently received positive pre-earnings commentary from Deutsche, which argued mobile monetization is improving rapidly. The firm observed Baidu hiked the minimum bid price for mobile keywords as a % of PC keyword prices to 30% from 10%, and suggested Baidu's alliance with fast-growing Android OEM Xiaomi could provide a boost. Mobile accounted for 36% of Baidu's Q3 revenue, and a majority of its traffic.
- Alibaba, which also rallied yesterday, is eight days away from posting its FQ3 report. The consensus is for 47% Y/Y revenue growth, but only 24% EBITDA growth, as investments in new businesses and mobile marketing pressure margins.
Fri, Jan. 9, 10:03 AM
- Chinese mobile messaging/gaming giant Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) and leading direct online retailer JD.com (JD +0.8%) are directly investing $1.3B in "cash and resources" in major auto site Bitauto (BITA +8.7%), and $250M in Bitauto's YiXin Capital (online auto financing) subsidiary.
- JD will directly invest $400M in cash in Bitauto and provide $750M in resources, including "exclusive access to the new and used car channels on JD.com's e-commerce sites including mobile apps and additional support from its key platforms," in exchange for shares. Tencent will directly invest $150M in cash. JD and Tencent will respectively invest $100M and $150M in YiXin Capital.
- The deal will leave JD with a 25% stake in Bitauto, and Tencent a 3.3% stake. JD and Tencent will respectively have 17.7% and 26.6% stakes in YiXin Capital. Tencent already has a sizable stake in JD.
- Bitauto, whose shares have soared on the news, promises to "aggressively invest to solidify Bitauto's industry leadership and build market share" in upcoming months. Rival Autohome (ATHM +5.8%) is also up sharply, perhaps on hopes a Tencent/JD rival (Alibaba?) will invest in the company in response.
Dec. 16, 2014, 5:01 AM
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) has struck the latest in a string of music distribution deals, this time with Sony Music Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), as it teams up with labels to try to develop China's paid-for music market.
- In November, the company signed a similar music distribution partnership with Warner Music Group.
- Tencent is also investing heavily in content for its online video site, with a China streaming deal with U.S. network HBO and video subscription service through Disney.
Dec. 10, 2014, 1:35 PM
- After announcing the creation of the Emerging Markets ex-State-Owned Enterprises Index yesterday, WisdomTree rolled out the the WisdomTree Emerging Markets ex-State-Owned Enterprises Fund (NYSEARCA:XSOE) this morning.
- According to WisdomTree's blog post for the launch, XSOE "provides investors with a way to capitalize on the opportunities of emerging markets without the politics involved with state-owned enterprises."
- Top holdings in the fund include Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY), Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNHY) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU); two companies out of China and one from South Korea.
- Other emerging market ETFs: EEM, VWO, EDC, EDZ, SCHE, IEMG, EEV, ADRE, EET, EUM, GMM, EEME, DBEM, EMCR, FEM, EWEM, EMLB, HEEM, EMSA, EMFT
Dec. 3, 2014, 11:05 AM
- After previously filing to sell 21.8M shares on behalf of existing holders at a maximum offering price of $22.72, JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) is selling 26M shares for them at a price of $23.80.
- China's second-biggest e-commerce firm also states Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY), which took a 15% stake in JD and formed an alliance with the company prior to its IPO, has bought another $150M worth of shares through the offering. Hedge fund Tiger Global, another major JD investor, has purchased an additional $47.6M worth of shares.
- With a lockup expiration looming, JD's six biggest shareholders, which include Tencent, Tiger, and chairman/CEO Qiangdong Liu, have agreed not to sell shares "for a period of 90 days after the offering."
- Shares +14% over the last two days.
Nov. 25, 2014, 4:58 AM
- Looking to expand its audience in China, HBO (NYSE:TWX) has signed a deal with Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) to distribute its TV dramas and movies through the Chinese Internet giant’s online video site.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Tencent Video platform will be the exclusive online distributor of HBO programs in the country.
- The deal will begin in the near future.
Nov. 13, 2014, 9:07 AM
- Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY) signs a deal with Warner Music Group to distribute music offerings to its massive array of users.
- The new pact broadens an existing relationship between the two companies.
- Warner has made a bigger push into China this year than rivals Vivendi and Sony Music Entertainment.
- Privately-owned Access Industries owns Warner Music Group.
Nov. 12, 2014, 3:10 PM
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY +1.3% in Hong Kong) had Q3 revenue of RMB19.8B ($3.2B), +28% Y/Y but missing a consensus of RMB20.6B. Likewise, net income totaled RMB5.7B ($924M), +46% Y/Y but below an RMB6.2B consensus. Y/Y revenue growth slowed from Q2's 37%.
- WeChat monthly active users (MAUs) totaled 468M at the end of Q3, +7% Q/Q and +39% Y/Y. Q/Q growth slowed from Q2's 11%.
- The older QQ messaging/gaming platform finished with 820M MAUs (542M on "smart devices"), -1% Q/Q and +1% Y/Y. The Qzone social networking platform had 629M MAUs (506M on smart devices), -2% Q/Q and +1% Y/Y.
- Value-added service revenue rose 38% Y/Y to RMB16.1B, thanks to a 35% increase in online game revenue to RMB11.3B (57% of total revenue) and a 47% increase in social networks revenue to RMB4.7B. Online ad revenue +76% to RMB2.4B; e-commerce revenue -81% to RMB459M thanks to the JD.com partnership.
- Gross margin rose 900 bps Y/Y to 64%, which allowed op. margin to rise 700 bps to 38%. Sales/marketing spend rose 30% to RMB1.9B, and G&A spend 44% to RMB3.8B.
- Earnings Release (.pdf)
Nov. 10, 2014, 12:05 PM
- Momo, whose apps use location data to allow users to interact with others in close proximity (often for flirting/dating), has filed to raise up to $300M under the symbol MOMO. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, and China Renaissance are underwriting. (prospectus)
- Alibaba (BABA +1.4%) owns a 20.7% pre-IPO stake in Momo, and has a partnership through which targeted ads for Alibaba merchants are placed within Momo's apps. Alibaba and Momo share the revenue produced.
- As of Sep. 30, Momo had 180.3M registered users (+161% Y/Y), 60.2M monthly active users (+113%), 25.5M daily active users (+141%), and 2.3M paid subscribers. It had 1H14 revenue of $13.9M (compares with nothing a year earlier), and a net loss of $8.3M.
- After being declared a "hotbed of prostitution" by Chinese state media earlier this year, Momo has tried to re-brand itself as a family-friendly social networking platform for connecting people with similar interests. The company has also been working on location-based services that allow businesses to reach nearby users.
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY), whose WeChat and Mobile QQ platforms tower over the broader Chinese mobile messaging market, remains a major rival; WeChat had 438M MAUs at the end of Q2.
Oct. 31, 2014, 6:49 PM
- Tencent's (OTCPK:TCEHY) MyApp Android app store is now seeing 100M daily downloads, up from just 76M in July. The figure covers both apps downloaded directly from the MyApp store, and from Tencent's WeChat and Mobile QQ messaging platforms.
- Qihoo and Baidu's 91 Wireless unit remain the leaders in China's fragmented Android app store market - 91 Wireless averaged 130M downloads/day in Q2. But the near-ubiquitous reach of WeChat/QQ within China, together with Tencent's mobile gaming clout, is helping Tencent gain ground.
- Separately, Tencent, which is best known for its consumer offerings, has signed an MOU with IBM to jointly sell cloud apps and related services to Chinese SMBs. Tencent's cloud services unit will host the apps, and IBM will provide consulting and IT services.
Aug. 27, 2014, 3:36 AM
- A 5B yaun ($813M) e-commerce joint venture between China's privately-held Dalian Wanda Group, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY, OTCPK:TCTZF) will be announced later this week, Reuters reports.
- The new venture will unite three of China's most powerful non-state companies, and will be 70% owned by Wanda and 15% held by Baidu and Tencent respectively.
- Wanda is a commercial property, luxury hotel and film conglomerate.
Aug. 19, 2014, 11:25 AM
- Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard (OTCPK:ANCUF) and China's Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY, OTCPK:TCTZF) reportedly are among suitors on the short list to buy a $16B minority stake in China's Sinopec Sales (SNP, SHI), the world's largest fuel retail network.
- Sinopec plans to sell up to 30% of Sinopec Sales by year-end 2014 as China restructures government-owned assets; while a deal would give investors little control over the company, a likely exit through an IPO planned within three years appears to have attracted a wide range of suitors.
- Sinopec Sales booked a net profit of 25.1B yuan ($4.1B) in 2013 from 30K-plus service stations and 23K-plus convenience stores.
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