China news / analysis in brief

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Includes: SINA, SOHU
by: Ezra Marbach

Details:

  • According to an article in Forbes, eBay (ticker: EBAY) CEO Meg Whitman will make frequent trips to China this summer to help improve the company's Chinese online auction subsidiary eBay Eachnet. Whitman will focus on Paypal which was expected to launch in China in Q1 2005, but has yet to materialize. Online auction competitor Taobao reportedly overtook eBay in terms of market share in China in Q1 and has been consistently gaining ground since launching its own online payment system Alipay in late 2003.
  • Haier Group, China's largest home
    appliance maker is reportedly interested in entering the bidding for US appliance maker Maytag (ticker: MYG). The Wall Street Journal quoted a Haier official saying that its basic strategy of acquiring foreign
    companies focuses on the target company's distribution network and
    other resources rather than its brand.
     
  • Pudong Development Bank and Citigroup's (ticker: C) Citibank are reportedly cooperating to offer credit cards to low-income Beijing residents.
  • Bank of America announced it will acquire a 9% stake in China Construction Bank for $3 billion. China Construction Bank is planning to list in Hong Kong later this year. Bank of America will supply the Chinese bank with financial and risk management expertise, and provide greater credibility in the wake of recent scandals. This is exactly what Matthews China fund manager Mark Headley said Chinese banks were hoping for by pursuing foreign strategic investment.

  • According to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) a number of Chinese IPOs are expected in the next couple of weeks including a $150 - $200 million offering from Chinese search
    engine Baidu.com,
    a $150 million transaction from A-MAX Technology, which makes
    MP3 players, and a $100 million deal from Focus Media which
    sells advertising on a network of liquid-crystal-display screens in
    office buildings and retail stores.