BRISBANE: China’s state-run anti-monopoly bureau has tightened its regulations on Big Tech players, as shown by its recent move against the country’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group. Alibaba was hit with a record antitrust fine of 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) over the weekend for supposedly abusing its market dominance. The company, which operates the digital payment platform Alipay and offers bank loans to entrepreneurs, issued a public apology: Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination. To serve its responsibility to society, Alibaba will operate in accordance with the law with utmost diligence, continue to strengthen its compliance systems, and build on growth through innovation. READ: Commentary: Why China’s US$2.8 billion fine is a huge relief for Alibaba Meanwhile, questions have been asked about the whereabouts of Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma. In October last year, Ma lashed out at China’s financial ... » Learn More about Commentary: China’s tech firms were supposed to help achieve the Chinese Dream
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BEIJING: China extended its impressive trade performance in April, with exports unexpectedly accelerating and import growth hitting a decade high, in a boost to the world's second-largest economy. A brisk U.S. economic recovery and stalled factory production in other countries hit by coronavirus have propped up demand for goods made in China, analysts say. Exports in dollar terms surged 32.3% from a year earlier to $263.92 billion, China's General Administration of Customs said on Friday, beating analysts' forecast of 24.1% and the 30.6% growth reported in March. "China's export growth again surprised on the upside," said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, adding that two factors - the booming U.S. economy and the COVID-19 crisis in India, causing some orders to shift to China - likely contributed to the strong export growth. "We expect China's export growth will stay strong into the second half of this year, as the two factors above will likely ... » Learn More about China posts rapid trade growth in April as recovery races ahead
The coronavirus pandemic that hit China, and later on the globe, in late 2019 has had an enormous impact on the world and the stock market. Now, over half a year later, the pandemic has made its mark and people are still reeling from the consequences of the devastating disease. It’s not just the tragic loss of thousands of human lives that the pandemic left in its wake, but mass disruption in the economic circuit of nearly every country in the world. As the epicenter of the virus, China’s stock market felt the impact of this full force, along with most of Asia. During the Brunt of It With measures to protect the citizens from the global pandemic being put in place, businesses across Asia started shutting down for long periods, people were urged to stay in isolation, and big cities looked more like ghost towns rather than the bustling cultural melting pots they usually are. Without a doubt, all of this caused shares across the Asian stock market to plummet significantly. The ... » Learn More about The Impact of Coronavirus on the Asian Stock Market
Before seemingly every Chinese smartphone brand was chasing “flagship killer” status with high-end handsets at shockingly low prices, Xiaomi was there first. In the span of just a few years after its founding in 2010, Xiaomi became China’s top smartphone maker and one of the country’s most valuable start-ups, aided in part by its hunger-marketing tactics of selling limited batches of phones. But by 2016, the company’s lustre started to fade as it focused on lifestyle products that included smart devices like wearables and not-so-smart products like luggage and umbrellas. It was then overtaken in handsets by its larger competitor Huawei Technologies Co and rival upstarts like Oppo and Vivo , both owned by the Dongguan-based conglomerate BBK Electronics. Now Xiaomi is back on top, and the company has lofty ambitions, with its first electric car in the pipeline. Here is a look at the rise and fall and rise of Xiaomi. How did Xiaomi get started? Xiaomi was founded in Beijing ... » Learn More about How Xiaomi went from China’s hottest smartphone start-up to lifestyle brand
MANILA, Philippines—The country needed a President who would put Filipinos first and fight for their interests in the West Philippine Sea, according to retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Thursday (April 29) in an apparent reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte. Carpio made the statement hours after Duterte, at a televised public briefing, riled at the former justice for taking the administration to task over its response to China incursions in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Carpio is one of the legal luminaries who secured the Philippines’ landmark victory over China at an international arbitral tribunal in The Hague. “You know, I just have one question for Carpio, including Albert,” said Duterte, referring to former foreign affairs chief Albert del Rosario. “If you’re bright, why did we lose the West Philippine Sea?” he said in Filipino. “That’s during your time. During your time when you were in power,” said Duterte. He was referring to ... » Learn More about Carpio: PH needs President who puts Filipinos first instead of China
Police in Southern Thailand have arrested 54 teenagers, mostly Chinese, for operating a call centre out of a hotel in Koh Samui. Police. Authorities were tipped off by a Chinese national who was lured to work for the gang. Koh Samui police raided the hotel and found the youngsters working. “That’s why taking advantage of the best stock trading apps on the web can help avoid those scams.” According to Koh Samui police, they had been lured by the gang leader to come to Thailand and ran the scam from the hotel. The Chinese youth also worked duping fellow nationals into investing in bogus stocks . The Chinese gang also had more than 100 chat rooms online through which they lured victims into giving money online. Those arrested said they were given the target of raising 5 million baht from each victim. Once the money was transferred they closed the app. Police are now hunting for the gang leader, who is believed to be in Thailand. He is allegedly in possession of the ... » Learn More about Chinese Teenagers Busted Running Call Center from Koh Samui Resort
Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia’s most valuable tech unicorn, is going public in New York following a blockbuster US$39.6 billion (S$52 million) merger with a blank cheque company. The Singapore ride-hailing and food delivery company’s listing is expected to be the biggest listing ever by a tech company from Southeast Asia and an important bellwether for the region’s burgeoning technology sector. It is also the latest company to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the hottest fundraising trend globally since early last year. As investors pore over its financials, they will draw parallels with US-listed ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft and China’s Didi Chuxing, which has filed confidentially to float in New York. For food delivery, investors may cross-reference Amazon-backed Deliveroo, whose shares flopped on their March 31 debut on the London stock exchange. However, Grab offers a different proposition to investors with its super app housing all its ... » Learn More about Why is Singapore’s Grab different from ride-hailing giants Uber, Lyft and Didi?
Digital financial services giant Ant Group is on the cusp of pulling off the world’s biggest initial public offering and could be worth over US$500 billion (S$681 billion) in the near future, riding on the digitisation of financial services in the world’s second-largest economy. Hangzhou-headquartered Ant’s coming out parade illustrates China’s lead in digital finance. Its super-slick mobile payment app, Alipay, has over 1 billion users, making it the world’s most popular app outside social-media networks. Ant’s payments network is just the gateway, funnelling small businesses and consumers into a broad financial ecosystem spanning lending, investment and insurance services. The world’s most valuable privately owned company is also developing services to make daily life easier. Consumers can click on the Alipay app for services ranging from food deliveries to garbage collection. The system’s cogs are oiled by a trove of data gathered in China, the world’s most populous ... » Learn More about What is Jack Ma’s Ant Group and how does it make money?
SINGAPORE: In this time of COVID-19, one topic of conversation has been television: What people are watching and how much they are watching. It begs the question of whether our isolation is changing the way we consume television. While streaming services are reporting universal booms in their subscription rates, one is rising heads and shoulders above the rest – namely Netfix with almost 16 million more subscribers since lockdowns began all around the world. Netflix has made US$709 million profit on their US$5.8 billion revenue. Their stock prices have soared since COVID-19 morphed into a global pandemic, as people turned to their televisions for comfort. While the firm pioneered the subscription video streaming model and has seen a steady climb in recent years with more original content and a migration of notable television series to the platform, no would could have predicted this freak surge in demand. READ: Commentary: Nowhere but up for Netflix after huge Oscar ... » Learn More about Commentary: The rise and rise of Netflix in a time of coronavirus
Dumplings are Elizabeth Fry’s ultimate comfort food. The designer, entrepreneur and founder of the Hong Kong-based Liz Fry Design company says the steamed variety are her favourite. Fry, 38, has lived in Hong Kong for the past six years; her mother was born in the city and moved to Britain as a child. “Dumplings are such an integral part of Hong Kong’s identity and culinary heritage,” she says. “I have friends who are obsessed with them.” In 2019, Fry created a range of Hong Kong-themed merchandise, and the dumpling took centre stage. “Identity and heritage took on new meaning after the Hong Kong protests,” Fry says. “Exploring that identity through local food and culture became important to me.” A black ceramic mug dotted with multicoloured dumplings was the first of her themed pieces. Released in 2019 and priced at HK$160 (S$27.40), it sold quickly and is still one of her most popular designs. The following year, Fry released a red ceramic mug with the same dumpling theme in ... » Learn More about Chinese and Indian dumplings become pop culture icons for artists far and wide