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Thread: Jack Ma & Alibaba

  1. #46
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    About that trade war...

    ...we have already experienced some direct negative effects here at Kung Fu Tai Chi. The details are confidential, but astute readers might catch what we lost.

    Alibaba’s Jack Ma takes back promise to Trump to create 1 million US jobs
    By Jade Scipioni Published September 19, 2018


    In this Jan. 9, 2017 photo, then President-elect Donald Trump stands with Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma as they walk to speak with reporters after a meeting at Trump Tower in New York. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest online commerce company by total sales, was among the stream of Chinese business leaders who visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet the president following his election. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

    Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese retail giant Alibaba, is backing down on his promise to create 1 million jobs in the U.S. over the next five years, amid the ongoing trade war between President Trump and China.

    The billionaire previously told Trump before his inauguration in January 2017 that he would commit to creating new jobs but recanted those sentiments Wednesday to a Chinese new outlet, Xinhua, on the heels of a new round of tariffs this week from both countries.

    "The promise was made on the premise of friendly US-China partnership and rational trade relations," Ma told Xinhua. "That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled."

    A day earlier, Ma referred to the trade frictions between the countries as “a mess” and said the war could end up lasting 20 years or more, causing a lot of Chinese businesses to move to other countries.

    He said new trade rules are desperately needed over the long-term.

    "Even if Donald Trump retired, the new president will come, it will still continue...We need new trade rules, we need to upgrade the WTO," he said Tuesday during the company’s shareholder meeting in Hangzhou.

    Ma, who recently announced that he will be stepping down as Alibaba’s chairman within a year, also told Xinhua that despite the current fiction, he will “not stop working hard to contribute to the healthy development of China-US trade."

    "Trade is not a weapon and should not be used to start wars — it should be the driver for peace," Ma added.

    For years, Ma has been pushing his vision of U.S. small businesses selling to Chinese shoppers through his online marketplaces, but many experts have criticized his plan.

    According to a Bloomberg report, Alibaba is merely just a platform and it’s not as easy as listing on Amazon.com, which has its own logistics network to standardize delivery.

    If small businesses want to list on Alibaba, they would have to go to third-party service providers to do everything from translation, to dealing with legislation, logistics, and how to ship to Chinese consumers, which could end up being a big risk.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #47
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    Daniel Zhang Yong is nicknamed Xiaoyao Zi

    More on Xiaoyao Zi...

    'Kung fu king' in hot seat
    | Siu Sai-wo 17 Sep 2018



    Jack Ma Yun will step down as chairman of Alibaba, and his successor, chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong, has been thrust into the global limelight.

    Zhang has been with the group for many years and has been instrumental in the success of online retail platforms Taobao and Tmall.

    His ability is well recognized in the dotcom sector but Ma's unique image and style is not something that can be substituted.

    Zhang is nicknamed Xiaoyao Zi - free and unfettered person, a legendary kung fu master character in Jin Yong's martial arts novel Tian Long Ba Bu, or Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils.

    After his appointment as the next chairman was announced, there were comments in the mainland media that he will not be free and unfettered any more.

    Like Zhang, many senior management members of the Alibaba group have monikers that are also taken from Jin Yong's novels. For example, chief marketing officer Wang Shuai, whom I've met in Hong Kong a few years ago, is Bei Lei Shou; chief risk officer Shao Xiaofeng is Guo Jing.

    In the novel, Xiaoyao Zi came into possession of a valuable book in Dali on the basis of which he created the "eternally youthful style of fighting."

    He also established his own kung fu sect, with the most notable disciple being Tian Shan Tong Lao.

    The concept xiao yao was from the work of ancient philosopher Zhuangzi, and Xiaoyao Zi's martial art form was also based on the ways of Nature. His most formidable set of moves was bei ming shen gong, which is almost unrivalled.

    Readers might also be impressed with his ling bo wei bu, a kind of qinggong - gravity-defying technique - that helped Duan Yu, the main character Tian Long Ba Bu, to escape every time he ran into a dangerous situation, as he did not know kung fu.

    Having earned himself the moniker Xiaoyao Zi, Zhang is clearly seen as a top level master who has the ability to handle heavy tasks with ease.

    Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily
    Gene Ching
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  3. #48
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    50% rally prediction

    Your stock pick - brought to you by your friendly neighborhood KungFuMagazine.com Forum.

    If you make a killing on the market with this, be sure to subscribe.

    Goldman predicts Alibaba shares will rally more than 50% in one year
    Goldman Sachs reiterates its buy rating for Alibaba shares, predicting strong growth in the company's cloud computing and financial businesses.
    "We expect Alibaba to continue to invest for future growth on multiple fronts," analyst Piyush Mubayi says.
    Tae Kim | @firstadopter
    Published 2 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour Ago
    CNBC.com


    Chinese online retail giant Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (C) waves as he arrives at the New York Stock Exchange in New York on September 19, 2014.
    Alibaba will thrive as it dominates new markets in China, according to Goldman Sachs.

    The firm reiterated its buy and conviction list ratings for Alibaba shares, predicting strong growth in the company's cloud computing and financial businesses.

    "We remain impressed with Alibaba's overall leverage to China consumption growth given its strategy, positioning, ability to build new businesses (such as new retail) and its execution," analyst Piyush Mubayi said in a note to clients Wednesday. "We expect Alibaba to continue to invest for future growth on multiple fronts."

    Alibaba shares were up 1.2 percent Wednesday.

    Mubayi raised his 12-month price target to $247 from $241, representing 54 percent upside to Tuesday's close.

    The analyst said Alibaba's cloud business market share in China rose to 46 percent in 2017 from 30 percent in 2015. He said the company's financial segment called Ant Financial now has 640 million customers using at least two of its services.

    "In our view, the continuous investment in cloud technology demonstrates Alibaba's determination to solidify its leading position in the industry and take up more market share in the future," he said. "We believe Ant Financial will continue to be the 'enabler' of Alibaba's New Retail strategy and help the company navigate the globalization road map."

    — CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #49
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    $22 M lost

    There are two parts to every story.

    This is part 1.

    NOVEMBER 8, 2018 8:33PM PT
    Alibaba Pictures Cuts Losses to $22 Million
    By PATRICK FRATER
    Asia Bureau Chief


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF HUANXI MEDIA

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film services and production division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, saw its revenues increase by 29% in the six months between April and September. Its net losses decreased.

    Revenues increased from RMB1.18 billion to $220 million (RMB1.53 billion) in the period reflecting growth across its three business units: Internet-based promotion and distribution; content investment and production; and merchandizing.

    Losses at the operating level were essentially unchanged at $61.0 million (RMB424 million). But the group benefited from $37.7 million (RMB262 million) of net financial income and was able to show net losses reduced from RMB431 million to $22.2 million (RMB154 million).

    Revenues at the online ticketing platform Taopiaopiao were swelled by the overall growth of the Chinese box office, and its own expanded market share. The group says that it also managed to reduce the unit’s marketing costs by 17%.

    Alibaba Pictures also had a hand in hit films “Dying to Survive,” “Hello Mr Billionaire,” and Mission: Impossible – Fallout” either as a distributor or investor. The content production unit enjoyed an 83% surge in revenues, to $44.8 million (RMB311 million,) driven by licensing of TV shows including “SCI” and “Gossip High” to streaming platforms iQiyi and (Alibaba-owned) Youku. Its upcoming slate includes animated film “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year,” for release in February 2019.

    “The company “upheld its strategy of ‘data + ecosystem’ to build an end-to-end value chain that covers content production & development, promotion & distribution, merchandising realization and financial services, and to launch high-quality content with influential and positive energy, and continue to empower industry partners to continue to provide joyful entertainment content for consumers,” said Alibaba Pictures chairman and CEO, Fan Luyuan. “Alibaba Pictures will continue to help the traditional film industry to enhance efficiency to accelerate its industrialization process.”

    With its shares – listed in both Hong Kong and Singapore – trading at HK$1.07, the company has a market capitalization of $3.49 billion (HK$27.3 billion).
    Gene Ching
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  5. #50
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    $30 B gained

    This is part 2.

    Alibaba's newly formed on-demand online services unit has rocketed in value to as much as $30 billion
    Kane Wu and Julie Zhu, Reuters 19h


    People stand near a sign of Alibaba Group at its campus in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, May 27, 2016. John Ruwitch / Reuters

    Alibaba's newly developed on-demand service has risen in value to as much as $30 billion after the company announced a fundraising plan for the service in August.

    Alibaba's has raised $4 billion dollars for its on-demand-service during its ongoing financing round, $3 billion of which Alibaba provided itself.
    The company expects to close this financing round by the end of the month.

    Alibaba's on-demand service came about after the company combined the operations of its food delivery service, Ele.me, and its Yelp-like online restaurant guide business, Koubei.

    With this announcement in October, Alibaba Group put itself in a position to become a major player in China's burgeoning food delivery market.

    Starbucks recently partnered with Ele.me to delivery store-quality beverages straight to people's doors in China, which has become its second largest market after the US.

    Alibaba combined the operation of food delivery service Ele.me and online restaurant guide business Koubei under a single management team and holding vehicle in October. It announced a fundraising plan for the vehicle in August.

    In a deal in April where Alibaba bought the shares it did not already own, Ele.me was valued at $9.5 billion. Koubei was worth $8 billion at the end of last year, according to a list of unicorns published in March by a unit under China's science and technology ministry.
    More than $3 billion of the new funds came from Alibaba itself and SoftBank's (9984.T) Vision Fund, the people said. Primavera Capital Group and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, which have already invested in Koubei, also joined in the fundraising, they said. The company expects to close this financing round by the end of November, one source added.

    Alibaba, SoftBank and Ant Financial declined to comment. Primavera did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The people declined to be named because the information is confidential.

    Alibaba said in August it had received commitments of more than $3 billion from investors including itself and SoftBank.

    The fresh capital will give the unit ammunition in its intensifying battle with rival Meituan Dianping (3690.HK), backed by Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), for dominance of China's booming online-to-offline (O2O) market where apps link smartphone users with bricks-and-mortar businesses to provide food delivery and other offerings.

    Meituan Dianping in September raised $4.2 billion in the world's biggest internet-focused initial public offering in four years, after pricing it near the top end of a marketed range at HK$69 per share.

    However its shares are down 9 percent since its Sept. 20 debut, giving it a current market cap of $44 billion.

    Meituan said in its half-year report that the number of its annual active users from the 12 months ending June 30 grew 30 percent to 357 million from the same period a year ago. The number of merchants active in the past year grew 52 percent to 5.1 million for the same period.

    In comparison, Ele.me served over 167 million active consumers in 676 cities in China for the 12 months ended June 30, Alibaba said in its latest quarterly report. Together, Ele.me and Koubei served 3.5 million registered merchants as of June 30.

    Before the April deal, the e-commerce giant and Ant Financial owned a 43 stake in the business, whose name roughly translates to "Hungry?". Ele.me also runs Baidu Inc's (BIDU.O) former food delivery business, which it acquired a year ago.

    Koubei was founded in 2015 as a 50-50 joint venture of Alibaba and Ant Financial. Silver Lake, CDH Investments, Yunfeng Capital, which is backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and Primavera Capital joined as investors in a January 2017 funding round.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #51
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    Sorry, I'm a little late on this one - I was on vacation

    No pic, just a vid behind the link

    MONEY & MARKETS
    How Alibaba turned a fake holiday into a $25 billion shopping extravaganza that's bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined
    NATHANIEL LEE, COREY PROTIN
    NOV 12, 2018, 6:00 AM

    Singles’ Day has become the largest shopping day in the entire world, thanks to Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

    Alibaba made $US25 billion in just 24 hours on November 11, 2017 – that’s more than US Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales combined.

    Watch the video above to find out how this made up holiday was invented and exploded into a billion dollar shopping extravaganza that rivals Amazon’s ‘Prime Day.’

    The following is a transcript of the video.

    25 Billion Dollars. That’s how much Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, made in just 24 hours on November 11, 2017.

    That’s more than the total online US sales from both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Combined.

    It happened during an unofficial Chinese holiday called: Singles’ Day. But what is Alibaba, what is “Singles’ Day,” and how did they make so much money so quickly?

    Singles’ Day literally translates to “Bare Sticks Holiday.” A reference to the Chinese expression: “bare branches.” The expression refers to bachelors who aren’t adding “branches” to the family tree.

    Now, all of this is rooted in China’s one-child policy. Implemented between 1978 and 1980, it was intended to curb the country’s overpopulation problem. But the policy had unintended blowback.

    China now has a massive gender imbalance. By 2020, it’s projected that men will outnumber females by at least 30 million. Hence, “Singles’ Day.”

    From this national turmoil, the unofficial holiday was born at this university. It’s a day that was initially meant for single men to party with other single friends.

    Though, fast forward to 2009. Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, sees a business opportunity to co-opt the unofficial holiday in an attempt to drum up more online sales.

    In China, spikes in shopping sales were common in late September, before China’s National Day. And again in the first two months of the year before the Spring Festival.

    Those two retail poles created a lull in late autumn, which Alibaba hoped to exploit with deep price cuts.

    And it worked. Seeing the potential of Alibaba’s move, most Chinese retailers jumped on board the next year.

    Now, Singles’ Day has become the biggest shopping day in the entire world. And it looks like it’s just going to get even bigger.
    THREADS:
    Alibaba
    Single Day
    Gene Ching
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  7. #52
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    This made Variety

    NOVEMBER 22, 2018 3:13AM PT
    Chinese Actress Vicki Zhao Banned From Securities Markets
    By PATRICK FRATER
    Patrick Frater
    Asia Bureau Chief


    CREDIT: UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    Prominent Chinese actress Zhao Wei (aka Vicki Zhao) has been banned for five years from holding senior positions in any listed company in China. The ruling was made by the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

    The punishment relates to the failed 2016 takeover bid announced by Tibet Longwei, a company controlled by Zhao and her husband, Huang Youlong, for 29% of Zhejiang Wanija. The pair were found to have “disrupted market order” and to have benefited from a “celebrity effect” when they announced their bid, but did not have the financial resources to go through with it.

    The China Securities Regulatory Commission had previously punished the pair with a five-year ban from trading on the Shanghai market and a $170,000 (RMB1.2 million) fine for the same offense. The latest, additional penalty reflects their release of false information during the bid.

    Zhao made her name with 1990s TV series “My Fair Princess.” She has since become well-known for roles in such movie as “Shaolin Soccer” and “Red Cliff.” In 2014, Zhao made her directorial debut with hit film “So Young.” She was subsequently announced as directing two films for Alibaba Pictures, including an animated version of “Princess.”

    Like some other hugely paid Chinese celebrities, Zhao has become known as a prominent investor. Chinese media has frequently reported her net worth to exceed $1 billion, fueled in particular by buying a large, early stake in Alibaba Pictures, on the personal recommendation of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.

    China’s celebrities have come under growing scrutiny over the past year, and authorities expect them to set a good example or face the consequences. Top actress Fan Bingbing has been hit with fines and penalties in excess of $130 million in relation to her tax affairs.
    I wish I had been as smart as Zhao Wei and invested in Alibaba.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #53
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    Jack is a commie

    Strangely, I never considered party affiliation of PRC moguls before.

    NOVEMBER 26, 2018 / 6:51 PM / A DAY AGO
    Alibaba's Jack Ma is a Communist Party member, China state paper reveals
    3 MIN READ

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Jack Ma, the head of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and China’s best-known capitalist, is a Communist Party member, the official Party newspaper said on Monday, debunking a public assumption the billionaire was politically unattached.

    The People’s Daily revealed Ma’s Party membership in a list of 100 people it said had helped drive the country “reform and opening up” process. Ma is China’s richest man with a fortune of $35.8 billion, according to Forbes.

    It was unclear why the paper chose to mention Ma’s affiliation now but it comes amid a push by Beijing to bring the country’s private enterprises more in line with Party values, especially in the technology sector that has grown rapidly, driven by the successes of private firms.

    Ma, who announced in September he would step down as Alibaba chairman next year, is China’s highest-profile business leader. He has acted as an adviser to political leaders in Asia and Europe and fostered big ambitions in the United States.

    He has driven Alibaba to become a $390 billion giant, which dominates China’s online retail market, stretches from logistics to social media, and has spawned a separate fintech empire around popular payment platform Alipay.

    Ma’s political affiliation came as a surprise to many.

    Results from domestic search engine Baidu Inc, when asked “is Jack Ma a Communist Party member”, also mostly said that he was not.

    Alibaba declined to comment on Ma’s Party membership, but said political ties did not impact the firm’s operations.

    “Political affiliation of any executive does not influence the company’s business decision-making process,” a spokesperson said in emailed comments to Reuters on Tuesday.

    “We follow all laws and regulations in countries where we operate as we fulfil our mission of making it easier for people to do business anywhere in the digital era.”

    The People’s Daily list also included Baidu head Robin Li and Tencent Holding Ltd chief Pony Ma, though did not name either of them as Party members. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent together make up the “BAT” trio of China’s top tech firms.

    The paper did not say when Ma had become a Party member.

    Reporting by Adam Jourdan and John Ruwitch; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Himani Sarkar
    Gene Ching
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  9. #54
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    Jet & I are about the same age

    And I often look 'weak and dishevelled, and almost bald with grey, thinning hair' Well, maybe not that grey but definitely thinning.

    Jet Li looks in much better health alongside Jack Ma at Alibaba chairman’s awards ceremony
    Martial arts legend in fine fettle at Rural Teacher Awards in Sanya
    Li caused concern among fans with his frail appearance in 2018
    PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2019, 2:11pm
    UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2019, 2:19pm
    Nicolas Atkin
    https://twitter.com/nicoscmp



    Jet Li has given his legion of fans an early present ahead of the Lunar New Year after appearing to be in much better health at an awards ceremony alongside Jack Ma in Sanya.

    The martial arts superstar, who suffers from hyperthyroidism, caused concern last year after a photo of him looking frail went viral.

    But on Monday night, Li was pictured chatting and smiling with Ma – chairman of the Alibaba Group, which owns the South China Morning Post – at the 2018 Rural Teacher Awards, an event launched by the Jack Ma Foundation, in Sanya, Hainan province.


    Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, with Jet Li at the Rural Teacher Awards, an event launched by the Jack Ma Foundation, in Sanya. Photo Imaginechina

    The 55-year-old Li was sporting his old black hair, with some trendy black-rimmed glasses and a cool dark blue denim jacket, as he cut a low-key presence.

    His appearance was in stark contrast to a May 2018 picture that showed him visiting a temple in Chengdu looking weak and dishevelled, and almost bald with grey, thinning hair.

    Hyperthyroidism is a rare condition that accelerates the body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

    Such were the fears for his health, the Lethal Weapon 4 and Kiss of the Dragon star took to Facebook to reassure his fans he was “feeling great”.


    Jet Li at the presentation ceremony of the 2018 Rural Teacher Awards. Photo Imaginechina

    His manager, Steven Chasman, also said “there’s nothing wrong with him, there’s no life-threatening illness, he’s in great shape”.

    “If you took a picture of me at the wrong angle and wrong time of the day, I could look frail as well,” Chasman added.

    Li had also sat alongside Ma at last year’s awards, and the difference is plain to see, with Li looking in much better health this time around.


    Jet Li and Jack Ma at last year’s Rural Teacher Awards ceremony. Photo: TopPhoto/Alamy Live News

    Romeo Must Die star Li was in the front row again with former teacher Ma to watch all of the evening’s festivities on Monday.

    Guests were treated to performances and speeches from Chinese celebrities such as singer Zhang Yuning, comedian Song Xiaobao, and former Chinese volleyball star Hui Ruoqi.

    Talk show host and musician Gao Xiaosong also gathered award winners and celebrities alike to take a group selfie.

    And Li was all smiles when he took to the stage during the show to present prizes to some of the award-winning teachers.


    Chinese volleyball player Hui Ruoqi speaks to village teachers. Photo Imaginechina
    Li, who will feature in Disney’s live action remake of Mulan next year, is good friends with Ma – the two starred together in 2017 short film Gong Shou Dao.

    Ma, the billionaire founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, plays the role of an unbeatable martial artist who gets the better of Li and other martial arts legends such as Donnie Yen and Wu Jing.



    Ma, who announced last year he would be stepping down as chairman of Alibaba in September 2019, has awarded prizes to rural teachers in Sanya every year since 2015.

    The 54-year-old also gave a speech on stage at the awards ceremony and hosted a “Back to the Classroom” event on Sunday as part of the celebrations.
    THREADS
    Li Lian Jie (Jet Li)
    Jack Ma & Alibaba
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  10. #55
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    20 films over 5 years

    JANUARY 18, 2019 1:04AM PT
    Alibaba Pictures Buys Into Chinese Director Han Han’s Film Studio
    By REBECCA DAVIS


    "The Continent," directed by Chinese racer and blogger Han Han
    CREDIT: COURTESY OF DISTRIBUTION WORKSHOP

    Alibaba Pictures confirmed that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Chinese celebrity blogger-turned-film director Han Han’s Shanghai Tingdong Film. Han’s upcoming “Pegasus” is one of the most anticipated films of the year in China.

    Alibaba Pictures, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is now the second-largest stakeholder in Tingdong. It has a 13.1% stake, according to Chinese finance publication Caixin.

    The deal is a “long-term strategic partnership that covers content production, distribution and marketing, merchandise and artist management,” Alibaba told Variety on Thursday. It falls under the umbrella of a new initiative launched in November called the “Jin Cheng Co-Production Plan” — with “jin cheng” roughly translating in English to “golden orange.”

    Under this plan, Alibaba intends to co-produce 20 films over the next five years with various top production teams. The films will be released during China’s four busiest movie-going times: Chinese New Year (around January-February), the summer, the National Day holiday period in October and at the end of the year.

    A race-car driver who rose to fame as a satirical blogger and published his first bestselling novel at 17, Han, now 37, was hailed in his younger days as the voice of the post-Tiananmen generation of Chinese youth. He shifted to movies in 2014 with “The Continent,” a road-trip comedy that marked his first turn as screenwriter and director.

    He established Tingdong in 2015. The company has since produced five films that brought in about $355 million (RMB2.4 billion), Caixin said. The titles include “Duckweed,” a 2017 Chinese New Year hit written and directed by Han that grossed more than RMB1 billion ($148 million).

    Its latest feature, “Pegasus,” is scheduled for release Feb. 5, the first day of Chinese New Year celebrations, and already seems poised to beat out most of the competition. More than 280,000 people have indicated on ticketing platform Maoyan that they want to see the film, making it the most second-most hotly anticipated title out of the whopping 13 films lined up for release that same day.

    This is the third round of financing obtained by Tingdong since Han deployed a modest RMB15.2 million ($2.2 million) of startup capital. In February 2016, the company received tens of millions of yuan from Puhua Capital. And in October 2017, it received a $45.8 million (RMB310 million) joint investment from Bona Film, Chenhai Capital, and a Shanghai-based cultural center, the Beijing News cited the Tianyan business database as showing. The joint investment represented a 15.5% stake at the time, the Beijing News said, indicating that the company’s valuation had already reached $295 million by then (RMB2 billion).

    Information from Tianyan shows that on Jan. 9, Tingdong brought in Li Jie, senior VP of Alibaba Pictures and head of Alibaba’s ticketing platform Tao Piaopiao, as a company director. Han Han currently has 14 companies other than Tingdong registered in his name, ranging from film and TV outfits to cultural communications and tech, Tianyan shows.


    The first film to be released under Alibaba’s “Jin Cheng” plan is “Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year,” a co-production with Entertainment One that will hit theaters on Feb. 5 as well. Next in the plan’s lineup will be a 2020 fantasy suspense movie whose Chinese title translates to “The Assassination of a Novelist.” A co-production with Huace Media and Beijing Free Whale Pictures, it will be directed by Lu Yang, best known for the 2014 martial arts movie “Brotherhood of Blades” and its 2017 sequel.

    Alibaba’s investment in Tingdong comes at the start of what will be a difficult year for the local Chinese film industry, which faces massive production slowdowns and uncertainties because of new tax regulations and cautious investors. But losses for the Chinese industry’s smaller players may create opportunity for Hollywood, and for China’s best-capitalized players.

    Last week, an Alibaba producer announced that Golden Globe-winning “Green Book” would get a China release sometime this year but did not reveal an exact date, Chinese state media reported. Alibaba describes itself as an investor in the film, though its name was not on the credits when the film premiered in September at the Toronto festival.

    “It is such an amazing picture, which includes humorous dialogues, excellent acting performance, and touching friendship,” Alibaba Pictures president Zhang Wei said, according to the Chinese state broadcaster’s English-language channel CGTN. “We are so honored to participate in the course of co-production, as well as to introduce it to the Chinese audience.”
    More on Peppa Pig & Brotherhood of Blades.

    THREADS
    Jack Ma & Alibaba
    Chollywood Rising
    Gene Ching
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  11. #56
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    $103 m

    JANUARY 23, 2019 10:02PM PT
    Alibaba Lends $100 Million to Huayi Bros. in Film Investment Expansion

    By PATRICK FRATER
    Asia Bureau Chief


    CREDIT: TIFF

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film business arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has struck a strategic cooperation deal with leading film studio Huayi Bros. The deal includes a $103 million (RMB700 million) loan to Huayi.

    Alibaba Pictures said the agreement was part of its recently announced strategy to be involved in major movies aimed for release during China’s four yearly holiday periods: Chinese New Year (around January-February), the summer, National Day celebrations in October, and end of the year. The strategy, dubbed the Jin Cheng Co-Production Project, runs for five years. (“Jin Cheng” translates roughly into English as “Golden Orange.”)

    The deal further expands the power and influence of deep-pocketed Internet platforms, such as Alibaba and Tencent, over the Chinese film industry. Alibaba and companies owned by founder Jack Ma have been significant minority shareholders in Huayi since 2014, and increased their positions again in 2015.

    The new deal with Huayi runs for five years and commits the studio to delivering 10 films in which Asian Union, a subsidiary of Alibaba Pictures, can be a co-investor and co-distributor. The two companies also agreed to work together on talent development, film marketing and merchandising through Alibaba’s Tao Piaopiao and Beacon platforms.

    The five-year loan, provided at China’s five-year base rate, will be used by Huayi as working capital and for company operations. As security for the loan, Huayi is providing share pledges, rights to returns from a film fund, and “unlimited joint and several guarantees provided by two major shareholders.” That appears to be a reference to Huayi founders and principals Dennis and James Wang.

    Last week, Alibaba cited its Jin Cheng film investment plan as the reason behind its move to take a 13% stake in the Tingdong Film company controlled by celebrity race car driver-turned-blogger and filmmaker Han Han (“The Continent,” “Duckweed”). His new movie, “Pegasus,” is one of the most anticipated of the upcoming Chinese New Year season. Alibaba also recently invested in “Green Book” and “A Dog’s Journey,” the sequel to hit “A Dog’s Purpose.”

    Huayi, in business as a private sector leader for over 20 years, has been behind hit films including the “Detective Dee” fantasy-action franchise and a string of movies by Feng Xiaogang (“Youth,” “I Am Not Madame Bovary”). It was also the Chinese partner of Hollywood independent STX Entertainment until the deal ran out at the end of December.

    On Thursday morning, Huayi Bros shares climbed 6.6% to RMB4.85 on the news of the deal with Alibaba Pictures, whose own shares were little changed at HK$1.29 apiece.
    THREADS
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    Gene Ching
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  12. #57
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    And the oscar goes to...

    ...China!

    FEBRUARY 25, 2019 9:08PM PT
    U.S. Drama ‘Green Book’ Touted as Oscar Win for China
    By PATRICK FRATER and BECKY DAVIS


    CREDIT: PATTI PERRET

    Chinese companies have been quick to claim their share of Oscar glory since Sunday’s ceremony, despite an awards season that largely shut out films from or about Asia, including “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shoplifters.”

    Alibaba Pictures, the heavily loss-making film financing and production arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is busily talking up its involvement in best picture winner “Green Book.” The production company boarded the movie as an investor alongside Participant Media, Dreamworks Pictures and Amblin Partners (of which Alibaba is a minority owner) last summer. The film was nominated for five Oscars and won three Sunday, including best original screenplay and best actor in a supporting role. It will hit Chinese theaters on Friday.

    “Even though Alibaba Pictures is a relatively new entrant into Hollywood, we have a track record of choosing quality projects that not only have high entertainment value, but also have positive messages we believe in,” said Zhang Wei, president of Alibaba Pictures. The company also made investments in two other awards contenders, “Capernaum” and “On the Basis of Sex.”

    Another Chinese player, Perfect World Entertainment, which has interests stretching from games to movies, claimed its share of reflected glory with “BlacKkKlansman” (six nominations, including one win in the adapted screenplay category) and “First Man” (four nominations, including one win for best visual effects). Both were co-funded by Perfect World through its five-year finance deal with Universal Pictures.

    China’s propaganda apparatus has gone a step further, including several Oscar winners that have Chinese involvement of some kind as examples of Chinese excellence. On Monday, China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua pronounced Pixar-produced “Bao” a Chinese-centric Oscars triumph.

    “The short is written and directed by Chinese-born Canadian director Domee Shi,” who, Xinhua helpfully explained, “is the first woman and first Chinese writer and director of a Pixar short.” The news agency noted that “Bao” beat “One Small Step,” a “Chinese-American short film, directed by Zhang Shaofu…[which] tells the story of a young Chinese-American protagonist who dreams of being an astronaut.” In the documentary category, Xinhua claimed Chinese success through winner “Free Solo,” directed by Jimmy Chin and Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and through nominee “Minding the Gap,” directed by Chinese-American Liu Bing.

    While there is much celebration on Chinese social media that “Bao” – a touching, realistic story about Chinese food and family – won such a high-profile accolade, several nationalistic state media reports champion a narrative that the wins, despite originating in other countries, are wins for China itself. The reports play up an old but recently much more prominent idea that people with Chinese heritage all over the world are connected to China by their ethnic identity. “Each of them is connected to China in its own way,” said Xinhua.

    “It is a remarkable success given [U.S. President] Trump’s relentless China bashing,” said another commentator.

    Beyond the rhetoric, however, there is increasing industrial synchronization between Hollywood and China. “The 91st Academy Awards can be viewed as the starting point for a new period of growing influence for China in the international film industry,” said Xinhua. The assertion is only inaccurate in that the movement quietly started several years ago.

    The current dynamics are subtly different from those made in the 2012-2016 period, when Chinese companies were making aggressive and highly visible moves at the corporate level, like Alibaba and Wanda’s serious discussions about buying a piece of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Wanda bought Legendary Entertainment and unsuccessfully bid $1 billion for Dick Clark Productions. Video platform Le Vision/Le Eco made lavish slate announcements in Hollywood as recently as 2016, before gravity and Chinese regulators dragged them back to reality.

    However, what has replaced that five-year surge of Chinese mad money has been a quieter drive to invest, learn, and integrate China into Hollywood. The initiative has been conducted by a smaller number of companies – Alibaba Pictures, Tencent, and Perfect World – which each have long-term game plans and have quietly opened offices in L.A.

    Perfect World’s deal with Universal is largely a passive investment, but the company is simultaneously behaving like a Hollywood indie and developing its own material and scripts. (In China, Perfect World is further partnered with Hollywood names Village Roadshow and WME in Perfect Village Entertainment, a local production venture.)

    “Both luck and persistence are very important. Alibaba Pictures will do everything in its power to support every young director to go global and vie for the Oscars,” said chairman and CEO of Alibaba Pictures Fan Luyan.
    THREADS
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  13. #58
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    New PRC philanthropy

    A New Generation of Philanthropy in China
    March 26, 2019 12:00 p.m. ET


    From left: Lawrence Chan, Niu Gensheng, Dee Dee Chan, Jet Li, Jack Ma, Li Ka-shing. ILLUSTRATION BY GLUEKIT; SOURCE IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES AND BLOOMBERG

    In Hong Kong, home to some of the richest people in the world, philanthropist Dee Dee Chan is making sure her generation learns how to give back.

    In 2014, Chan, who is in her 30s, started a group for her peers—young people from families with at least US$500 million in assets who play an active role in their families’ businesses—to learn about philanthropy and to put it into practice. The hope is to “raise the ‘future generals’ who will make a huge impact on society through their own charitable efforts,” she says.

    Chan is the granddaughter of billionaire Chan Chak Fu, who ran a global hotel and real estate business. Today, she’s managing director at Park Lane Capital Holdings, formed in 2007 from the fortune made by her father, Lawrence Chan, who developed and operated hotels and real estate projects.

    She’s also director of the Seal of Love Charitable Foundation, a foundation started by her father in 2010, which donated 80 million Hong Kong dollars (US$10.2 million) in 2017 to the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to support an industry that has become a growing employment sector for the underprivileged in Southeast Asia.

    The six or seven core members in each of the two chapters of Chan’s Next Generational Organization (NGO, for short) contribute to a collective pot that they allocate as a group, traveling twice a year for field visits to grassroots nonprofits in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. “The point is really to make mistakes early together and also have a forum in which we can actually do this together,” Chan says.

    Lawrence Chan, 65, says his daughter’s NGO chapters will redefine philanthropy, as his generation—including Hong Kong’s wealthiest man and philanthropist, Li Ka-shing—is “starting to fade away.”

    “ The point is to have a forum in which we can actually do this together. ”

    —Dee Dee Chan
    Great fortunes have been made in Asia in the past decade. But as the region’s riches have swelled, and as a younger generation emerges, China’s wealthy are increasingly seeking to maintain their family legacies and to give back. Groups have formed to encourage collaboration and education, including the China Global Philanthropy Institute, founded by three Chinese philanthropists—Niu Gensheng, He Qiaonyu, and Ye Qingjun—along with U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Ray Dalio. Jack Ma, through the Alibaba Foundation, meanwhile, has sponsored the biannual Xin Philanthropy Conference since 2016.

    Ma represents a newer, more visible wave of philanthropists who are trained abroad, globally engaged, and in touch with the concepts of philanthropy, says Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center at Harvard, which runs the China Philanthropy Project. But there are a rising number of individual philanthropists within China who are having a profound influence, notably Niu Gensheng, a billionaire born to extreme poverty who made a fortune as the founder of China Mengniu Dairyin Inner Mongolia. Niu, 61, began the Lao Niu Foundation in 2004 to support the environment, cultural education, and development of the philanthropic sector.

    One strategy that the Lao Niu Foundation is using to boost philanthropy is to train nonprofit professionals, “so that they’re regarded as professionals, just as public officials and private-sector individuals are,” says Melissa Berman, president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which is aiding the foundation.

    The One Foundation, founded by Chinese actor Jet Li, is also helping to strengthen nonprofits by being transparent about what they fund, and which outcomes they achieve, Berman says.

    While Niu and others have turned to the West for inspiration and practical advice, Rob Rosen, a director at the Gates Foundation, expects philanthropy in China to remain uniquely Chinese.

    China’s philanthropists will want to know whether their funds are “being directed toward important issues in a deeply thoughtful way, and if they are taking an appropriate level of risk to really lead to bold change,” Rosen says. “They’re definitely on the pathway there.”

    THREADS
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  14. #59
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    And what if they merged?


    Image: Bigstock

    Alibaba Vs. Amazon: Who Will Take Over the World First
    Daniel Laboe April 08, 2019
    AMZN BABA

    Trades from $1

    Alibaba (BABA - Free Report) initially made a name for itself in the US as the go-to place to buy cheap knock-offs of NBA jerseys and designer shoes. Alibaba is now the principal e-commerce retailer in China on a scale with Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , dominating 58% of the total e-commerce market in China, according to eMarketer. With a total addressable market (TAM) coming close $5 trillion, which makes up China’s overall retail industry. BABA captured 636 million annual customers in 2018, up a whole 23% from the previous year. This company is growing at an exponential rate and is striving to continue until their TAM is reached.

    Alibaba vs. Amazon

    Alibaba is often considered the Amazon of China; they both control the e-commerce space in their geographic regions and are both quickly becoming the largest corporations in the world. Despite their seemingly identical product/service proposition, these companies have very different approaches. The biggest difference is the way in which they sell their online products.

    Amazon sells most of its products to customers directly through its extensive warehouse network where the goods are housed. Alibaba, on the other hand, acts like a middleman between merchants and consumers. Amazon makes most of its money from product margins while Alibaba’s collects revenue through something called a merchant fee which places sellers’ products higher up on Alibaba's search lists.

    Financial Comparison

    Amazon posted 2018 revenue of $232 billion, more than 4 times the $53 billion in revenue that BABA achieved in 2018. The fascinating part is that AMZN and BABA had bottom-lines that were less than $1 billion apart, $10.1 billion and $9.2 billion respectively. Giving Amazon a 4.3% net margin and Alibaba a 17% net margin. This enormous margin difference for comparable businesses would be a red flag under most circumstances but what you need to consider are the costs associated with of the different business models as well as the geographical location that these companies operate. Alibaba operated a business with much less overhead than Amazon considering that their main functions is just connect buyers and sellers, they don’t need the extensive warehouse network along with the storage costs of carrying as much inventory as Amazon does. The cost of operating a business in China is much less than operating one in the US considering that the cost of living is substantially lower. Amazon also makes it their priority to provide the consumer with the lowest prices so a lot of their economies-to-scale are being passed along to the consumer. These factors aside, seeing Alibaba’s margins being 4x that of Amazon is quite an attractive figure especially considering it’s trading at much cheaper multiples.

    Alibaba has seen 44% annualized top-line growth over the past 5 years while Amazon only saw 27% annualized growth over the same period. 86% of Alibaba’s revenue is being driven by its core e-commerce business with other revenue streams like cloud computing and subscription entertainment services are growing; e-commerce is still what this firm primarily relies on. Amazon’s revenue streams are a little more diversified, only 71% of revenue is from online sales, brick-and-mortar operations making up a growing 7% of sales (driven by their Whole Foods acquisition), web services (AWS) make up 11% of their income and the fasted growing segment is AMZN’s advertising revenues. The diversification of Amazon’s revenue drivers makes it a safer bet than a less diverse Alibaba, though BABA is growing its noncore businesses at an expanding rate. Below is a 2-year return chart comparing BABA (blue) and AMZN (red) performance.



    Valuations

    Amazon’s continuing success story in the United States has been an inspiration for small businesses across the world. From Jeff Bezo’s garage to being in the top 5 biggest tech companies in the world. People love the company and the stock, and this is likely part of the reason AMZN is trading at 68x forward earnings. This P/E might have been a reasonable valuation if the company had just turned a profit but they have been profitable for 5 years. It’s P/E-growth (PEG) ratio is 1.95 which is a much more reasonable valuation considering the industry average is 1.79. The growth priced in to Amazon is colossal, with EPS growth expected to be 32.37% and 49.52% for 2019 and 2020 respectively. There is too much uncertainty with these priced-in growth numbers for my liking. At this moment I wouldn’t be comfortable jumping into a tech company with a 1.63 beta and a 68x P/E in such uncertain economic conditions. I would wait for a dip before putting on a position. Watch for earnings on the 25th of this month for more clues into the future of this firm. If they can continue to grow margins I would feel more comfortable going long in AMZN. $1,600 has been my price point to consider buying since the end of last year and I stick by that. AMZN – Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).



    Alibaba is trading at much more competitive multiples, with a price of 36x forward earnings and a P/E-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 1.29. This firm doesn’t have nearly as much EPS growth priced into the stock because of economic instability brought by both the trade war and poor economic numbers coming out of China. The beta for this stock exceeds 2, which is a small red flag when economic stability is questionable, but I see a larger upside to BABA especially considering the unprecedented 332% top-line growth in the last 5 years. I also understand their growing revenue diversity as a huge opportunity for this business to take market share in different categories that they don’t already dominate. I would look to buy this stock sub $170 with a price target north of $200. BABA – Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

    Jack Ma. Please sponsor Kung Fu Tai Chi! It would be a tiny drop in the bucket for you and we know you love Kung Fu & Tai Chi!
    Gene Ching
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  15. #60
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    996

    I've done 996 weeks (who hasn't?) but I can't imagine sustaining that for very long.

    APRIL 12, 2019 / 4:35 AM / 3 DAYS AGO
    Alibaba founder defends overtime work culture as 'huge blessing'
    Josh Horwitz
    3 MIN READ

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group founder and billionaire Jack Ma has defended the grueling overtime work culture at many of China’s tech companies, calling it a “huge blessing” for young workers.


    FILE PHOTO: Alibaba Group co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma attends Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival in Shanghai, China, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

    The e-commerce magnate weighed into a debate about work-life balance and the overtime hours demanded by some companies as the sector slows after years of breakneck growth.

    In a speech to Alibaba employees, Ma defended the industry’s ‘996’ work schedule, which refers to the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, six days a week.

    “I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” he said in remarks posted on the company’s WeChat account.

    “Many companies and many people don’t have the opportunity to work 996,” Ma said. “If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?”

    The issue has fueled an online debate and protests on some coding platforms, where workers have swapped examples of excessive overtime demands at some companies.

    Ma, a former English teacher who co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and has become one of China’s richest people, said he and early employees regularly worked long hours.

    “In this world, everyone wants success, wants a nice life, wants to be respected,” Ma said.

    “Let me ask everyone, if you don’t put out more time and energy than others, how can you achieve the success you want?”

    Ma referred to the tech industry today where some people are without jobs, or working at companies in search of revenue or facing closure.

    “Compared to them, up to this day, I still feel lucky, I don’t regret (working 12 hour days), I would never change this part of me,” he said.

    This month activists on Microsoft’s GitHub, the online code repository site, launched a project titled “996.ICU” where tech workers listed Alibaba among the companies ranked as having some of the worst working conditions.

    On Thursday, an opinion piece published in a state newspaper argued that 996 violated China’s Labor Law, which stipulates that average work hours cannot exceed 40 hours a week.

    “Creating a corporate culture of ‘encouraged overtime’ will not only not help a business’ core competitiveness, it might inhibit and damage a company’s ability to innovate,” the unnamed author wrote in the People’s Daily.

    Reporting by Josh Horwitz; editing by Darren Schuettler
    Gene Ching
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    Author of Shaolin Trips
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