‘Fun’ Drops Out of No. 2 News Aggregator Qutoutiao

Company, whose name means ‘fun headlines,’ discloses it may be unable to repay a $171 million loan coming due early next year Key Takeaways: Controlling cashflow will be crucial for Qutoutiao in coming months as it worries over its ability to repay a $171 million loan coming due early next year Company’s big user base in smaller Chinese cities could make it an attractive takeover target By Alice Leung Its name means “fun headlines,” but investors in Qutoutiao Inc. (Nasdaq: QTT) haven’t found much fun in this news and video…

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Delivery Specialist Dada Nexus Finds Growing Comfort in JD Ties

Company’s latest results reflect its growing reliance on local grocery delivery business with its majority shareholder Key takeaways: The latest signals from Dada Nexus show it’s tying its fortunes more tightly to its majority shareholder JD.com The company is emerging as the delivery arm for JD.com’s grocery business, and could even be acquired eventually by JD or one of its units    By Doug Young In China’s increasingly bloody world of delivery services, Dada Nexus Ltd. (Nasdaq: DADA) is increasingly hitching itself to its parent, e-commerce giant JD.com. That’s the biggest…

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Impulse-Buying Specialist Miniso Embarks on Major Toy Play

Mini-store operator plans big move into pricier toys and collectibles with launch of Top Toy chain Key points: Miniso is moving aggressively into specialty toy shops with its new Top Toy chain Strong investor interest in toy retailing is reflected by the high valuation for rival toy chain Pop Mart By Doug Young China’s favorite impulse buying chain Miniso Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: MNSO) is making a major strategic shift by moving aggressively into the toy business. The move does seem to make sense for a chain like Miniso, as…

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AiHuiShou Seeks Gold in Growing Heaps of Used Gadgets

IPO-bound recycling specialist could be valued higher than U.S. stalwart eBay on potential for its services business and international expansion Key points: AiHuiShou has strong growth potential due to its positioning as a trusted middleman facilitating the sale of used electronics Company could be valued strongly due to big growth for its service offerings and international expansion potential By Doug Young “Let the buyer beware,” is a common English saying that especially applies to used goods. When it comes to expensive items, like cars and electronics, buyers are often reluctant…

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21Vianet Moving to Margins of Data Center Universe?

Microsoft’s China cloud services partner reports slowest revenue growth in first quarter among the country’s three major independent data center operators Key takeaways: 21Vianet’s latest results show it’s the slowest-growing among China’s three major independent data center operators The company’s relative laggard status could weigh on its stock as it focuses on boosting capacity at current facilities rather than opening new ones By Doug Young The latest leg in the horse race between China’s three main independent data-center operators has just concluded, with 21Vianet Group Inc. (Nasdaq: VNET) becoming the…

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Traditional Retailer Topsports Finds Better Profits in ‘Big Boxes’

Sportswear seller’s revenue jumps 21% in second half of its latest fiscal year and profits leap 75% as it focuses on mega-stores over smaller ones Key points: Topsports’ shift to larger stores is showing results in the form of strong revenue and profit gains in the second half of its latest fiscal year The company’s shares look undervalued compared to its more famous peers Li Ning and Anta  By Doug Young Questions may be hanging over the fate of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but that hasn’t dampened the broader…

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Yixin Drives Out From Fintech Maelstrom

Former auto lender issues upbeat first-quarter guidance after its transition to loan facilitator Key points: Tencent-backed auto-financier Yixin’s strong first-quarter update shows it’s making progress in transforming from lender to loan facilitator Company’s position remains tenuous as China reportedly considers new regulations on such loan facilitators By Ben Livesey Yixin Group Ltd. (2858.HK), the online auto financier backed by internet giant Tencent, has given investors reason to cheer after recently posting a bullish first quarter update. The announcement provided a lift for the much-scrutinized fintech sector, as well as for…

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Scooter Maker Niu Charges in China, But Stuck in Bullpen Globally

Company targets 600 new store openings in China in first half of 2021, raising total count by nearly 40% Key takeaways: Investors are growing cautious on Niu Technologies due to falling prices for its scooters at home and lack of progress internationally The company could still emerge as a major global brand after the pandemic subsides and shipping prices come down By Doug Young Electric scooter maker Niu Technologies (Nasdaq: NIU), whose name means bull in Chinese, is making a major charge in its home China market. But its voice…

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Pet Specialist Boqii: Industry Consolidator or Forever Just a Pet Project?

Despite its industry-leading position, company controls just 2% of China’s highly fragmented pet care market expected to reach $70 billion in annual sales by 2024 Key Takeaways Boqii’s first brick-and-mortar store opening marks its latest move into “new retail” model integrating online and offline sources in pet supply chain Company faces biggest competition from generic e-commerce sellers and supermarkets By Eric Auchard Online camaraderie with fellow pet owners is nice, but there’s just no substitute for real-world touching and feeling of the thousands of products to pamper, feed and groom…

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Noah Holdings Finds Resurgent Riches in China’s Wealthy

One of the nation’s oldest private wealth managers posts record business in first quarter, but forecasts more modest profit gains for all 2021  Key points: Asset manager Noah Holdings is focusing on higher-margin, affluent customers over more mainstream ones The strategy could position it for stronger growth in the next few years as it emerges as one of the survivors from China’s recent P2P cleanup   By Doug Young Forget the Average Joe and focus on the rich. That’s the message coming in the latest earnings report from Noah Holdings Ltd.…

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