Insurance Anyone? Fanhua Struggles to Sell New Policies in Omicron-hit China

Company’s stock dropped after it posted a first-quarter net loss and revenue decline, hit by Covid curbs in China Key takeaways: •      Fanhua posted a 37% revenue decline and net loss in the first quarter as government efforts to contain the latest Covid-19 outbreaks crippled the Chinese economy •      The company plans to pay its latest quarterly dividend in shares of an affiliate, switching from its past practice of paying cash By Warren Yang A pandemic would seem like the perfect climate to sell insurance to people wanting to protect…

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ATRenew Starts the Year Off Strong, Braces for Covid Impact

The smartphone recycler’s revenue rose 45.7% in the first quarter, but it forecast a slowdown in the second due to pandemic-related disruptions before a gradual recovery later in the year Key Takeaways: ATRenew‘s revenue rose 45.7% in the first quarter to 2.2 billion yuan as both product and service revenues recorded strong gains   Company could benefit over the longer term from the rollout of China’s first guidelines for used electronics refurbishment by the city of Shenzhen in April By Doug Young Leading smartphone recycler ATRenew Inc. (RERE.US) has posted…

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‘Chinese WeWork’ UCommune Reports Huge Losses, Sees Dark Days Ahead

Falling demand for office spaces during Covid-19 and massive goodwill depreciation lead to record-breaking losses for the coworking operator Key Takeaways: UCommune breaks new net-loss record in 2021 and has burned through 4 billion yuan in the past four years Huge losses indicate the company still has a long way to go in terms of asset-light transition By Wang Chuan Co-working operator UCommune International Ltd. (UK.US), dubbed the “the Chinese WeWork,” recorded a massive loss of 2.13 billion yuan ($333.7 million) for 2021, the company said earlier this month. Most of the loss – $258…

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In Search of Profits, Q&A Site Zhihu Finds New Answer in Vocational Education

Company often called the ‘Quora of China’ reported a huge jump in vocational training revenue in the first quarter, even as its overall losses widened Key Takeaways: Zhihu’s revenue grew 55.4% in the first quarter, but its adjusted net loss grew by an even bigger 89.8% Company’s vocational education services could be a major new growth engine, as China encourages private sector investment in the area By Christina Meng In the ongoing game of “yes” and “no” being played by leading Q&A site Zhihu Inc. (ZH.US; 2390.HK), the answer on…

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Miniso Rides Into China Covid Storm With Forecast for First-Ever Revenue Contraction

Retailer known for its small, brightly lit stores posted 5% revenue growth in the first three months of 2022, but said the figure is likely to decline around 9% in the current quarter Key Takeaways: Miniso said it expects its revenue to decline around 9% in the current quarter as many of its China stores have been forced to shut down during recent citywide lockdowns Company said nearly one-tenth of its China stores were closed in March, even as its smaller international operations continued to rebound By Doug Young Fasten…

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Vipshop Takes Defensive Posture as Headwinds Mount

Discount e-commerce veteran has launched a $1 billion share buyback and slashed its marketing spending as it forecast its revenue would decline up to 25% in the second quarter Key Takeaways: Vipshop’s revenue fell 11% in the first quarter, and it forecast the decline would accelerate to as much as 25% in the current quarter Company last month authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program after buying back $500 million of shares over the previous year By Doug Young Prepare for some turbulence. That’s the message coming from discount…

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Yan Palace Flocks to Shanghai as China’s First Bird’s Nest Stock

The maker of products using the traditional Chinese health food hopes to become the first in its class to go public, but faces growing competition from smaller rivals Key Takeaways: Yan Palace has filed for a Shanghai IPO that would make it the first listed maker of health food products based on traditional bird nests China’s securities regulator asked the company to elaborate on its business model and competitive strategies, as fierce competition has led to steep price cuts By Lau Ming Bird’s nest soup has long been a Chinese…

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Facing Double Whammy in India, Will Xiaomi Look Home for Comfort?

Smartphone maker could face major difficulties in the important Indian market after $725 million worth of its assets were reportedly frozen due to a tax dispute Key Takeaways: Xiaomi has been accused of tax evasion in India, though the company claims its activities complied with local laws Ban of company’s local apps is dealing a second blow to Xiaomi in India, leading some to predict it could switch its focus back to its home Chinese market By Ken Lo Beware the dangers of operating in a foreign land – especially…

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Texhong Eyes Vietnam in World of Diversifying Supply Chains

Leading cotton yarn and fabric maker prepares to launch major new facility in Southeast Asian nation, following the textile industry’s diversification from China Key Takeaways: Texhong is preparing to launch a major facility in Vietnam that will sharply boost its fabric production to complement its larger cotton yarn business Company now manufactures nearly 40% of its output in the Southeast Asian nation and is one of the biggest U.S. cotton buyers in the world. By Doug Young Recent Covid lockdowns that have paralyzed business and festering trade tensions have sent…

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Oriental Culture Builds Up Lively Business on Art, Wine and Tea Traders

Young company has carved out a comfortable niche in C2C e-commerce, fueling triple-digit growth in both revenue and profits last year Key Takeaways: Oriental Culture’s revenue doubled last year to $37.6 million, while its profit soared more fivefold to $11.4 million on a post-Covid rebound Company is trying to create more digital products and services with recent initiatives in blockchain, the metaverse and non-fungible tokens By Doug Young When it comes to the latest high-tech buzzwords, it seems investors like blockchain and the metaverse, but are less excited about non-fungible…

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