Full Truck Alliance Travels Bumpy Road Through Pandemic, Regulatory Wave

Trucking app operator’s fourth-quarter update showed strong but slowing growth, as it remains barred from signing up new customers pending outcome of a cybersecurity review Key takeaways: Full Truck Alliance said its fourth quarter fulfilled orders rose 41.6%, slowing from 78.4% growth in the previous quarter Growth comes as other major companies report business contractions in China due to Covid-control disruptions By Doug Young There are quite a few ways to look at the latest fourth-quarter update from Full Truck Alliance Co. Ltd. (YMM.US), reflecting just how complex China’s corporate…

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ZhongAn’s Big-Tech Ties in Focus as Alibaba-linked Ant Trims Stake

Online insurer’s shares tumbled after Ant Group disclosed plan to trim its longtime stake, but later rebounded after Ant affirmed its commitment to their strategic ties Key takeaways: •      Ant Group, one of the three founders of ZhongAn, disclosed last week it trimmed its stake in the digital insurer •      ZhongAn has close business ties to the three parents, especially Ant and its Alibaba affiliate under a platform cooperation agreement By Warren Yang ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. Ltd.’s (6060.HK) ties to Alibaba (BABA.US; 9988.HK), one of its three big-name…

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Pop Mart Takes Its Trendy Toy Story on Global Roadshow

The maker of popular collectible toys sold from ‘blind boxes’ has moved into Europe with the opening of a store in London Key takeaways: Pop Mart has moved into Europe with a London store, expanding its global footprint to 23 countries since opening its first international store a year ago Company is hoping to copy its successful domestic model of selling trendy toys over low-cost channels such as online and vending machines, helped by social media promotion By Doug Young Watch out, world. First China’s ByteDance gave us TikTok, the…

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Chindata Charts Life After Founder, But Uncertainty Keeps Investors at Bay

The data center operator’s shares rallied after it gave terms for transition with its founder’s departure, only to later give back the gains Key takeaways: •      Chindata said it has agreed with its founder Ju Jing on terms of his departure, including a substantial reduction of his super-voting shares •      Plan will help the company move forward, though uncertainty remains over new businesses that Ju was promoting By Warren Yang Data center operator Chindata Group Holdings (CD.US) is trying to right its ship after the sudden departure of its founder,…

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Buyout Group Slashes Offer for 51Job, Others to Follow?

Human resources stalwart announces new privatization bid at $57.25 per ADS, down sharply from previous offer of $79.05 Key Takeaways: A buyout group attempting to privatize 51Job has slashed its offer by 28% in light of economic and regulatory challenges Other companies in the process of similar privatizations, such as So-Young, iClick and Fanhua, could follow with similar reduced offers By Doug Young Brother, can you spare $22? That variation to the famous line from the Great Depression-era song could well be the latest mantra from online human resources stalwart…

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Coming Soon to Your Nearby Nayuki: Pricier Premium Tea Served by Robots

Beverage chain is squarely focused on higher end of competitive market, with 45% of its stores now labeled with its upmarket Nayuki PRO sub-brand Key Takeaways: Nayuki accelerated its aggressive expansion in the fourth quarter, with a sharp focus on its higher-end PRO-branded premium tea stores Company trialed automated tea-making machines at end of last year’s fourth quarter, and plans broader rollout in this year’s third quarter By Doug Young Who needs people? That’s one of the subtler messages in a new business update from premium tea chain Nayuki Holdings…

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Successful Test Puts TuSimple in Fully Autonomous Driver’s Seat

Company completes what it calls the first fully automated heavy truck driving test on real roads using self-developed system Key takeaways: TuSimple says it has completed the world’s first fully automated test of a self-driving heavy truck JPMorgan sees the company’s success as a major milestone, but has given it a “hold” rating By Fai Pui Three days before the New Year, TuSimple Holdings Inc. (TSP.US) uploaded a 1-hour, 23-minute video of a heavy truck departing from a railroad near the U.S. city of Tucson, Arizona at night. The footage…

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Fanhua to Leave Wall Street. Next Stop, Hong Kong?

Fanhua has announced a plan to delist from New York, with founder Hu Yinan retaking the company’s helm Key takeaways: Online insurance broker announces plan to privatize as China gets set to roll out tough new regulations in January Company could go public again in Hong Kong, but analysis suggests such a listing would have difficulty achieving a high valuation By Jony Ho Of the three major U.S.-listed Chinese online insurance brokers, the oldest has just announced a plan to go private. That would leave the field with just two,…

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Kaixin’s Electric Vehicle Bet Wins Major Customer as It Shifts Gears to Manufacturing

Shares in operator of used car dealerships surge after it wins a $500 million order for its new electric vehicle-making business Key takeaways: •      Kaixin said it won a $500 million order to sell 10,000 electric trucks to an automotive logistics company over the next five years •      The deal comes months after the struggling Kaixin expanded into electric vehicles by acquiring a manufacturer and changing ownership By Warren Yang Used car dealer Kaixin Auto Holdings (Nasdaq: KXIN) wants to reignite growth by powering into electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing. That…

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Yixin Fires on All Cylinders in a Troubled Auto Market

The Internet auto financier’s car transactions rose 27% year-over-year in the third quarter, far outperforming the sputtering market Key takeaways: Yixin has posted solid transaction volume growth following its transformation into a car loan broker New car shortage caused by tight global chip supply may pose challenges to the company By Jony Ho China’s GDP grew just 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter amid a new round of Covid-19 outbreaks, with total retail sales up just 4.4% in September. The consumer spending growth was much lower than the 16.4% growth…

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