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E.g., 2017-09-22
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    Fathom China

    China Dairy: Mengniu Turns Sour, Yili Looks Creamy

    China’s dairy industry is dominated by two giants who together control 33% of the market: China Mengniu Dairy (“Mengniu”) and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (“Yili”). Both face the twin problems of low milk prices and slow milk-consumption growth. The two seem to be converging from very different backgrounds. Mengniu started as a freewheeling private firm but was brought under government control; Yili started as a state-owned company but...

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    Fathom China

    Baidu: Dumping Its On-Demand Business

    Rumors say Baidu will sell off its on-demand services, ending its forays into offline business.

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    Fathom China

    Online Lottery: Hoping The Ban Lifts

    China’s online lottery is forbidden fruit—juicy and banned. Selling online lottery products, including sports gambling, will almost certainly enable whatever companies receive a license to hit the revenue jackpot. The consensus opinion of people who profess to know the government’s thinking is that the 2015 ban will end, but when is anybody’s guess. Few expected it to last this long. Two companies will likely stand at the front of the line for...

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    Fathom China

    Dong-E E-Jiao: China’s Fad For Pricey Donkey Skins

    Dong-E-E-Jiao (“Dong-E”) is China’s leading maker of ejiao, a traditional Chinese blood-strengthening medicine made from gelatinized donkey skins. The product is consumed mostly by women, who eat it in sweet little pieces or mixed into tea. Dong-E has been riding a boom in the traditional medicine market as increasingly wealthy Chinese people seek healthy lifestyles. The company has successfully targeted the premium market, enabling it to raise...

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    Fathom China

    Chinese Accounting Firms: Take That Grain Of Salt

    China’s stock market watchdog recently punished two of China’s biggest auditing firms for helping clients cook their books, and the problem doubtless runs much deeper.

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    Fathom China

    Zhejiang Supor: Business Is Cooking

    Zhejiang Supor (“Supor”) makes kitchen products. It is China’s biggest maker of cookware like pots, woks and pressure cookers, and is also a leading maker of appliances like rice cookers and soy-milk makers. Supor is controlled by French giant Groupe SEB (“SEB”), and is key to SEB’s strategy of collecting international brands and moving factories to China. Supor is SEB’s outsourced manufacturer, with about a third of production going to exports...

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    Fathom China

    LotSynergy: Clinging To A Contract

    The main business of China LotSynergy Holdings until 2015 was to supply video lottery terminals – basically slot machines – to China’s lottery. Then LotSynergy lost its exclusive supply contract amid a corruption scandal in which top lottery officials vanished into detention. LotSynergy says it has the right of first refusal when the contract opens up for tender but Fathom China is skeptical.

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    Fathom China

    AAC Technologies: Assessing A Short Attack

    This Fathom China report assess a short-side attack on a Chinese firm. Fathom China has conducted no original research; our goal is instead to assess whether the attack has substance. Gotham City Research (“Gotham”) has issued two reports saying Shenzhen-based AAC Technologies Holdings (“AAC”) has used undisclosed related-party transactions to pad its margins. At the time this report was distributed, AAC had not responded to the accusations....

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    Fathom China

    Lens: Market Leader Has A Small Client Base

    Lens Technology (“Lens”) is a leading maker of protective glass covers for mobile phones. The company was founded by a legendary entrepreneur, a rare self-made woman in an industry dominated by men. The company’s strength lies in making a low-tech product at huge scale. The technology is changing and Lens is playing catch-up to the next big thing—curved glass covers appearing on high-end handsets. Handset giants Apple and Samsung are Lens’s...

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    Fathom China

    Man Wah: Bubba Goes To Beijing

    Man Wah Holdings (“Man Wah”) came from nowhere to dominate the US market for “motion upholstery,” otherwise known as reclining furniture. Family-run Man Wah operates vertically integrated furniture factories and sells under its own brand, Cheers. When its low-priced, innovative products hit US markets around 2007, they were just what American couch potatoes wanted, and revenue soared. Recent competition from Chinese rivals has forced Man Wah to...

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    Fathom China

    Hikvision: Creating Incentives

    In an effort to spur executives to explore new industries, Hikvision creates an incentive plan that seems well balanced.

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    Fathom China

    Inovance: Expanding Into New Markets

    Shenzhen Inovance Technology (“Inovance”) is a leader in industrial automation control products for middle- to high-end manufacturers. The private company’s main product is an “inverter” that switches direct current to alternating current. The biggest market for Inovance’s inverters is elevators in buildings, and Inovance has also moved into more sophisticated devices such as motor-control components for battery-powered vehicles. Inovance stands...

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    Fathom China

    Baidu: Head Of Troubled Unit Sacked For Kickbacks

    In a sign of Baidu’s floundering effort to expand its business beyond search advertising, the company has sacked the head of Nuomi, its once high-flying platform for on-demand services similar to Yelp.

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    Fathom China

    China Lodging: Facing Angry Franchisees

    China’s second-biggest hotel chain, China Lodging Group (“China Lodging”) is well run and has a sound expansion plan. The company’s franchise model has allowed it to grow fast and meet strong demand for low-priced hotels; now it is moving into mid-priced hotels. Yet China Lodging faces a big new challenge: angry and empowered franchisees. The company’s franchisees in mid 2016 created a collective-bargaining organization and launched street...

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    Fathom China

    Great Wall: Steering Through New Regulations

    China’s leading SUV maker could be hurt by changing regulations that encourage fuel-efficient cars, especially cars powered by batteries.

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    Fathom China

    Netease: Dividend Obstacles Surmountable

    The Chinese government has shown no inclination to block dividend payments by overseas listed firms, although Internet companies should make sure their main assets do not lie within variable-interest entities.

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    Fathom China

    iFlytek: The Product Is Sound

    iFlytek is China’s leading maker of speech software, which involves the advanced fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The firm licenses its technology to clients,such as makers of mobile phones who need Siri-like voice-activated command systems. iFlytek has not succeeded in selling consumers products of its own. Its academic approach to business, overseen by a stable corps of executives, has yielded terrific research but the...

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    Fathom China

    Yunnan Baiyao: New Shareholder’s Plans Under Wraps

    A leading state-run company making traditional medicine has fallen into the hands of a billionaire entrepreneur who failed to acquire the firm in 2009, and whose plans for his new prize remain hidden.

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    Fathom China

    Xinyi Solar: Sunny Year Ahead

    Xinyi Solar Holdings (“Xinyi Solar”) is China’s biggest maker of glass for solar cells, which are arrayed into solar panels to generate power from the sun. The company was in 2013 spun off from Xinyi Glass Holdings (“Xinyi Glass”), the subject of a related Fathom Profile in January 2017. Family-run Xinyi Solar is well managed and enjoys a good reputation, and its political connections run to the highest level of the Communist Party. Its clients...

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    Fathom China

    Fang Holdings: Home Seller’s Business Needs Renovation

    Fathom China’s negative assessment in May 2015 of Fang Holdings holds up about as well as the online home-sales company’s strategy looks dilapidated, and aggrieved former clients are now enjoying the last laugh.

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