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E.g., 2018-05-27
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    Fathom China

    58.com: Strong Position In Online Listings

    Attached is our report on China’s leading online listings business, 58.com, sometimes called the Craigslist of China. The company is in a strong position. It faces no major competitors in its two main business lines: real estate and blue-collar recruitment. Management looks steady. A series of restructurings raised concerns but 58.com seems to have come through well. This is one of Fathom China’s more upbeat reports.

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    YY: Contending With Short Video

    Attached is our report on China’s pioneering livestreaming company, YY, which faces new challenges. The biggest is the quick rise of popular apps that share short videos and compete for eyeballs among YY’s user demographic. At the same time, more livestreaming competitors force YY to share more revenue with its hosts. Oddly, government crackdowns on livestreaming and short videos work to YY’s advantage by forcing its more adventurous competitors...

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    BYD: New Subsidy Regime, New Battery Challenger

    The world’s biggest maker of battery-powered vehicles, BYD, faces a tricky transition. Markets for the private company’s electric vehicles, or EVs, have long been driven by government subsidies for buyers. Beijing is curtailing subsidies for buyers in favor of incentives to boost supply. If Beijing’s scheme succeeds, BYD will almost certainly benefit. If not, then BYD will face a setback just as pressure from other EV makers grows. Meanwhile,...

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    Beijing Enterprises Water Group: Local Finance Faces Freeze

    Beijing Enterprises Water Group (“BEWG”) is China’s biggest water treatment company. The state-owned firm builds facilities to clean the water that flows into homes and factories, and to treat the sewage that flows out. It has also moved into restoring waterways that suffered heavy pollution during China’s 40-year industrial boom. Although state-owned, BEWG’s leaders come from an entrepreneurial private company acquired in 2008. Key to BEWG’s...

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    Hollysys: Beset By Challenges

    Hollysys Automation Technologies (“Hollysys”) makes systems that control industrial processes such as power plants, rail lines and petrochemicals. The former state-owned firm was privatized and taken public through a reverse merger. Hollysys faces stiff challenges. It earns much of its revenue from small to mid-sized coal-fired power plants that are under pressure to close, and its railway systems face strong competitive pressure. The company is...

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    CITS: Ringing The Register At Duty Free

    China International Travel Service (“CITS”) is China’s biggest operator of duty-free stores. It is the listed arm of state-owned China National Travel Service Group (“CNTS Group”), which recently merged with a state-owned competitor. CITS entered duty-free in 1984, then in 2014 expanded the segment.

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    Kweichow Moutai: New Markets Replace Old

    State-owned Kweichow Moutai (“Moutai”) is China’s top maker of premium baijiu, the world’s most-consumed spirit. Moutai’s phenomenal brand is linked with quality, success and the Communist Party. And its fiery drink, also called Moutai, confers more status than any other China-made product. Moutai faced a crisis in 2012 when a crackdown on corruption and official extravagance hurt revenue. Through price cuts and broader distribution, Moutai...

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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