E.g., 2017-09-22
E.g., 2017-09-22
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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Toread: Too Many Business Adventures

    Toread Holding Group (“Toread”) is China’s biggest brand of outdoor products including jackets, boots and tents. Sales have stagnated, forcing Toread to close many of its stores. Recent events suggest that franchisees may hold excess inventory. In an effort to find new markets, the ambitious family-run company has launched a multi-brand strategy for its outdoor gear, and expanded quickly into new businesses. It has invested heavily in travel...

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    Spring Airlines: Clear Skies For Budget Airline

    Spring Airlines is China’s first and biggest budget airline, focusing on flights in southern China. Budget carriers in China took to the air only in 2005, when the government first allowed private investment in airlines. Revenue at privately owned Spring Airlines is rising fast for its international routes but falling for domestic routes. One reason is that Spring Airlines is not price-competitive on its top domestic routes but is less expensive...

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    Sifang Automation: The Local Challenge

    Beijing Sifang Automation (“Sifang Automation”) is a leading maker of hardware and software that helps transmit electricity. It faces some concentration risk as it derives around 80% of its revenue from the two state-run companies that operate China’s electrical grid. Sifang Automation faces a slow but steady decline in revenue in its most important product segment. The cause of the decline seems related to shifts in government spending on grid...

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    Han’s Laser: Focusing On Higher Power

    Han’s Laser Technology Industry Group (“Han’s Laser”) is China’s biggest maker of laser machines. Such machines use lasers to engrave, etch, cut or weld things like metal, plastic and leather.

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    Beingmate: Struggling With Its Formula

    Beingmate Baby & Child Food (“Beingmate”) is a well-known maker of infant formula that faces trouble from many directions. Revenue and profits have fallen each year since 2013, when Beingmate slashed prices following a price-fixing investigation. Efforts to expand beyond infant formula have been disappointing. Accounts receivable are high as Beingmate has extended credit to its distributors, cash is low, and the company has churned through...

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    Sanan Optoelectronics: Seeking Brighter Markets

    Sanan Optoelectronics (“Sanan”), is China’s biggest maker of LED chips used in lighting systems. Based in coastal Fujian province, the private company grew quickly with strong government support. It is vertically integrated - it makes the semiconductor material used as the base of LED chips, LED chips themselves, and lights that use LED chips. A challenge facing the company is a glutted chip market and declining prices. Sanan is trying to climb...

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    Yunnan Baiyao: Product Expansion Falters

    Yunnan Baiyao Group (“Yunnan Baiyao”) is a rare state-owned company that competes at the premium level against foreign brands. Located in remote Yunnan province, Yunnan Baiyao is well known for its traditional Chinese medicine remedies that use a herbal compound, baiyao, to stop bleeding in minor wounds. The company has expanded successfully into toothpaste and bandages and had grand ambitions for other personal-care products like shampoo and...

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    TBEA: Power Politics On The New Silk Road

    TBEA builds power transmission equipment, power grids and solar farms, mostly in China’s west. The large private company has ridden the immense wave of development in China’s electric power industry over the last 20 years. It stands to gain further from China’s funding of development in neighboring Central Asia. Beijing’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, designed to help its inland neighbors build power grids and other marvels of heavy industry, will...

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    Heilan Home: Fast Growth Amid Accusations

    Heilan Home is a leading mass-market brand of men’s casual clothes. The company is tightly controlled by its founder, Zhou Jianping, 56, whose business interests extend far beyond men’s clothes and include an ultra-elite horse club. Heilan Home is a rare private firm on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which it reached through a backdoor listing. The company seems to enjoy strong support from the provincial government of Jiangsu, and is audited by...

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    Midea: Romancing The Robots

    This special report comes in response to the bid by Midea Group (“Midea”) on May 19 to acquire the German company Kuka, one of the world’s top four robotics firms. Midea is China’s strongest maker of home appliances, and aspires to make both industrial robots that work in factories and service robots that work at home. It is well ahead of domestic home appliance makers in establishing relationships with two of the world’s four leading robotics...

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    ChinaNetCenter: Comfy In The Cloud

    Shanghai Wangsu Science and Technology is China’s leading provider of the content delivery services that make China’s Internet work faster. The company is known outside China as ChinaNetCenter, and is referred to that way in this report. ChinaNetCenter has eclipsed its competition by staying close to its customers and emphasizing research. Its industry is expanding fast, and ChinaNetCenter seems able to expand with it.

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    Shanghai Jahwa: More Than Cosmetic Problems

    Shanghai Jahwa United (“Shanghai Jahwa”) owns several well-known brands of face cream and other personal-care products. The company is struggling to recover from a disastrous boardroom brawl following the acquisition of its parent in 2011 by China’s biggest private insurer, Ping An Insurance (“Ping An”). Ping An forced out Shanghai Jahwa’s chairman and most senior executives after uncovering huge undisclosed related-party transactions. China’s...

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    Hikvision: Profiting From The Surveillance State

    Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology (“Hikvision”) is the world’s biggest seller of security cameras and surveillance equipment. It is by far China’s leader in the field, the market is booming, and it faces only one significant but much weaker competitor. Hikvision specializes in digital cameras and recording equipment for use in the public and private sectors, with a quarter of its sales coming from abroad. Its main shareholder, China...

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    Hundsun Technologies: Recovering From Disaster

    Hundsun Technologies (“Hundsun”) provides software and services to brokerages, insurance companies, stock exchanges and others involved in China’s capital markets. One of its most important and prestigious roles is providing the technology used to clear trades between the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. Hundsun was hit with a huge fine for selling illegal products that exacerbated China’s stock market crash in July 2015, but the company...

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    Project A: AVIC Aviation Engine Corp

    China has one of the largest commercial aviation markets in the world, but has struggled for more than half a century to build an airplane manufacturing industry. Chinese companies are starting to produce airframes for commercial jets but remain unable to develop a commercial jet engine, a more complicated technological and cultural challenge. China’s state-run jet engine company, AVIC Aviation Engine Corp (“AAEC”), resulted from two ineffective...

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