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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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    Fathom China

    Xinyi Glass: Strong Company, Fragile Market

    Xinyi Glass Holdings (“Xinyi Glass”) ranks among China’s top glass makers. Its main product is float glass, most of which is sold directly to construction companies. Some of Xinyi Glass’s float glass is also processed into higher-margin products such as insulated or tinted construction glass, or automobile glass. Family-run Xinyi Glass is well managed and enjoys a good reputation. Its main challenges are external – the float glass industry is...

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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    Huishan Dairy: Short Attack Looks Accurate

    A well-known short seller has accused Huishan Dairy of fraud, prompting Fathom China to review its reports on Huishan Dairy – and find that our earlier work revealed Huishan Dairy’s problems and vulnerabilities.

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    Fathom China

    51job: Waiting For Upstarts To Wither

    51job is China’s biggest online job-recruitment website, and one of its oldest. Its market share is shrinking due to competition from specialized websites, or “verticals,” that target specific industries. Yet thanks to fast growth in the online recruitment market, 51job’s revenue is expanding and its leading position in the industry looks secure in the short term. The company turned profitable in 2002 and now earns two-thirds of its revenue...

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    Fathom China

    Dali Foods Recalls Tainted French Bread

    A top snack-food maker has recalled its French bread for excessive bacteria, damaging the company’s reputation.

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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    China Biologic: The Quest For More Plasma

    China Biologic Products (“China Biologic”) ranks among China’s biggest makers of plasma products in a nation with a severe shortage of a key raw material: human plasma. Raw plasma comes from paid donors and is converted into products that treat blood disorders. Donors are sadly few because of the stigma of poverty and the lingering effects of past health scandals. Yet two recent changes bode well. First, the government lifted price caps on...

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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    Tencent: Rising Fast In Mobile Payments

    Tencent’s fast-rising mobile payment system, Weixin Pay, is a boon to Tencent and threatens Alipay’s dominance of mobile online payments.

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    Fathom China

    BYD: Topping The List Of Illicit Subsidy Recipients

    Unverified online sources indicate that BYD received more in illicit subsidies than any other Chinese maker of battery-powered buses, although the company seems likely to escape punishment.

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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    Ctrip: Dominating A Changing Industry

    Ctrip.com International (“Ctrip”) stands as China’s unrivaled online travel agency, or OTA. The well-run company’s purchase of Qunar Cayman Islands (“Qunar,” pronounced CHOO-nar) in late 2015 neutralized a top rival and ended a profit-killing price war. Government regulations have led to big changes in the market. The country’s state-owned airlines want to direct ticket buyers away from agencies and OTAs and toward their own sites. Although that...

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    Fathom China

    BYD: More Competition In Buses, A Forced Marriage In Batteries

    China’s biggest maker of battery-powered vehicles faces increased competition in its hometown stronghold of Shenzhen, but should benefit from a forced marriage with a battery-making subsidiary of Samsung Group.

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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    BYD: Subsidies Spark Electric Car Sales

    After years of false starts, BYD is China’s top seller of battery-powered passenger cars and a respectable number five in battery-powered buses. The big-talking private company, which also makes traditional cars and batteries, can thank the government for creating the market. But BYD faces many challenges. Fickle government subsidies to buyers have caused market havoc. Scams are rampant, with cities collecting subsidies for ghost fleets and...

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    Fathom China

    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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