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E.g., 2019-10-22
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    Fathom China

    Dingli: Poised For A Lift

    Zhejiang Dingli Machinery (“Dingli”) enjoyed first-mover advantage in China’s soaring market for aerial work platforms—machinery like cherry pickers that allow workers to operate safely from several stories high. Dingli started early, built a technology advantage and has a strong distribution network. Although it is considered expensive in China, its equipment still sells at 20% less than that of foreign competitors. Dingli is poised to benefit...

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    Fathom China

    Han’s Laser: A Story With More Holes Than Swiss Cheese

    Han’s Laser Technology Industry Group (“Han’s Laser”) misled shareholders about a huge real-estate investment in Switzerland. The company bought a property in the ski village of Engelberg and called it a research center. As the small renovation budget swelled to US$140mn, Han’s Laser told a series of half-truths to hide its real plan: owning a tourism hotel. The investment creates manifold opportunities for undisclosed related-party transactions...

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    Sino Biopharm: Industry Reforms Are A Tough Pill

    Sino Biopharmaceutical (“Sino Biopharm”) is one of China’s most successful drug makers, but it faces headwinds. The politically well-connected firm is a holding company with 30 subsidiaries, and this report focuses on the three most important. All are under pressure from government efforts to cut drug prices, and sales revenue is falling for many of Sino Biopharm’s top drugs. In search of new markets, Sino Biopharm is shifting from its...

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    Fathom China

    Kingdee: Leading The Transition To Cloud

    Kingdee International Software Group (“Kingdee”) is one of China’s largest suppliers of business process management software. Its products help businesses integrate and automate supply chain management, customer relations, human resources and other functions. Most revenue still comes from on-premise software that clients install on their own servers. The next step up in technology is to the cloud, where Kingdee’s main service is software-as-a-...

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    Fathom China

    Hengrui: Regulatory Reforms Create Uncertainties

    Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine (“Hengrui”) is a leading Chinese drug firm that grew by making generic medications whose patents have expired. An estimated 70% of its revenue comes from generics, especially those that fight cancer. Recent government reforms are driving down drug prices, threatening Hengrui’s margins and profits. Following a few years of market chaos, the company’s position should improve as small rivals drop out and unit sales increase...

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    Fathom China

    JD Logistics: Great Service At Great Expense

    China’s second-biggest e-commerce company, JD.com (“JD”), in 2016 launched a new business—it opened its logistics services to non-JD merchants. JD had long been known for its vertically integrated warehousing and deliveries, in contrast with industry leader Alibaba Group Holdings (“Alibaba”), which outsources both. JD tried to turn a cost center into a profit center in 2017 by creating JD Logistics (“JDL”). JDL will deliver pretty much anything...

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    Fathom China

    Yirendai: Strategic Retreat

    Yirendai ranks among China’s top companies in the troubled industry of online peer-to-peer lending, or P2P. Its platform puts together individual borrowers and lenders, and charges high fees. To protect consumers from usurious interest rates and Ponzi schemes, Beijing has passed a spate of regulations that are driving smaller firms out of business. Yirendai will likely rank among the survivors but with limited room for growth. The company’s...

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    Tencent Games: Culture Industry Under Pressure

    The Chinese government in March 2018 stopped approving new online games. The cessation hurts Tencent Holdings (“Tencent”), which earns 37% of its revenue from games. A government restructuring that has clogged the approval pipeline is widely misunderstood. It is part of the Communist Party’s tightening grip on the audio-visual industry, including games. Game approvals will resume when the current phase of grip-tightening is complete, which is...

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    Autobio: Solid Reputation, Tight Executive Group

    Autobio Diagnostics is poised to benefit from China’s booming healthcare services industry. The company has a good reputation but a few odd points. It has escaped controversy in an industry that is beset by scandal, although Fathom China thinks it should do a better job of explaining why its reported gross margins are so high.

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    Dali Foods: Consumers Want More

    Dali Foods Group (“Dali Foods”) is a large family-controlled maker of snack foods and drinks. It is known as a copycat that develops inexpensive me-too products, promotes them with celebrity-based marketing campaigns, and distributes them to lower-income consumers across vast swathes of China. Yet Dali Foods’ target demographic is shrinking as incomes rise, and even lower-end consumers are now looking for higher-quality fresh and healthy foods....

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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    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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    Fathom China

    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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    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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    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

    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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    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

    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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    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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