Alibaba's health shift prescribes market medicine

[HONG KONG] Alibaba's new health priorities come at the right time. The e-commerce group is injecting more assets into its healthcare subsidiary, now worth a punchy US$25 billion. It's a timely bet that the coronavirus will accelerate reforms, like opening China's US$370 billion drug industry to...

Chinese consumers imperil V-shaped virus rebound

[HONG KONG] Weak Chinese consumption may outlast the coronavirus. A slowdown in new Covid-19 cases outside Hubei province, where the outbreak is thought to have originated, is feeding investor optimism. Signs of stress, though, hint at a slower recovery.

COMMENTARY

Outbreak could catalyse China's smart city innovation

THE metropolis of Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, is under unprecedented quarantine as a deadly virus, believed to have originated there, spreads around the world ahead of the Lunar New Year when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel.

China's Ucommune may have missed WeWork IPO memo

[HONG KONG] If investors didn't like the look of America's biggest shared-office provider, maybe they'll be interested in China's? It doesn't seem likely.

China's e-yuan will be more cryptic than crypto

[HONG KONG] China may debut the breakout fintech innovation of 2020. Beijing is primed to launch the world's first digital sovereign currency. The initial roll out looks cautious, focusing on consumer spending. Deploying the new technology more widely in the country's banking system could be the...

Alibaba listing opens new front in Tencent rivalry

[HONG KONG] A new front has opened up in China's biggest tech rivalry. Hong Kong investors can now own shares in both Alibaba and Tencent after the e-commerce giant's local offering. If regulators permit, the pair will soon be fighting over mainland shareholders, as well as digital payments and...

Beijing may cull a stateside unicorn stampede

[HONG KONG] A bitcoin miner, flying-taxi maker and apartment-sharing outfit are among the herd of Chinese upstarts rushing to New York markets. Their untested business models are alarming enough. But Beijing's more frequent crackdowns on booming next-generation industries add another layer of...

COMMENTARY

Alibaba drives home costs of HK unrest

HONG Kong could lose Alibaba - again. The Chinese giant will postpone its mooted US$15 billion listing there due to financial and political instability, Reuters reported on Wednesday. This will deter others in the queue, landing a fresh blow to a city where business confidence is shrinking.