24 March 2019

Ko Tin-yau

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist
  • Xiaomi’s Lei Jun suggested a wager in 2013 that his firm’s revenue would surpass that of Gree Electric in five years, a challenge that was accepted by the latter’s chairwoman Dong Mingzhu (inset). Photos: Reuters, Yahoo

    Xiaomi, Gree face off in smart home appliances battle

    - Mar 22, 2019 9:56am
    There were two high-profile bets among Chinese business tycoons in recent years. One was a 100 million yuan bet between Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Wang Jianlin, head of Dalian Wanda Group. By 2020, if online...
  • Robert Kuok's Wilmar International has over 500 palm oil planting and manufacturing bases across 15 nations. Photo: Bloomberg/HKEJ

    Robert Kuok’s little-known big business: edible oil

    - Mar 21, 2019 11:05am
    Robert Kuok Hock Nien, an ethnic Chinese-Malaysian business magnate, controls nearly 10 listed companies including Kerry Properties (00683.HK), Kerry Logistics Network Ltd (00636.HK) and Shangri-La Asia Ltd (00069.HK). Lesser known is the fact that the tycoon...
  • China's tax cuts may take a longer time to work, but the effects can last longer, and there would be less side effects. Photo: Bloomberg

    China tax cuts a smart move to boost economy

    - Mar 19, 2019 10:08am
    Premier Li Keqiang announced an unprecedented package of tax cuts worth 2 trillion yuan (US$297.93 billion) in his annual work report. Unlike credit easing or infrastructure investment, tax cuts may take a longer time to work,...
  • Business setbacks and a falling share price prompted Tencent to embark on some initiatives last year to reinvigorate itself. Photo: Reuters

    Tencent tries to remake itself

    - Mar 19, 2019 7:58am
    China’s Tencent Holdings has been undergoing deep structural reform for the last five months or so, in what could be the internet giant’s biggest and toughest reform ever, according to a 16,000-word internal article. Tencent’s mobile...
  • China's food delivery market is characterized by cut-throat competition between Meituan and Photo: Reuters

    Food delivery: still a cash burning business

    - Mar 14, 2019 4:41pm
    Meituan Dianping, the Chinese online food delivery-to-ticketing firm, posted a jaw-dropping full-year unadjusted loss of 115.5 billion yuan for 2018. Most of that loss was due to the fair value changes of convertible redeemable preferred shares....
  • With the investment in STO Express, Alibaba now has stakes in four of China's six major courier service firms. Photo: Sohu

    Why Alibaba is going big on logistics

    - Mar 14, 2019 10:16am
    Alibaba’s move to acquire 14.65 percent stake in STO Express (002468.CN) represents the Chinese e-commerce giant’s latest effort to strengthen its control over the nation’s courier service sector. The 4.66 billion yuan (US$693 million) deal will...
  • HKEx chief Charles Li is said to be pushing mainland regulators to include the new Shanghai tech board into the Stock Connect scheme. Photo: HKEJ

    Benefits of including new tech board firms in stock link

    - Mar 13, 2019 10:41am
    China’s new tech board is set to become a reality this year, as preparations are underway in full swing for its launch. Since this new science and technology innovation board is considered a flagship project, regulators...
  • CITIC Securities advised clients to sell the shares of People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China Ltd., saying they are “significantly overvalued” and have a downside of more than 50 percent. Photo: CITIC Securities

    Mainland investors over-react to negative brokerage call

    - Mar 12, 2019 10:11am
    China’s A shares slumped 4.4 percent on Friday last week, after the nation’s largest brokerage issued a rare “sell” rating. CITIC Securities Co. (600030.CN) advised clients to sell the shares of People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China...
  • The continued inflow of foreign capital could make China's equity market more mature and professional, rather than being overly driven by speculators as it is now. Photo: Reuters

    Foreign capital set to make huge impact on China equity market

    - Mar 11, 2019 12:59pm
    Several A shares have recently hit their foreign ownership limit. Under the existing Stock Connect scheme, foreign ownership ceiling for individual stocks listed on the A-share market is set at 30 percent. The Hong Kong exchange...
  • A military police officer stands guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China should step up efforts to build a new type of relationship between the government and the business sector. Photo: Reuters

    Chinese authorities offer reassurance to worried entrepreneurs

    - Mar 8, 2019 7:01am
    China’s policy always swings from one end to the other. The government has been cracking down on private enterprises in recent years, which has battered the confidence of Chinese entrepreneurs. However, the state policy is now shifting...
  • It is estimated that the gap between the supply and demand of drivers in Hong Kong’s public transport system is about 10 to 20 percent. Photo: AFP

    Hong Kong transport industry struggles with labor shortage

    - Mar 7, 2019 11:47am
    Two people were killed and 16 others were injured on Monday after a Citybus double-decker bound for Hong Kong Island crashed into a mid-sized lorry that had stalled in the middle of West Kowloon Highway. This...
  • The China Banking Regulatory Commission last week lowered the subscription threshold for mutual funds to just 10,000 yuan from 1 million yuan. Photo: China News

    Small investors’ direct access to China’s new tech board limited

    - Mar 5, 2019 5:31pm
    Chinese authorities are stepping up preparations for the launch of the new tech board in the second quarter of this year, ahead of the nation’s 70th anniversary celebrations. It appears, however, that the new tech board is...
  • Beijing aims to shore up the financial markets as part of efforts to boost the nation's core competitiveness amid the trade war with the US, observers say. Photo: Reuters

    Why Beijing may be keen on boosting the stock market

    - Mar 5, 2019 12:41pm
    In the wee hours of Saturday, China’s top securities regulator suddenly unveiled the rules for the new science and tech board. Two hours later in the night, the Shanghai Stock Exchange released detailed rules and started...
  • Warren Buffett has acknowledged that he didn't get things right in relation to the Kraft Heinz deal. Photo: Bloomberg

    How did Buffett stumble on Kraft Heinz?

    - Mar 4, 2019 9:58am
    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett admitted last week that he overpaid in the 2015 merger that created Kraft Heinz. “I was wrong in a couple of ways on Kraft Heinz,” Buffett said on CNBC television. “We overpaid...
  • Yi Huiman, the new chief of China’s securities regulatory body, has indicated that he will pursue a sober and mature approach in relation to his tasks. Photo: China Daily

    China’s new securities regulator gets off on the right foot

    - Mar 1, 2019 11:30am
    Yi Huiman, the newly appointed chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), held his first press conference on Wednesday. In his remarks he underlined “four essentials”. “We must respect the market, and let the capital...
  • Foldable devices could help rejuvenate the slowing global smartphone market. Photo: Bloomberg

    OLED makers likely winners amid the foldable phone trend

    - Feb 28, 2019 10:13am
    Handset makers have unveiled new foldable devices, breathing fresh air into the languishing smartphone market. Chinese tech giant Huawei’s Mate X has seemingly stood out from the crowd, as per initial market response. All the smartphones...
  • Chinese equities got a lift in recent days on hopes of structural reforms in the economy and hopes that Beijing will resolve its trade dispute with the US. Photo: China Daily

    China equity rally: Is it for real this time?

    - Feb 27, 2019 9:08am
    China’s A shares rallied 5.6 percent on Monday on the back of seemingly neutral comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping. The market turnover hit a three-year high. Last Friday, Xi talked about supply-side structural reform in...
  • Kraft Heinz disclosed a US$15 billion writedown on some of its brands, resulting in a loss of US$10.3 billion. Its shares sank on Friday, wiping US$16.1 billion off the company’s market capitalization. Photo: Bloomberg

    Kraft Heinz is not Warren Buffett’s only headache

    - Feb 26, 2019 12:31pm
    Kraft Heinz, one of the key holdings in Berkshire Hathaway’s investment portfolio, recently posted a record US$15.4 billion writedown, causing its share price to plunge as much as 27.5 percent on Friday. Buffett helped finance Heinz...
  • Lenovo posted a third-quarter profit of US$230 million, compared with a loss of US$190 million in the previous quarter. Photo: Reuters

    Lenovo shows you don’t need the best technology to make money

    - Feb 25, 2019 12:07pm
    Lenovo’s (00992.HK) latest results came as a pleasant surprise as the company had been struggling in recent years. While the advance of mobile technology is getting all the attention, Lenovo does not have state-of-the-art technology like...
  • Under the rule of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore government has continued with its authoritarian governing style while advocating cradle-to-grave care for its citizens. Photo: Reuters

    Singaporeans get one-time bonus but also face higher taxes

    - Feb 22, 2019 10:50am
    Singaporeans aged 21 and above will get a one-off bonus of S$100 to S$300 (US$73.8-221.4) this year. But together with the cash handout, the Singapore government has decided to increase the goods and services tax (GST)...

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