Chinese Company Pays EUR16 Million for 75% of Italian Machinery Firm Masterwood

Guangzhou KDT Machinery Co. will buy 75 percent of Masterwood, an Italian computer numerical control (CNC) woodworking machinery brand for EUR16 million (USD20 million/RMB124 million) through its Hong Kong unit to improve its products technology and expand its global market share.

A Sale and Purchase Agreement was signed between the wholly-owned subsidiary KDT MAC (Hong Kong) Ltd. and three individual shareholders of Masterwood SpA on February 10, according to an announcement published by the Guangzhou-based woodworking machinery producer yesterday.

In the 75 percent of stake purchased, KDT MAC will directly hold 25.5 percent and indirectly own 49.5 percent by holding 100 percent of the equity in company Muti 2 S.r.l., which piles no business but contain 49.5 percent of Masterwood’s shares. The transition price was determined by Masterwood’s earnings (EUR1.6 million) in 2016, as well as its cash balance at the end of last year.

KDT is a leading panel machinery manufacturer in China with rapid growth in recent years, selling equipment to over 50 countries and regions worldwide. Relying on Masterwood’s knowledge and experience, the acquisition will enhance KDT’s CNC processing technology and accelerate the upgrade of its automation. Meanwhile, the high brand awareness of Masterwood worldwide will help KDT MAC expand its international market.

 

 

2017 Fortune Global Forum: Guangzhou is Ready

Last September, Time Inc. Chief Content Officer and Fortune Editor-in-Chief Mr. Alan Murray announced that Guangzhou will host the 2017 Fortune Global Forum from December 6-8. Since then, the city has been working continuously to promote for the Forum in Hongkong, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., Tokyo, Seoul, Frankfurt, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam and twelve other cities around the globe.

This year’s forum, with the theme ‘Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy’, will see the attendance of at least 129 of the Fortune Global 500 to discuss the key issues facing multinational companies at a crucial time of change in China and the global economy.

Why Guangzhou?

Cai Chaolin, Vice Mayor of the People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality briefly introduced Guangzhou and explained why Guangzhou was chosen as the host city for the Forum – it is a city of history, business, innovation, inclusiveness, food and leisure.

As a starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou has been exporting goods and culture to the Western world. Besides, with a dynamic and robust economy based on a convenient transportation network, the city ranks the third in China after Beijing and Shanghai, and on par with Hong Kong and Singapore. More importantly, it is the innovation and inclusiveness of the city that enable it to achieve a prosperous economy and a diversity of culture.

In the December issue of Fortune, it writes: “Perhaps most tellingly, you’ll see that same invest-in-what’s-next mindset in the Chinese government, which is helping to power the coming decades of innovation in that country—particularly in critical areas such as advanced semiconductors and robotics that are redefining industry. That’s a big reason we’re convening the 2017 Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou this month—and why hundreds of CEOs and entrepreneurs from around the world will join us.”

What has Guangzhou done?

“Going Global” is an essential move for Guangzhou to develop into international hub city. Since March this year, the city has set up overseas offices in cities and regions leading in science, technology and innovation, such as Silicon Valley, Boston in the US and Israel’s Tel Aviv. The effort is designed to increase exchanges and cooperation with the European and American countries on technological achievements, innovative projects and talents.

This April the city’s Guangzhou Automobile Group, one of the Fortune Global 500, established a R&D center in the Silicon Valley. The center will focus on research and development involving new energy, new materials, advanced parts and electronic equipment in a way to keep pace with an ever-changing landscape of these globally-connected industries.

In June, the 800-million-USD-worth biotech park, jointly invested by General Electric Company and Guangzhou Development District was launched in Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City. Moreover, the intelligent-manufacturing-centered project of CISCO (Guangzhou) Smart City started operation, drawing some 30 companies to Guangzhou, annual production value anticipating more than RMB 100 billion.

All these cases on Guangzhou’s “Bringing In” approach showcase that the city is creating an enabling business environment for Fortune Global 500 companies and internationally advanced scientific research institutions to settle down for the future.

 

Source: english.gz.gov.cn, fortune.com

The Chinese Cities GDPs Match with These Entire Countries

Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong are the only three names likely to figure on the very short list of Chinese cities that non-Chinese can name. But, as this map demonstrates, there are quite a few cities more in China with GDPs that measure up to the economies of sizeable independent nations.

gdp2

 

Switzerland has about the economic size of Guangzhou. Chile that of Chongqing. And Angola that of Ningbo. Even if those names have a less than familiar ring today, their economic might predicts that we’ll hear more of them in the future.

gdp1

The basis for this map was Chinese regional GDP (PPP) for 2015, in billions of U.S. dollars. In all, 35 cities are mentioned (scroll down for full list). While most people have heard of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong (and some might even be able to pinpoint them on the map), few people will be able to identify cities like Wuxi, Qingdao or Tangshan, despite the fact that they have economies similar to those of Morocco, Hungary and New Zealand, respectively.

#1 Shanghai $810 Philippines

#2 Beijing $664 U.A.E.

#3 Guangzhou $524 Switzerland

#4 Shenzhen $491 Sweden

#5 Tianjin $478 Romania

#6 Suzhou $440 Austria

#7 Chongqing $425 Chile

#8 Hong Kong $414 Peru

#9 Wuhan $324 Israel

#10 Chengdu $306 Norway

#11 Hangzhou $275 Greece

#12 Nanjing $272 Denmark

#13 Wuxi $270 Morocco

#14 Qingdao $266 Hungary

#15 Changsha $246 Sri Lanka

#16 Dalian $245 Finland

#17 Foshan $235 Uzbekistan

#18 Ningbo $233 Angola

#19 Shenyang $230 Sudan

#20 Zhengzhou $210 Ecuador

#21 Tangshan $191 New Zealand

#22 Dongguan $186 Ethiopia

#23 Yantai $184 Belarus

#24 Jinan $174 Azerbaijan

#25 Nantong $170 Slovakia

#26 Changchun $163 Dominican Republic

#27 Xi’an $161 Kenya

#28 Fuzhou $160 Tanzania

#29 Harbin $159 Bulgaria

#30 Hefei $157 Tunisia

#31 Shijiazhuang $156 Guatemala

#32 Xuzhou $150 Ghana

#33 Changzhou $147 Serbia

#34 Wenzhou $131 Croatia

#35 Zibo $123 Panama

If reading that list leaves you somewhat bewildered, it helps to know that many of those high-performing Chinese cities do not exist in isolation; in fact, a lot of names on the above list can be found of this map, of three megaregions clustering on the coast:

gdp4

The Beijing-Tianjin megaregion in the north – with an economic output equal to that of Australia ($1.14 trillion)

In the centre, the Yangtze River Delta, comprising among others Shanghai, Nanjing and Ningbo, and way ahead ($2.62 trillion) of Italy ($2.31 trillion).

And in the south, including Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macao, the Pearl River Delta, which is doing slightly better ($1.89 trillion) than South Korea ($1.83 trillion).

Well, at least that’ll help us sort out Changzhou (Yangtze River Delta) from Guangzhou (Pearl River Delta) in future.

 

Source: big think

Robots are Now Working in China’s Hospital

A hospital’s new robots are running errands for nurses and can replace the work of up to four people each.

The eight robots, all called Noah, move around a hospital in China’s southern city Guangzhou, carrying documents, medicine and surgical equipment weighing up to 330kg (650lbs).

Using GPS technology, a Noah bot is able to navigate the hospital’s complex wings with ease and can carry ten times as much as one human staff member.

Eight drug-dispensing robots for hospitals have made their debut at Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center to transfer medicines, samples and surgical instruments, Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.

With 12 operating rooms, engaged in more than 100 surgical procedures a day, it’s estimated “Noah” can replace 2-4 members of staff, massively reducing the 1944 km distance that nurses have to walk each year. That’s the same as walking from Guangzhou to Beijing.

robot2
A Chinese Hospital Uses Robots to Move Medical Supplies

The robots are still in their trial phase, Vice Dean of Medicine Zhang Zhiyao said, adding that they are currently only running errands between the centre’s pharmacy and the nurses station – but have the potential to do much more.

Operators have to swipe their cards when putting in or taking out items, as the medicine cabinets carried by Noahs use coded locks.

At 1 meter high and 75 centimeters wide, the robots can travel at speeds of up to 4.3 kilometers an hour and cost CNY600,000 (USD91,000) to CNY700,000. They use GPS to navigate and can understand voice commands, but cannot speak itself.

These robots were developed and manufactured by a technology company in mainland China. With the application of autonomous navigation and automated loading and unloading technologies, robots can transport surgical instruments, drugs, bedding, clothing and medical waste.

The bots can bring supplies to a destination by following a preset route, a head at the manufacturer said. Using a sensing system, they can control and ride elevators without manual assistance.

The intelligent Noah bots are programmed with phrases such as ‘Here I go!’, ‘I’m entering the lift!’ and ‘I’ve been obstructed!’ to notify their human colleagues throughout the day.

The helpers are worth at least 600,000 yuan ($100,000 / £75,000) and are comprised of more than 150 core patents.

Relevant personnel in the back end track and monitor the whole process from the loading of goods to final delivery, he said. “This technology will be applied to every department in the hospital in the future,” he said.

Source: Yicai Global, dailymail.co.uk, chinaplus.cri.cn. Header photo: VCG

WhatsApp Widely Blocked, China Tightens Censorship Ahead of Conference

WhatsApp Severely Disrupted

Chinese authorities appear to have severely disrupted the WhatsApp messaging app in the latest step to tighten censorship as they prepare for a major Communist Party congress next month.

Users in China have reported widespread disruptions in recent days to the Facebook-owned service, which had previously malfunctioned in the country over the summer.

Experts said the problems began on Sunday, although text messages, voice calls and video calls appeared to be working again on Tuesday, though voice messages and photos were not going through.

The Official Warning

WhatsApp should act to stop the spread of “illegal information” and take proactive measures to intercept information to do with violence and terror, the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement in response to questions from Bloomberg News. China has the authority to tell institutions to take these measures, said the agency, without specifying details of content it considered illegal.

“A country’s cyberspace sovereignty should be protected,” it added.

A spokesman for WhatsApp declined to comment.

Other Measures Tightening Up Censorship

Earlier this month, WeChat informed its users in a new privacy policy that it would “retain, preserve or disclose” users’ data to “comply with applicable laws or regulations” – confirming long-held public assumptions about the company’s practices.

Chinese cyberspace regulators said Monday they slapped “maximum” fines on major Chinese tech firms Baidu and Tencent for allowing the publication of pornographic, violent and other sorts of banned material on their social media platforms. The amount of the fines was not disclosed.

Chinese search engine Baidu on Wednesday announced that they are building a system to allow China’s cybercops to spot and fix “online rumors” deemed a threat to stability, allowing police agencies to insert themselves directly into everything from its search results to discussion forums.

 

Source: telegraph.co.uk, techcrunch.com, bloomberg.com

 

 

 

 

DiDi Chuxing Invested New Business in Used Car Trading

China’s answer to Uber, Didi Chuxing, has injected US$200 million into online second-hand car trading platform RenRenChe, giving it a foothold in the profitable used-car business and allowing RenRenChe access to Didi’s huge customer base.

China’s Didi Chuxing is already well-known for making investments, but this time around the ride-sharing company has stepped beyond backing companies in its core industry with its latest deal.

That’s because Didi has backed RenRenChe, China-based online peer-to-peer car marketplace, via a strategic investment that is confirmed at $200 million.

With the RenRenChe deal, Uber is adding peer-to-peer trading to its stack of services in China, which spans basic taxi services, online bus booking, test driving, dock-less Ofo bikes and more.

Didi is valued at over $50 billion and its on-demand car empire stretches beyond China, where it remains in the process of buying Uber’s local business.

The firm has links in Europe, South America, India, Southeast Asia, the U.S. and the Middle East thanks to investments in the likes of Taxify, 99, Ola, Grab, Lyft and Careem.

With the RenRenChe deal, Uber is adding peer-to-peer trading to its stack of services in China, which spans basic taxi services, online bus booking, test driving, dock-less Ofo bikes and more.

Three-year-old RenRenChe is a classified site that allows car owners to sell directly to other consumers. It covers over 80 Chinese cities, and it claims 100,000 car listings.

Didi’s investment is the latest sign that companies are betting big on the used-car market in China

“More than 400 million passengers and 17 million drivers are expected to be added to our customer base on the closing of the financing,” said Li Jian, co-founder and CEO of RenRenChe.

As part of the deal, Didi said it will look to integrate RenRenChe’s service into its apps, while it will contribute to helping with R&D and technical development. A spokesperson confirmed that there is no plan to take the integration overseas with Didi’s global partners, however.

Didi’s investment is the latest sign that companies are betting big on the used-car market in China, especially after several positive signals from the Chinese authorities, who have been introducing measures to facilitate the trading of second-hand cars since last year.

RenRenChe’s other investors include Redpoint, Tencent and Shunwei Capital, among others. The company, according to Crunchbase, has raised about $460 million to date (including this latest round).

Source: techcrunch.com, SCMP

Header photo: techcrunch.com

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Made Global Expansion Official

Didi Chuxing, China’s most popular ride-hailing service, has identified business globalization as an important strategy going forward, founder Cheng Wei said at the BRICS Business Forum 2017 held in China’s southern city of Xiamen, Fujian province.

The sharing economy is one of the core values of the internet era, he said, and China will remain a global leader in its development as well as in online mobility services over the next decade.

The firm plans to work with partners to introduce its innovative business model and technology to foreign markets.

“China will lead the world in the sharing economy and become the center of transportation reform in the following 10 years,” Cheng expected.

“Instead of competing with local companies or overturning local traditional industries, what we look forward to is exporting the innovative models and technologies in solving traffic problems that we have learned in China in the past years, as well as capital cities,” Cheng explained.

What Didi has achieved so far?

Didi has invested in Brazilia’s 99, India’s Ola, Estonia-based Taxify that operates in Europe and Africa, Careem in Middle East, Southeast Asia’s Grab and Uber, as well as Uber’s US rival Lyft.

In January, the company signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Brazil’s leading ride-sharing firm 99, becoming a strategic investor and taking a seat on its board of directors.

Besides capital, Didi promised it will provide strategic support to 99 such as technology, products, operational experience and business planning, helping the company expand markets in Brazil and Latin America, according to a report by National Business Daily.

Since investing in Indian ride-sharing leader Ola in September 2015, Didi has partnered with Ola in exploring products and technologies, as well as sharing experiences in big data algorithms and business operations, tech.163.com reported.

Back in August 2015, Didi invested in Grab, the taxi-hailing app that rivals Uber in Southeast Asia. That was its first investment in the ride-hailing sector and the first step of the Beijing-based company’s global expansion.

Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan said Didi and Grab respect each other like brothers and this kind of partnership ensures the company serves the local market better, the Wall Street Journal reported, National Business Daily cited.

The past two years experience has made Cheng realize the speed of the Chinese new economy’s global expansion is faster than other traditional industries.

“China will lead the world in the sharing economy and become the center of transportation reform in the following 10 years,” Cheng expected.

Source: yicaiglobal.com, chinadaily.com.cn

Header photo: tmtpost.com

China To Launch World’s Fastest Train

China’s high-speed trains, running 250 km/h (155 mph) and above, is going to upscale its speed on September 21 to 350 km/h (217 mph), topping the world’s fast train service. The seven pairs of the new Fuxing (Rejuvenation) bullet trains will soar along the route between Beijing and Shanghai, shortening the travel time from nearly 5 hours to 4 hours and a half.

The latest Fuxing train was launched in June with a top speed of 400 km/h (248 mph), serving between Beijing and Shanghai at a speed of merely 300 km/h so far. In the future, China plans to mass produce the China-made Fuxing trains to replace the outdated last generation Hexie (Harmony) trains.

With over 22,000 kilometers (13,670 miles) of high-speed rails, China has built the world’s largest high-speed railway network since 2004 and planned to add another 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles) by 2020. The rapid growth was halted after the devastating train crash in Wenzhou in 2011, killing 40 people. The speed was nailed down to 300 km/h from 350 km/h ever since but finally brought back to 350 km/h after 6 years.

Apple Accepts WeChat Pay in China

Starting from August 29, Apple users in China Mainland can finally use WeChat Pay in their App Stores and iTunes. This means that the two major online payment methods, Alipay and WeChat Pay, are both available in iOS app stores and iTunes.

The payment experience is similar to Alipay. Once users set up their WeChat Pay account, they don’t need to enter a password every time. The new function appears in the Featured page of App Store with detailed steps to finish the setup.

Apple supported Alipay in November 2016, which showed their eagerness to cater Chinese users. In China, the penetration of credit card accounts is much lower than developed countries. And online payment, especially mobile payment, has replaced any other payments in the cashless society.

An earlier report published by Tencent (the creator of QQ and WeChat, two most important social media platforms in China) showed that over 70% of respondents said they could go for more than a week with just 100 RMB (US$ 14.7), and 84% were comfortable going out with just their mobile phone to pay everything.

Compared to Alipay’s 13 years of history, WeChat Pay only was founded in August 2013. But since the Chinese New Year of 2015, the function became widely popular for exchanging virtual hongbao (red envelopes). Now, WeChat Pay claims 40% of market share while Alipay secures 54%.