World Business Quick Take - Taipei Times
Wed, Jul 18, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

BMW may invest in CATL

BMW AG is the first overseas automaker to get a potential toehold in Chinese electric-car battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL, 宇德時代), obtaining the right to make an equity investment of as much as 2.85 billion yuan (US$427 million) for an estimated 2 percent stake. BMW Brilliance (華晨寶馬汽車), its Chinese joint venture, is entitled to invest in CATL if the company plans to sell shares in China or abroad, according to a statement from the battery maker yesterday. BMW Brilliance will also prepay 2.85 billion yuan as part of a long-term contract to buy batteries from CATL. Additionally, it is purchasing an 815 million yuan battery-production project from the supplier to make designated products, according to the statement.

E-COMMERCE

Amazon sales a success

Amazon.com Inc’s sales rose sharply during the first three hours of its Prime Day sales event, dispelling fears that the technical glitches that incensed shoppers would significantly hurt business. Shoppers spent 54 percent more in the first three hours of this year’s event — from 3pm to 6pm — than in the first three hours of a year ago, when the shopping bonanza began at 9pm, according to Feedvisor, which sells software to set prices in e-commerce. Amazon’s annual 36-hour shopathon had been expected to drum up US$3.4 billion of spending. However, the e-commerce giant on Monday said that shoppers were having trouble on the site, while numerous customers vented their frustrations on social media with the hashtag #PrimeDayFail. Feedvisor’s estimates that the glitches limited sales in only the first hour of the event, when sales were down 5 percent before recovering in the second and third hours.

AUTOMAKERS

UK first-half sales fell 6.3%

UK car sales fell 6.3 percent during the first half of the year, running counter to rising demand on the continent, indicating the planned withdrawal from the EU is hurting consumer confidence. Business optimism last month dropped to the lowest level this year, as Britons became markedly more gloomy and unwilling to make purchases, according to separate indices on economic mood from Lloyds and Gfk. Overall new-car registrations across Europe rose 2.8 percent in the first six months, led by gains in France and Spain, according to figures released yesterday by the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Germany, the largest market, also rose 2.9 percent.

E-COMMERCE

Pinduoduo plans IPO

Pinduoduo Inc (PDD, 拼多多), the Chinese e-commerce operator backed by Tencent Holdings (騰訊), plans to raise as much as US$1.6 billion in a US initial public offering (IPO) to bankroll a fight against rivals like Alibaba Group Holding (阿里巴巴). The Shanghai-based firm is offering 85.6 million American depositary shares at US$16 to US$19 apiece, it said in a stock exchange filing. PDD became one of China’s fastest-growing start-ups by creating a sort of Facebook-Groupon mashup that challenged the e-commerce duopoly of Alibaba Group Holding (京東). PDD, which has yet to turn a profit, popularized a format where people spot deals on products from fruit and clothing to toilet paper, then recruit friends to buy at a discount. It can offer savings of up to 20 percent on market prices by letting consumers buy directly from manufacturers, cutting out resellers and advertising.

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