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Nation becoming top mobile phone market

China will become the world’s largest mobile phone market by revenue for the first time by year end, overtaking the United States, an industry report said. Internet guru Mary Meeker has identified the country as the most mobile nation in the world.

Phone sales will reach $87 billion in China during 2014, a jump of 53 percent year-on-year. That compares with $60 billion projected sales in the US, Strategy Analytics said.

 

Nation becoming top mobile phone marketTop 10 Chinese smartphone makers

Nation becoming top mobile phone marketSmartphones lift flat-panel sector

Smartphones dominate sales. Chinese shoppers will buy more than 400 million smartphones this year, according to local research company Analysys International. The amount is on track to break 500 million by 2016, it said.

Meeker acknowledged China’s role in the global mobile Internet sector. The world’s second-largest economy is moving swiftly to become a leader in mobile commerce, helped with applications installed on smartphones, according to Meeker. She is a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

As of last year, more than 500 million Chinese were using mobile devices – primarily smartphones – to connect to the Internet, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. The penetration rate of mobile Internet users rose to a record 81 percent in 2013.

China beat the US in terms of smartphone shipments in 2012.

The growth in mobile devices is driven by the country’s rapid shift to fourth-generation telecommunications technologies, analysts said.

Leading players, such as Samsung Electronics Co, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Lenovo Group Ltd, have pledged to expand their distribution channels, and a widening product offering is diversifying demand in China.

Although China leads the global mobile phone market in many ways, the Strategy Analytics report said the US is most likely to remain the most valuable market by profit for a while.

Nation becoming top mobile phone market

By Gao Yuan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-30 06:59

“High average selling prices and huge operator subsidies will make the US a very profitable market for major device brands such as Apple and Samsung,” it said.

Nation becoming top mobile phone market

The world’s leading smartphone brands may find it difficult to maintain a high growth rate in China, where analysts said the high double-digit expansion may be nearing its end. Additionally, local players are vigorously expanding businesses on their home turf.

Lenovo, better known for its PC business outside China, is betting on smartphones for future profit. The Beijing-based company became the second-largest smartphone vendor in China by the end of the first quarter, data from Analysys International showed. Its 12.3 percent market share only lags behind Samsung.

Coolpad – Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific (Shenzhen) Co Ltd – as well as Huawei and Xiaomi Corp enjoyed near double-digit market share and Apple’s share dropped to less than 7 percent.

Bryan Wang, China head at consultancy Forrester Research Inc, said 4G is a necessary feature for companies such as Xiaomi to put into their portfolio as Chinese are eager for faster Internet speeds.

 

Nation becoming top mobile phone market Nation becoming top mobile phone market

Alipay gets regulator nod for Tianhong deal

Chinese regulators have given the go-ahead to Alibaba Group Holding’s online payment affiliate Alipay to take control of fast-growing fund firm Tianhong Asset Management Co as the e-commerce giant bulks up its push into online finance.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) approved Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Co, the parent company of online payment company Alipay, to purchase 51 percent of Tianhong, according to a filing from Tianhong shareholder Inner Mongolia Junzheng Energy & Chemical Industry Co on Thursday.

 

Alipay gets regulator nod for Tianhong dealAlibaba files for $1 billion IPO in US
Alipay gets regulator nod for Tianhong dealAlibaba helps make China’s largest fund

Alibaba is gearing up for what could be the world’s biggest tech IPO, and online finance has become another battleground for the firm. Though the business unit will be largely kept separate from the offering, it could play an important role in the entire company’s future growth.

Tianhong has gone from near obscurity to running China’s biggest money market fund by assets under management (AUM) in just months after it launched fund platform Yu’e Bao, or “leftover treasure”, with Alipay in June last year.

Yu’e Bao’s one-year interest rates are higher than a bank’s regulator-restricted rates for one-year deposits, and are an incentive to deposit money with the platform.

Yu’e Bao, which people can run from their smartphones, is also linked to China’s biggest online payment platform Alipay, similar to PayPal. Users can dip directly into Yu’e Bao to buy products on Alibaba’s huge online shopping websites and anywhere else that takes Alipay.

Alipay’s investment, valued previously at 1.18 billion yuan ($189.11 million), will see the firm inject 262 million yuan in registered capital into the fund, according to the filing.

Tianhong had 554 billion yuan in AUM in the first quarter of 2014, from just 10.5 billion yuan a year earlier, according to Z-Ben Advisors, a Shanghai-based investment management consultancy.

Nation becoming top mobile phone market

Nation becoming top mobile phone market

Smartphones are advertised at a China Mobile Ltd store in Shanghai.Chinese shoppers are expected to buy morethan 400 million smartphones this year and the amount is on track to break 500 million by 2016, AnalysysInternational said. AFP

 

China will become the world’s largest mobile phone market by revenue for the first time byyear end, overtaking the United States, an industry report said. Internet guru Mary Meeker hasidentified the country as the most mobile nation in the world.

Phone sales will reach $87 billion in China during 2014, a jump of 53 percent year-on-year.That compares with $60 billion projected sales in the US, Strategy Analytics said.

 

Nation becoming top mobile phone marketTop 10 Chinese smartphonemakers 

Nation becoming top mobile phone marketSmartphones lift flat-panel sector 

Smartphones dominate sales. Chinese shoppers will buymore than 400 million smartphones this year, according tolocal research company Analysys International. Theamount is on track to break 500 million by 2016, it said.

 

Meeker acknowledged China’s role in the global mobileInternet sector. The world’s second-largest economy ismoving swiftly to become a leader in mobile commerce,helped with applications installed on smartphones,according to Meeker. She is a partner at venture capital firmKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

As of last year, more than 500 million Chinese were usingmobile devices – primarily smartphones – to connect to theInternet, according to the China Internet NetworkInformation Center. The penetration rate of mobile Internetusers rose to a record 81 percent in 2013.

China beat the US in terms of smartphone shipments in2012.

The growth in mobile devices is driven by the country’srapid shift to fourth-generation telecommunications technologies, analysts said.

Leading players, such as Samsung Electronics Co, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and LenovoGroup Ltd, have pledged to expand their distribution channels, and a widening productoffering is diversifying demand in China.

Although China leads the global mobile phone market in many ways, the Strategy Analyticsreport said the US is most likely to remain the most valuable market by profit for a while.

“High average selling prices and huge operator subsidies will make the US a very profitablemarket for major device brands such as Apple and Samsung,” it said.

Nation becoming top mobile phone market

The world’s leading smartphone brands may find it difficult tomaintain a high growth rate in China, where analysts said thehigh double-digit expansion may be nearing its end.Additionally, local players are vigorously expanding businesseson their home turf.

Lenovo, better known for its PC business outside China, isbetting on smartphones for future profit. The Beijing-basedcompany became the second-largest smartphone vendor inChina by the end of the first quarter, data from AnalysysInternational showed. Its 12.3 percent market share only lagsbehind Samsung.

Coolpad – Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific(Shenzhen) Co Ltd – as well as Huawei and Xiaomi Corpenjoyed near double-digit market share and Apple’s sharedropped to less than 7 percent.

Bryan Wang, China head at consultancy Forrester Research Inc, said 4G is a necessaryfeature for companies such as Xiaomi to put into their portfolio as Chinese are eager for fasterInternet speeds.

 

Nation becoming top mobile phone market Nation becoming top mobile phone market
Samsung-Apple battle enters second round Apple Inc out, home brands in

China’s Super Rich to Rise By 80% in Next Decade

china wealthy

According to a report by Knight Frank LLP, the number of Chinese super-wealthy, those who own more than US$30 million in assets (excluding their main residence), will grow by 80 percent over the next decade , Global Times reports.

China will have over 14,200 ultra-wealthy individuals by 2024, which will rank China 13th in the world in terms of the number of multi-millionaires. This would place Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing as third, fifth, and sixth, respectively, as the cities with the most ultra-wealthy people.

According to Thomas Lam, the head of research and consultancy at Knight Frank, “The Chinese mainland will have a growing presence on the list. And Hong Kong will enjoy the advantage of being the unofficial bridge that connects the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world in the next decade.”

The rise of the super-wealthy in China is also driving up the prices of luxury real estate both in China and abroad. In fact, high-end residences in Beijing increased in price 17 percent in 2013 to reach US$17,100 per square foot after only a 2 percent gain in 2012.

The high-end real estate boom has also carried over into international markets. According to Knight Frank, China’s super-rich contributed 13 percent of the United States’ and 30 percent of Australia’s inbound capital to each country’s property development markets in 2013.

“The economic meltdown in 2008 and 2009 dealt a hard blow to high-end residential and commercial properties in North America and the UK,” said Thomas Lam. “While a buyer needs to pay 70,000 yuan to 80,000 yuan per square meter for prime office space in Beijing, he only has to pay 30,000 yuan to 40,000 for a similar property in the US or Europe. That motivates multi-millionaires to buy abroad.”

So far, the Chinese real estate investments are concentrated in second-tier foreign cities such as Houston, Texas and Birmingham, England. The only thing holding back these investors is a lack of understanding of local property markets and laws, and many of these Chinese investors are looking for foreign partners for assistance in these areas.

China’s rich buying up yacht companies

Wealthy Chinese may not be buying many big yachts. But they are buying up big yacht companies.

Two of the world’s top yacht companies were taken over by Chinese companies this year, leading many yachtmakers to see China more as a competitor than the market of the future.

This summer, Dalian Wanda Group, the China-based property giant, acquired control of British yacht-maker Sunseeker International for around $500 million. Sunseeker is famous for making the speedboat that appeared in the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.” Dalian Wanda is controlled by Wang Jianlin, an outspoken billionaire who owns a Sunseeker yacht.

Dalian Wanda said the deal “further enhances our position in the global luxury, entertainment and tourism market.”

The deal followed an even more high-profile purchase of a controlling stake in Ferretti Group—one of the largest and most revered yacht brands in the world—by Shandong Heavy Industry Group-Weichai Group, which makes bulldozers and tractors. The deal was valued at around $230 million.

The question with both deals is whether the new buyers will move production to China and compete with lower-cost products. Both companies insist they are buying the brands for their prestige and history and that they would never damage the brands by moving production.

 

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A yacht made by Sunseeker International.

In an interview, Ferretti CEO Ferruccio Rossi said the company will never build Ferretti-brand yachts in China. But he doesn’t rule out creating a separate brand, with smaller yachts, that could be built in China for its domestic market.

“The market in China is big, and there is a space for every brand in every position,” Rossi said. “Maybe we will develop specific brands and boats for the domestic market, maybe we will do it when the market will be big enough. At the same time, we will keep the Ferretti-built product at the top-end made in Italy.”

He said, Ferretti is like Ferrari, a brand that depends on its Italian production and heritage.

According to Rossi, the Chinese purchase of Ferretti will help the company better understand China’s yacht market and its customers. He said that wealthy Chinese use yachts more for private business meetings and building “guanxi”—personal relationships and influence—rather than partying on the water with friends and family.

As a result, Ferretti and its brands have started building boats with meeting areas and a large dining area rather than Jacuzzis, sun decks and bars. Rather than bedrooms, a Chinese buyer prefers karaoke rooms and an area for gambling or cards.

“They are really looking for a status symbol,” he said. “They are looking for something where they can meet with people. It’s much more about public relations to share rather than about private utilization, as it is in the Western world.”

He added that “a boat is a fantastic place to build up a strong personal relationship because you’re in a very comfortable environment, very soft, very private. You can have this time. Nobody will disturb you.”

The company expects Asia to account for up to one third of its sales in five years, up from 10 percent today, he said. Yacht companies need to be more patient, he added.

“China has a different flow of time compared to [the] Western world,” he said. “You need to be there. You need to deal with clients. Maybe right now the number isn’t what you expect for a market that big, but don’t be too rash about that. Prepare the ground and the benefits will arrive.”

By CNBC’s Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter@robtfrank

China has the youngest billionaires

China may not have the most billionaires, but it does have the youngest.

According to a report from Wealth-X and UBS, China’s 157 billionaires have an average age of 53 years old. That’s nine years younger than the global average.

China has the second-highest number of billionaires in the world after the U.S., which has 515. And China has added 10 new billionaires over the past year.

Still, China’s billionaires have come under fire recently for their wealth and power. The government recently charged one of its top billionaires, venture capitalist and human rights supporter Wang Gongquan, with “assembling a crowd to disrupt order.”

Chinese-American entrepreneur and blogger Charles Xue was arrested in August, and last year Xu Ming, once the country’s eighth richest man, was arrested and charged with fraud.

 

One study found that 17 percent of the billionaires on the Hurun Rich List—China’s version of the Forbes list—wind up in court or prison.

By CNBC’s Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter@robtfrank