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Didi to Buy Uber’s Business in China

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Uber Technologies Inc. is selling its China operations to fierce rival Didi Chuxing, ending an expensive price war and freeing it up to focus on other markets and possibly an initial public offering.

The truce brings to an end a bruising battle between the two companies for leadership in China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market. Uber has already lost $2 billion in China in two years there, people familiar with the matter have said, prompting investors to pressure the company to cut a deal. As part of the arrangement, Didi will invest $1 billion in Uber’s global company, people familiar with the matter said.

Uber has said that it’s profitable in the U.S. and Canada, but losses in developing markets have undercut that hard-fought progress. The huge losses in China have been one of the main sticking points holding up Uber’s potential IPO, according to people familiar with the matter.

“The biggest existential threat to Uber over the last two months was that in China they were losing capital in a way that potentially threatened the rest of their worldwide operations,” said Arun Sundararajan, a New York University professor. “The fact is that in the short term it may seen as a loss, but in the long run it’s a good move. Now they can focus on the rest of the world.”

With China settled, Uber can turn to other countries where it’s fighting for market share, such as Grab in Southeast Asia, Ola in India and Lyft Inc. in the U.S.

Didi is buying Uber’s brand, business and data in the country, the Chinese company said in a statement. Uber Technologies and Uber China’s other shareholders, including search giant Baidu Inc., will receive a 20 percent economic stake in the combined company. Didi founder Cheng Wei and Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick will join each other’s boards.

“Didi Chuxing and Uber have learned a great deal from each other over the past two years,” said Cheng, who is also CEO, in the statement. “This agreement with Uber will set the mobile transportation industry on a healthier, more sustainable path of growth at a higher level.”

Didi’s valuation after the deal will be $35 billion, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be named because the details aren’t public. Uber was last valued at almost $68 billion and the arrangement has “removed the big roadblock for an Uber IPO,” Sundararajan said. “Losing money in China would’ve given many pre-IPO investor pause.”

Last year, China’s ride-hailing leaders Didi and Kuaidi joined forces, creating a homegrown juggernaut to fight off Uber. The merged company Didi Chuxing brought together backers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., the country’s most valuable internet businesses. Apple Inc. joined in this year with a $1 billion investment in Didi, in a round that valued the company at about $28 billion. The Chinese government passed a new rule last week that legalized ride-hailing services, paving the way for further expansion of these businesses.

Uber’s investors had been clamoring for the company to sell off its China assets and focus on more promising opportunities.

“As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that being successful is about listening to your head as well as following your heart,” Kalanick wrote in a blog post obtained by Bloomberg before publication. “I have no doubt that Uber China and Didi Chuxing will be stronger together.”

The deal is subject to government approval. While the combination of the top two players in a market would often raise regulatory scrutiny, officials will have to determine the range of competition. “The ministry of commerce has to define the size of the market and see if the car-hailing business Didi and Uber are offering can be replaced by similar services,” said Deng Zhisong, senior partner at Beijing-based law firm Dentons. “If you count taxi services and public transportation, the car-hailing sector will not have a market share that significant.”

The purchase of Uber’s China business may complicate Didi’s alliance with other ride-hailing startups around the world. Didi had agreed to work with Lyft, Ola and Grab to create a global force to take on Uber. Grab CEO Anthony Tan said in a statement on Monday that the impending deal is a victory for Didi and underscores how the ride-hailing business favors domestic players.

In China, Uber ventured where few U.S. technology companies have succeeded. In 2005, Yahoo! Inc. made a similar deal, selling its businesses in China to Alibaba, along with a $1 billion investment — one of the Silicon Valley company’s best bets.

“China is such a tough market, in terms of regulation, competition and culture; they faced challenges on so many fronts,” said Li Yujie, an analyst at RHB Research Institute Sdn in Hong Kong. “Cooperating with rather than fighting Didi might not be such a bad idea.”

While Uber will walk away from operations in China, it is taking a significant stake in the largest player there. By shedding its massive losses in China, the move could help Uber clear the path for an eventual initial public offering.

“Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China, and both companies have yet to turn a profit there,” Kalanick wrote in the blog post. “Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long term.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion

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The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.

Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:

“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”

 Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.

To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.

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Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales

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Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.

Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.

China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap

Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.

According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.

Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.

However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.

Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as JD.com shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.

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Top Three PC Vendors Shipped 121.5 Million Units in 2020, Lenovo Leads with 47.1 Million Shipments

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Remote working and distance learning amid the coronavirus outbreak continue increasing global demand for PCs and laptops. After a sharp fall in the first quarter of 2020, global PC shipments have grown in the last six months, despite the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to data presented by Stock App, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, as the world’s three largest PC manufacturers, shipped 121.5 million units in the nine months of 2020. With 47.1 million shipments in this period, Lenovo tops the global PC vendor ranking.

More than 187 Million PCs Shipped Between January and September, a 1.6% Drop YoY

The rise in smartphone usage and the global shift from hardware to cloud solutions had been driving a downturn in global PC shipment for seven years in a row. In 2011, 365.3 million units were shipped worldwide, revealed the Gartner data. By the end of 2017, this figure dropped by almost 30% to 262.7 million.

The 2018 shortage in Intel central processing units brought a new hit for merchants’ supply chains and cut global shipments to 259.7 million that year, under 2007 levels.

In 2019, 261.2 million PCs were shipped worldwide, which was a slight increase from 2018 figures. However, the COVID-19 outbreak triggered the biggest fall in shipment since 2013, as pandemic affected supply chains.

The Gartner data showed 51.6 million PC units were shipped in the first quarter of 2020, down 12.3% from the previous year. Between April and June, the market started showing signs of recovery, with global PC shipment rising by 2.8% YoY to 64.8 million.

Consumer demand for PCs due to remote working, home entertainment, and distance learning amid an ongoing pandemic, along with the strongest US PC market growth in a decade, drove the global market momentum in the third quarter of the year. Between July and September, 71.4 million PCs were shipped worldwide, a 3.6% jump year-over-year.

Statistics show that 187.8 million PCs were shipped worldwide in the nine months of 2020, a 1.6% drop YoY.

Lenovo`s Sales Rose in 2020, HP`s Market Share Dropped Down

The Gartner data also revealed that Lenovo, as the market leader, increased its market share in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the Chinese tech giant had a 24.8% market share, with 17.5 million shipments worldwide.

In the third quarter of 2020, the number of shipped units jumped by 8.3% YoY to 18.3 million, while its market share rose to 25.7%.

As the second-largest PC vendor globally, HP hit a 21.6% market share in the third quarter of 2020, down from 22.8% in December last year.

The Gartner data indicate that Dell’s market share, as the third-largest PC vendor globally, dropped from 17.2% in Q4 2019 to 15.2% in Q3 2020. The US computer technology company also witnessed the most significant drop in PC shipments among the top three vendors, with the figure falling from 12.1 million in December to 10.8 million in September.

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