After a failed bid at buying the world’s largest aircraft leasing company last year, China appears to be gearing up for a second attempt to enter the lucrative space with plans to bid for European giant Avolon. In this instance, the report is coming from a major Chinese newspaper that says China Investment Corp is teaming up with Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) in the bid, which could be worth some 12 billion euros ($16 billion). That would easily make it the largest global acquisition by a Chinese firm outside the resource sector, reflecting the country’s growing financial might as many European firms continue to struggle with after-effects of the continent’s debt crisis of several years ago.
Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) hugely popular WeChat and QQ instant messaging platforms are once again hogging the headlines, reflecting the increasingly important role the 2 services are playing for the future development of the Internet giant. This time WeChat is in the news after coming under new government restrictions aimed at censoring some of its content. Meantime, QQ has formally launched an official shopping channel in partnership with e-commerce giant JD.com (Nasdaq: JD), laying down a big challenge for sector leader Alibaba.
While China might be behind the US in many key areas of Internet development, it is quite advanced in the use of smartphones as the primary device for accessing the Internet. Tech guru Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report showed that China has more than 500 million mobile Internet users, accounting for 80 percent of its online population, the highest level worldwide. With the nation’s smartphone prices in freefall and high-speed 4G access expanding, it’s likely that a majority of Chinese people will be on the mobile Internet in the next 5 to 6 years.