YOUNG’S CHINA BUSINESS BLOG
China’s struggling solar panel makers must are slowly transforming into de facto state-owned enterprises as they take increasing loans from Beijing, with Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) becoming the latest to take a handout from the policy lender China Development Bank (CDB). If Beijing is trying to convince Europe and the US that it’s not unfairly supporting its solar sector, then this certainly isn’t the way to do it. But that said, I doubt that Canadian Solar or many of its peers could get financing to maintain their operations from any true private sector banks right now, as the future remains unclear for most due to their precarious financial positions.
PC giant Lenovo (HKEx: 992) has announced plans for a major new bond issue, in the latest signal that it still hopes to revive stalled talks to buy IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) low-end server business. More broadly speaking, this announcement also marks a new chapter in Lenovo’s development as it adds bonds to its arsenal of to tools for financing global M&A. In the past, Lenovo typically gave stock to finance a big part of its global M&A, which was the case with its landmark purchase of IBM’s PC business in 2005 and its more recent formation of a joint venture with Japan’s NEC (Tokyo: 6701).
This week’s edition of Shanghai Street View literally takes us to the street, as I look at the recent explosion of taxi apps that have cropped up in the city’s cabs and the backlash it’s created. I particularly like this story because it represents the collision of technology with two very Chinese elements, namely the concepts of backdoors and state-set prices that are often artificially low.