Groupon China to Partner with Tencent's FTuan
Groupon Inc (Nasdaq: GRPN), the world's biggest daily coupon website, is combining its Gaopeng e-commerce venture in China with FTuan, a company backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0700), one of China's top Internet companies, Bloomberg reported. Gaopeng, in which Chicago-based Groupon owns a minority stake, will continue to offer its own brand alongside FTuan after the merger, according to a joint statement from Groupon and Tencent. The transaction with FTuan, which provides consumers low-priced deals for dining and purchases, is part of Groupon's strategy to strengthen its investment in China. The deal comes more than 16 months after Groupon started Gaopeng with Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd chairman Jack Ma's Yunfeng Capital. Tencent said last month it will invest $1 billion in its e-commerce unit. China's online group-buying market generated an estimated revenue of ¥4.3 billion last year, more than double the amount from a year earlier, according to iResearch. FTuan attracted $30 million in investment from Tencent in March 2011. A further $60 million was raised six months later from several investors including Tencent.
Vietnam Steps Into CNOOC's South China Sea Operations
Vietnam called on China National Offshore Oil Corp, the state-owned parent of CNOOC Ltd (NYSE: CEO, HKG: 0883), to cancel an invitation for foreign oil and gas companies to explore nine blocks in disputed waters of the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported, citing Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. China's tender may lead to more tension in the waters after its surveillance ships last year moved to thwart efforts by Vietnam and the Philippines to explore for oil and gas in one of the world's busiest sea corridors. Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM), Talisman Energy Inc (NYSE: TLM) and Forum Energy PLC are among companies that have signed deals to explore the area.
China Life Offers ¥28b Bonds
China Life Insurance Co (NYSE: LFC, SHA: 601628, HKG: 2628), the nation's biggest insurer by premium income, said it has issued ¥28 billion worth of 10-year subordinated bonds in China's interbank market. With no official explanation for the issuance, it is believed that the company would use the money to diversify its investment portfolio.
JinkoSolar Converts Brownfield to Source of Clean Energy
JinkoSolar Holding Co (Nasdaq: JKS), a Chinese solar power product manufacturer, said the company will work with Boston-based renewable energy project developer Southern Sky Renewable Energy LLC to supply a 5.75MW solar panel array at the site of the former Canton landfill in Canton, MA. Upon completion later this year, the solar array is expected to produce enough solar energy to generate $16.3 million in property leasing and energy generation revenue for Canton.
Gome Buys ¥30b Goods for Summer Business
Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd (HKG: 0493), China's second largest chain store by revenue, said it signed refrigerator contracts worth a combined ¥20 billion with Qingdao Haier Co (SHA: 600690) and Guangdong Midea Electric Appliances Co (SHE: 000527), in preparation for the summer's upcoming shopping high season. Separately, Gome signed ¥10 billion worth of contracts with Haier to purchase its energy-saving products. The central government said it will introduce another incentive program to simulate home appliance sales after the previous one expired last month.
$1 = ¥6.32