E-health Unicorn Collapses in Debt Crisis
In April 2018, more than a hundred agents flocked to Beijing to seek debt payment from the Beijing Remote Horizon Group, which evolved into an e-health “unicorn” in five years with annual earnings up to 6 billion yuan but has now fallen into a crisis with several billion yuan in debt.
The capital chain rupture of Remote Horizon can be blamed on factors such as excessive expansion, poor management and ambiguity in authority and responsibilities. However, the big picture is that primary health care institutions are too weak and it is hard to improve their diagnosis and treatment standards and generate profits through telehealth. The business model of Remote Horizon can be taken as a typical sample reflecting the predicament of Internet healthcare.
Xiaomi’s Ceiling and New Opportunities
On May 3, Xiaomi filed for a Hong Kong IPO.. The smartphone giant’s listing could be the biggest IPO in the world since Alibaba’s debut in 2014. Sponsors and investment banks value Xiaomi at around US$78.5 billion, and it is highly likely that its market valuation will surpass the US$100 billion mark upon its debut.
A company’s valuation denotes the capital market’s forecast for its future. To underpin a high valuation, comprehensive consideration needs to be given to where Xiaomi’s high-margin business lies and whether the company’s three business models of hardware, internet services and new retail are sustainable. If they are sustainable, where does the ceiling lie? One can only have a clear understanding of Xiaomi’s future by analyzing these factors in great detail.
New Regulations on Asset Management Released
On the evening of April 27, the Guiding Opinions on Regulating the Asset Management Business of Financial Institutions was officially released. To industry players, the new regulations are of milestone significance to supply-side reform and deleveraging in the financial sector and are set to reshape the ecology of the sector.
The industry generally predicts that the era of rapid expansion of large financial institutions engaging in the asset management business has come to an end. Going forward, asset management as represented by banks’ wealth management services may shrink, and under the condition of equal access, banks’ wealth management services, funds, insurance asset management services and the like will see a level playing field as they engage in a competition of investment management capabilities.
Reshuffling at Baidu
Lu Qi immediately embarked on three reforms at Baidu when he joined the company 15 months ago. The first was strategic, whereby he established the strategic basis of “strengthening the Company’s mobile foundation and dominating the AI era”, guiding the search giant which had been dithering on O2O back on course. The second reform was organizational, as Baidu’s mobile healthcare unit was axed, its food delivery service Waimai sold, its financial service unit spun off and it is spinning off its international division. The current focus is on values.
This means that Lu Qi’s reforms are entering the deep end and the moment of reshuffling the interests of vested parties and cultural reconstruction of the company’s foundation is truly upon the internet behemoth.
British Schools March into China
A growing number of “Western schools” are making their foray into China, with private schools from the UK being the most earnest of them. Many of them were founded centuries ago and are known for their boarding school system, focus on sports and holistic education philosophy, and are attractive to the upper middle class.
The cost of studying is high at most international schools, with fees ranging from 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan per year. What is the kind of integrated education that Chinese students and their families can expect at these schools and can these new schools adapt to China’s education environment? These are questions that need to be answered.