Alibaba backtracks and Altman speaks

Howdy, that is Kenji from Hong Kong.

Tencent Holdings, probably the most priceless mainland Chinese language listed firm, got here underneath the highlight this week in an sudden method — by way of an Instagram put up by Agnes Chow, a outstanding Hong Kong pro-democracy activist.

Chow mentioned in a put up late Sunday evening that she had been compelled to pay a go to to Tencent’s headquarters in Shenzhen, accompanied by 5 nationwide safety officers from Hong Kong. In response to her, the journey was a precondition for getting her passport again in order that she may go away to review in Canada.

Chow was convicted of collaborating in an unauthorised meeting throughout protests in 2019 and had been underneath strict bail phrases since being launched from jail in June 2021. In Sunday’s message, posted from Toronto, she mentioned her go to to Tencent had been organized to make her “perceive the ‘improvement of science and know-how of the motherland’” .

Her revelation comes at a time when economists and analysts are struggling to search out optimistic indicators within the Chinese language economic system and markets, together with the outlook for tech shares.

Constancy Worldwide believes a collection of coverage help measures will result in “managed stabilisation and a cyclical restoration”, in line with Salman Ahmed, its world head of macro and strategic asset allocation. BlackRock’s Thomas Taw has a distinct take, saying extra “readability” concerning development prospects is required and that traders nonetheless lack confidence within the property sector.

Sluggish going

The slowdown within the Chinese language economic system is placing stress on stock ranges at main world producers, together with robotic makers and different tech firms, in line with Nikkei’s Kentaro Tsutsumi, who analysed the monetary figures of 4,353 firms with comparable knowledge acquired from QUICK-FactSet.

Their complete inventories stood at $2.12tn as of the top of September, 28 per cent larger than the pre-Covid stage on the finish of 2019. Corporations around the globe stockpiled stock in response to provide chain disruptions through the pandemic, and that stage has but to return down.

On common, it took firms 87.2 days to run by means of their inventory available within the July-September quarter, the very best stage for the previous decade other than the April-June quarter in 2020, the early part of the Covid pandemic.

Decelerating gross sales in China has been a serious trigger.

Japanese robotic maker Fanuc, which counts China as its single largest market, mentioned the stock adjustment for manufacturing unit automation gear is taking longer than anticipated in Asia’s largest economic system. Air conditioner maker Daikin Industries, one other Japanese firm with a big presence in China, has been struggling “with the tough situations in the true property sector [and] clearing distributor stock has been tough industry-wide.”

A brand new energy supply

Apple desires the batteries for its subsequent era of iPhones to be made in India in an indication that the world’s most beneficial firm is transferring quick to construct up its provide chain on the earth’s most populous nation, write the Monetary Occasions’ Qianer Liu and John Reed.

The maker of iPhones has knowledgeable part suppliers of its choice to supply batteries for its forthcoming 16 mannequin from Indian factories, in line with two individuals near Apple, because the US tech big seeks to diversify its provide chain and shift extra manufacturing out of China.

Apple has inspired battery producers similar to Desay of China to ascertain new factories in India, they mentioned, whereas Taiwanese provider Simplo Expertise has been requested to scale up its manufacturing in India for future orders, in line with three individuals aware of the scenario.

Apple made its newest iPhone 15 mannequin in India and China at crops run by Taiwanese contract producers Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron, the final of which is promoting its cell phone plant exterior Bengaluru in southern India to Tata, as that group mounts its bid to turn out to be a full-fledged Apple contractor.

The US firm has been making an attempt to unwind its longstanding dependence on China for manufacturing and provide chains, in opposition to the backdrop of rising commerce and political tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The California-based firm’s build-up in India aligns with the Narendra Modi authorities’s “Make in India” manufacturing drive. In current months, Apple has additionally sought to extend output from its crops in Vietnam.

Spin-off referred to as off

China’s market for cloud infrastructure services

Alibaba Group has referred to as off a plan to spin off its cloud unit, a section that was presupposed to be a vibrant spot for the corporate.

The corporate cited “uncertainties” over its potential to acquire superior synthetic intelligence chips resulting from tightened US export controls for the choice, however not everyone seems to be satisfied by that argument, Nikkei Asia’s Cissy Zhou writes.

For one, critics argue, the tighter export guidelines hardly got here as a shock. In addition they level out that Alibaba’s cloud enterprise has been slowing.

This slowdown comes regardless of fast development in China’s general cloud market, which is predicted to surpass the 1 trillion yuan mark in 2025, in line with the China Academy of Info and Communications Expertise.

By income, Alibaba remains to be China’s largest supplier of public cloud providers, that are provided by way of the web and may be bought and utilized by anybody. However competitors from Huawei and Tencent is just intensifying, at a time when Alibaba can also be feeling the warmth on the ecommerce entrance from fast-growing rivals like PDD.

Bug looking

Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, made one in all his first public appearances for the reason that boardroom drama final month that noticed him ousted and reinstated in a matter of days.

Altman put in an look by way of video hyperlink at a man-made intelligence occasion in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis on Wednesday. Nikkei Asia’s Lien Hoang lined his discuss on the convention hosted by VinAI, a unit of the nation’s largest conglomerate Vingroup.

One of many key takeaways: The Microsoft-backed firm is rethinking its hybrid of profit-and-non-profit company construction.

“The construction clearly has some bugs in it, and our new board is pondering actually rigorously about what the perfect company construction for our mission must be,” Altman informed the viewers.

The query of whether or not he was really engaged in a secret AI undertaking that supposedly triggered his elimination from the board additionally got here up, however he flatly refused to remark.

Prompt reads

  1. TikTok proprietor ByteDance to purchase again shares after amassing $50bn money pile (FT)

  2. Japan provides Chinese language nuclear weapons lab and others to WMD concern listing (Nikkei Asia)

  3. Jack Ma urges ‘change and reform’ at Alibaba (FT)

  4. TikTok nears cope with Indonesia’s GoTo to restart ecommerce enterprise (FT)

  5. In EV tax guidelines, US prefers China decoupling over decarbonisation (Nikkei Asia)

  6. South Korean show {industry} nonetheless paying a heavy value for Chinese language deal (FT)

  7. Taiwan outlines 5 vital tech fields underneath its safety (Nikkei Asia)

  8. South Korea test-fires solid-fuel rocket and places satellite tv for pc into orbit (Nikkei Asia)

  9. US choose blocks first-ever state ban on TikTok (FT)

  10. GIC-backed Coda gives recent various to Massive Tech app shops (Nikkei Asia)

#techAsia is co-ordinated by Nikkei Asia’s Katherine Creel in Tokyo, with help from the FT tech desk in London.

Enroll right here at Nikkei Asia to obtain #techAsia every week. The editorial crew may be reached at

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