Qihoo 360's So.com 'Gaining Market Share Quickly'
Qihoo 360 Technology Co (NYSE: QIHU), the developer of China's most used antivirus, sees its So.com's share of China's search engine market near 20%, and the percentage is expected to reach 30% by 2015, said Qi Xiangdong, the company's president. Qihoo 360 search division vice president Yu Guangdong said the company had developed ad sales channels in 30 major cities across China. Qihoo 360 launched So.com a year ago and snatched a 10% market share in just several months thanks to a large number of users of its antivirus and 360 Browser. It planned to increase the headcount of its search team to between 300 and 400 by the end of 2013 from 160 at present, Deutsche Bank said in late June after attending a Qihoo 360 meeting with investors.

China Lodging Q2 Earnings Jump 37%
China Lodging Group Ltd (Nasdaq: HTHT), a Chinese budget hotel chain, posted 1.04 billion yuan in revenues and 96.3 million yuan in net profits for Q2 2013, up 29.6% and 37% respectively from a year earlier. It opened 123 hotels including 93 franchises in Q2 2013, the most ever in a quarter. Revenue per available room averaged 167 yuan in Q2 2013, leading the industry for the 13th consecutive quarter. Occupancy rate averaged 91.3% with average daily rate being 182 yuan in Q2 2013. The company expects its revenue to rise 24-26% year on year to up to between 1.11 billion and 1.23 billion yuan in Q3 2013.

Sun Art 1H Earnings Rise 15%
Sun Art Retail Group Ltd (HKG: 6808), which holds the largest share of China's hypermarket sales, posted 44.5 billion yuan in revenues and 1.58 billion yuan in net profits in 1H 2013, up 12.9% and 14.8% respectively from a year earlier. Revenue growth was driven by a 4% rise in same-store sales and sales from 44 new stores. Gross profit margin increased by 0.2 percentage points to 20.7% as joint sourcing for its RT-Mart stores and Auchan stores cut expenses. Sun Art currently operates 284 hypermarkets in 26 provinces. The company said it will start its e-commerce business in Q4 2013, with an initial investment of 100 million yuan.

ZTE Seals $800 Million Ethiopia Deal
ZTE Corp (HKG: 0763, SHE: 000063), China's second largest telecom device maker, signed an $800 million agreement with the Ethiopian government to expand its telecommunications infrastructure. ZTE will build a 4G broadband network in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and expand 3G services in other regions. ZTE will also offer low-interest loans to the African country via a vendor financing deal. The Ethiopian government signed an $800 million similar deal last month with Huawei Technologies Co, China's biggest telecoms equipment maker.

Conch Cement 1H Earnings Up 4%
Anhui Conch Cement Co (SHA: 600585), China's biggest cement maker, said its net profit rose 4.3% year on year to 3.1 billion yuan in 1H 2013. Cement and clinker sales were up 27.9% year on year to 103 million tons during the 6-month period, with the proportion of cement sales up 2.9 percentage points. Although average selling price fell 10.6% year on year to 225 yuan/ton in 1H 2013, gross profit fell 5.2% to 65 yuan/ton due to a 12.6% decline in unit cost and an 18% decline in fuel and power expenses.

EMU Train Tenders Resumed
China Railway Corp (CRC) invited tenders for high-speed electric multiple unit (EMU) trains after a 2-year suspension. The first batch is for 91 250 kilometers/hour EMU trains, according to the tender proposed by China Railway Investment Corp (CRIC). UBS estimated the tenders are worth a total of 11 billion yuan, assuming an average price of 120 million yuan/train, and it expected the second batch of tenders for 68 350 kilometers/hour EMU trains soon. CRIC announced tenders for 225 7,200-kilometer locomotives earlier this month, and is expected by UBS to order another 675 such locomotives by the end of the year. Since August, CRIC has announced tenders for 28,900 cargo wagons, 726 passenger carriages, 225 locomotives and 91 EMU trains, with a total value of 30 billion yuan. CRC plans to invited tenders worth a total of 100 billion yuan in 2013.

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