Qihoo 360 Loses Another Suit
A Chinese court has ruled against Qihoo 360 Technology Co (NYSE: QIHU), the developer of China's most used antivirus software, in an unfair competition case and ordered it to pay Baidu.com Inc (Nasdaq: BIDU) ¥450,000 in compensation and make a public apology on its website for 15 straight days. Baidu sued Qihoo 360 in March 2012, accusing its Anquan Weishi, literally Security Safeguard, of illegal marking Baidu research results and manipulating the search results to increase traffic to the 360 Browser. The court supported the claims. Qihoo 360 hasn't commented on the ruling. This is another blow to Qihoo 360 in the court of law. It has just lost an appeal, where Qihoo 360 sued Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0700), accusing it of abusing market dominance via its popular QQ instant messaging application and claiming ¥150 million in compensation. The claims were rejected. Qihoo 360 said the ruling delivered by the Guangdong High Court reflected protectionism (Tencent is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong province) and it would appear to the Supreme People's Court of China.
China Telecom Posts First Profit Gain in a Year
China Telecom Corp (NYSE: CHA, HKG: 0728) said its net profit rose 10% year on year to ¥4.7 billion in Q1 2013 as iPhone sales helped boost 3G service usage. It was the first time it reported an increase in quarterly profit since it began selling Apple Inc's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone more than a year ago. Revenue was up 14.6% year on year to ¥77.82 billion in the quarter.
Chalco Losses Narrow in Q1
Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (NYSE: ACH, HKG: 2600, SHA: 601600), the nation's biggest aluminum producer also known as Chalco, said losses shrank to ¥975 million in Q1 2013 from ¥1.09 billion a year earlier. Revenue was up 1.9% year on year to ¥34.2 billion in the quarter. Chalco is unlikely to turn around from losses this year as aluminum prices are expected to remain weak amid a glut.
Tencent Video to Air BBC Programs
Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0700), China's biggest Internet company by market value, said it has signed a deal with the British Broadcasting Corporation to import its programs. The BBC programs, mostly Britain-made TV dramas, are expected to be available on Tencent's video hosting site, V.qq.com, in mid May.
Banking Profit Growth Slows in Q1
Combined net profits at China's 16 listed banks rose 12.6% year on year in Q1 2013, much slower than the 20% rate posted a year earlier. The 16 banks reported a total net profit of ¥309.1 billion for the quarter, or ¥3.4 billion per day. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (HKG: 1398, SHA: 601398), which was number one in Forbes' Global 2000 list by 2012 revenue, profited ¥68.8 billion in the past quarter, continuing to be the most profitable Chinese bank. China Construction Bank Corp (HKG: 0939, SHA: 601939), the nation's biggest mortgage lender, reported the fastest year-on-year profit growth of 15.7%. The top five state-owned banks combined reported ¥234.9 billion in net profits (¥2.6 billion per day), or 76% of the 16's total.
Corporate Earnings Largely Flat in 2012
Almost all of Chinese publicly traded companies, including all blue chips, had released earnings for 2012 as of April 26. The 2,385 companies posted a combined ¥23.65 trillion in revenues and ¥1.93 trillion in net profits for last year, up 8% and 0.6% respectively from 2011, according to data compiled by the Shanghai Securities News. Of the 2,385 companies, 192 reported losses. Of the 2,193 companies that reported earnings, 1,074 reported an increase in earnings, 1,107 reported a decrease in earnings and the remaining 112 turned around from losses. Excluding financial companies such as banks and insurers, the rest reported ¥846 billion in net profits last year, down 12.2% from 2011.
$1 = ¥6.16
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