Which Chinese companies were on the minds of US traders in 2017?

Global Business

BEST Inc. BEST Inc. Founder and CEO Johnny Chou, joined by members of the company’s leadership team, rings the NYSE Opening Bell® to celebrate BEST’s IPO on the NYSE. (Photo: NYSE)

More and more Chinese companies are listed on stock exchanges in the United States. So, when the famous bell rings each morning and afternoon at the New York Stock Exchange, more and more Chinese companies are on the minds of traders as they tally their books.

CGTN’s John Terrett reports

Over a 150 Chinese firms are listed in the U.S. – a third are internet and technology based. But let’s focus on just five: Alibaba, JD.Com, Baidu, Best Inc, Sogou, and a special mention for Tencent, which actually trades in Hong Kong.

ALIBABA SOARS

The biggest, of course, is Alibaba, the online trading platform that many compare to Amazon.com.

Alibaba, led by CEO Jack Ma, one of China’s most prominent entrepreneurs, is on a roll. Alibaba’s Singles Day sales each November dwarf anything comparable in the West. In late November this year, Alibaba’s stock was up over 100 percent. It more than doubled, before easing back this month.

CATCHING UP FAST JD.COM

JD.Com is nipping at Alibaba’s heels as China’s second biggest e-commerce company.

Unlike Alibaba, it trades up the road in Times Square at the Nasdaq, which mostly trades technology stocks.

JD.COM stock is up just under 50 percent for the year—trading in mid-December – around $40 per share.

THE GOOGLE OF CHINA

Also traded at the Nasdaq is Baidu, affectionately known as the Google of China!

Baidu is in fact one of the world’s largest internet and artificial intelligence companies. Although in recent weeks it stumbled a little, in 2017 the stock has gained more than 30%, trading at more than $230 a share in recent weeks.

BEST INC’s IPO

It’s always very exciting when a Chinese company comes to market with an initial public offering. In September it was Best Inc.’s turn.

Johnny Chou used to help run Google China, but gave it up to run his own logistics company with ties to Alibaba. But since coming to market, Best Inc stock has struggled to maintain its $10 a share IPO price. Logistics is a crowded market place.

SOGOU

Another Chinese initial public offering a few weeks ago here at the NYSE was Sogou, China’s number three browser.

It’s the only one allowed to incorporate WeChat comments in its search results. WeChat is a very important form of communication among millions of Chinese people right now.

Since coming to market, Sogou stock has fallen from around $14 to around $11.15 per share in mid-December.

Sogou is backed by Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate that owns WeChat. Sogou has tentacles in online payment systems, and the Cloud. It even has its own version of Netflix, the U.S. streaming TV and movie company.

Earlier this year Tencent, which trades in Hong Kong, stepped in to help a company falling short here, Snap Inc.

In March, Snap Inc. came to market in an IPO that proved disappointing. Snap Inc shares rose at first, but then fell sharply.

Just as things looked desperate for Snap, Tencent stepped up to the plate and bought another 12 percent stake in the company famous for making us all laugh with those crazy camera filters.

Tencent first invested in Snap back in 2013, because of its potential in mobile payments and streaming to millions of young people.

Since Tencent’s latest investment, Snap Inc’s shares recovered in mid-December, stabilizing at around $16. That’s up from a low around $12 in August, but still far below Snap’s March IPO price of $24.

But if Snap Inc pulls through, a shrewd Chinese investment will have been seen to have played a part in its revival.