Annual Survey | Stars Of China
China Southern Airlines
A depreciating renminbi took a bite out of the earnings of China’s three biggest airlines in the first half of 2014. Meanwhile, local carriers increased air traffic growth. China Southern Airlines saw the strongest underlying growth, carrying 47 million passengers in the first half of this year, an increase of 8.2% from a year earlier.
The popular auto manufacturer is taking its aggressive brand of marketing to affluent customers, setting up a 50-50 joint venture Dongfeng Infiniti Motor with Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor that will see Dongfeng manage the luxury Infiniti brand in China.
Known as the “Gap of China,” Shanghai-based fashion and accessories company Metersbonwe has grown quickly, with approximately 5,000 outlets across the country. The company’s founder, former tailor Zhou Chengjian, has pledged to go global within the next three years.
China State Construction Engineering
The builder of the iconic National Aquatics Center for the Beijing Olympics, otherwise known as the “water cube,” has gone global with its construction of the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas.
Huawei has shifted its focus to the mobile-device market in recent years and has made a bold move into fixed broadband, saying it will invest more than $4 billion in R&D in the technology over the next three years.
FOOD AND BEVERAGEs
China’s biggest milk producer by revenue, inner Mongolia’s Yili has recovered admirably from its tainted-milk episode in 2012, winning back customers’ confidence in the quality of its brand. First-half 2014 profits were up 32% to $374 million year-on-year.
Ping An Insurance
Ping An is a noted innovator in insurance in China—it even offers a smog-insurance package to citizens struggling with the nation’s polluted air. The firm’s first-half profits were bolstered by growth in premium income and higher profit from its banking operations.
The leading Chinese language Internet search provider is wasting no time in going global. In May this year Baidu announced that it would open a lab in Silicon Valley to bolster its existing development capabilities in the California high-tech cluster.
METALS & MINING
Aluminum Corporation of China, known as Chalco, is a major force reducing China’s dependency on foreign commodities. With record output in 2013 reaching 23 million tons, China now has little need for imports of aluminum from global markets. Lower commodity prices, however, pushed Chalco into a first-half net loss.
OIL & GAS
China’s biggest listed oil company by capacity improved its results in its refining and chemicals businesses. The government raised retail natural gas prices by 15% last year, fortifying PetroChina’s bottom line.
PROPERTY AND REAL ESTATE
China Vanke is the world’s largest property developer by revenue. It has managed the downturn in property prices well, focusing on greater demand for housing sales in China’s larger cities.
Yingli Green Energy
Yingli’s solar panels powered the Maracanã football stadium in Brazil for this year’s Fifa World Cup. Still running at a loss, it is the mostly likely of China’s solar providers to survive the recession in its industry.
Jiangsu Shagang Group
Facing industry overcapacity in China and declining steel output, Shagang, one of the nation’s largest steelmakers, refused to drop prices and throw the sector into a price war. The company has a stated ambition to be a global steel provider like India’s Mittal.
New subscriber additions are down generally in China, but China Telecom will get a shot in the arm now that it has won a license to commence its 4G hybrid network trial in 16 cities across the country.