VIP Kid is an online education company that streams live one-on-one English lessons from American teachers to Chinese students — whose parents are happy to pay a premium for educational services they can’t get locally.
Last year, Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital invested in VIP Kid. Now, Bloomberg reports that the company was valued at more than $1.5 billion in a recent “round of funding from investors including Sequoia Capital China and Tencent.” Some of the funds will be used to launch a Mandarin teaching service aimed at the U.S. and other foreign countries. Founder Cindy Mi 米雯娟 is featured in a video interview you can see at the Bloomberg link above. She says the company anticipates revenue to reach 5 billion yuan ($750 million) this year, and hopes to reach one million students around the world by 2019.
Food safety and big business
McDonald’s reiterates commitment to food safety in China / Caixin
McDonald’s “said its food safety standards for China remain the same as for the rest of the world” after its disclosure that China was not among the first countries it operates in to adopt a program to reduce antibiotic use in chickens and other meat. The company says the program will begin in 2018.
China’s grocery trolls make giant piggy banks of Wal-Mart and Carrefour / Bloomberg
“A sprawling new Food Safety Law has spawned a cottage industry of professional complainers who sue food manufacturers and retailers over infractions big and small.”
JD.com in Southeast Asia
China’s JD.com invests in Indonesia’s Go-Jek amid SE Asia push: sources / Reuters
JD.com, Thai retailer Central in talks for $500 million e-commerce JV: sources / Reuters
Chinese group to buy Odebrecht Peru asset for $1.39 billion: source / Reuters
China Paper mulls $5 billion bid for Brazil’s Eldorado: media / Reuters
Mobile and telecoms
China Mobile takes 80% of all net profit in China’s telecom market / TechNode
Xiaomi launches in Thailand after Chinese rivals make a big impression / TechinAsia
China’s biggest oil producer is giving investors a full profit payout / Bloomberg
China speculators swarm to aluminum as cuts spur supply bet / Bloomberg
Best run in 11 years beckons for metals as China drives rally / Bloomberg
China banks’ leverage falls for first time since 2010 / Bloomberg
China liquidity stress signs build as fund cost jumps at auction / Bloomberg
Investing and finance
No. 1 China equities fund bought only three stocks this year / Bloomberg
Global funds expanding into massive Chinese investment market / CNBC