Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Whole Foods Market, Inc.    WFM

SummaryQuotesChartsNewsAnalysisCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector newsTweets 
The feature you requested does not exist. However, we suggest the following feature:

China's Tech Entrepreneurs Need to Watch Their Backs

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
06/29/2017 | 11:50am CEST
By Li Yuan 

Amazon.com Inc.'s recent bid to acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. inflamed concerns in the U.S. about big tech companies taking over America.

In China, that's already happening. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are online-offline conglomerates each with hundreds of millions of users. The pair--directly or through companies they invest in--provides services and products across a range of businesses from retail, media and entertainment to health care, payment, banking, logistics and transportation.

Their market capitalizations, Alibaba at $358 billion and Tencent at $350 billion, are much higher than those of the state-owned enterprises that dominate the Chinese economy. The country's biggest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, is valued at $261 billion; the telecom titan China Mobile is valued at $218 billion. The tech giants, with their wide reach into many facets of daily life, touch ordinary Chinese in ways state companies don't.

As their size and influence grow, Alibaba and Tencent are entering uncharted territory: Never in nearly seven decades of Communist Party rule have private-sector companies held such sway over the economy and society. How well they handle relationships with competitors, old-line companies and, ultimately, an authoritarian government that isn't used to sharing power will be a top challenge in coming years.

"The most important counterbalancing force against Alibaba and Tencent will probably not come from their direct competitors but the government and the traditional industries they disrupt," says Yin Sheng, an independent technology consultant who owns shares in both companies. As the two tech companies push further into other sectors, Mr. Yin believes established businesses will lobby the government to enforce tax, antimonopoly and other rules.

A Tencent spokeswoman said the company "views our peers in the internet sector and traditional industries as partners" and "the healthy growth of the internet industry will benefit users, industry players" and the economy. Alibaba didn't respond to requests for comment.

Alibaba and Tencent need to tread carefully. Some of China's wealthiest businessmen ended up in jail, often when they appeared to fall out of favor with the government. Earlier this month, the government said it was investigating the borrowings of some highflying private conglomerates to rein in runaway debt.

Bitterness from the old guard is already spilling into view. On a popular business program on national TV late last year, beverage tycoon--and once China's richest man-- Zong Qinghou dismissed as "nonsense" Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma's idea that a new world is being created as data and growing computing power transform industries from retail to manufacturing.

"He's not in the physical economy. What does he make?" Mr. Zong said. The other two panelists, heads of two biggest electronic appliance makers, concurred. An Alibaba executive was quoted in Chinese media at the time as saying that Mr. Zong's comments were illogical.

Mr. Zong is one of the more outspoken among a cadre of traditional entrepreneurs raising questions about whether the internet businesses should continue to benefit from preferential policies. Online shops operated by individuals and small businesses, for example, pay extremely low to no taxes under a policy that was aimed at nurturing a fledgling e-commerce sector. But that sector is now huge.

Members of this business lobby raised the e-commerce taxation issue during spring meetings of the legislature and a top government advisory body. They noted that current tax rules put traditional retailers at a disadvantage and urged the government to heed their complaints because they employ more people than the online firms.

Big tech firms have also been called bullies and monopolists because of their treatment of competitors. When Uber Technologies Inc.'s China operation was battling Didi Chuxing Technology Co. more than a year ago, for example, Tencent, a Didi investor, blocked some of Uber China's service accounts on WeChat, its popular messaging app. Some online commentators excoriated Tencent for abusing its power. Uber sold its China operation to Didi last year.

Above all, there's their delicate relationships with the government. As I wrote earlier, once disrupters, China's internet companies are now part of the system. But still, they're private enterprises founded by ambitious men.

"The question is whether these companies will demand more say in things as they grow bigger," says Jingzhou Tao, managing partner of China practice at law firm Dechert LLP.

Mr. Tao points out that private ownership is increasingly at odds with the current political environment. The Communist Party is strengthening its command of state-owned businesses and building up its presence in private and multinational companies. "Will it come to a point that the party committee will take charge of private enterprises too?" he says.

For now, neither side is testing the line in the sand. The government knows these companies are important and globally known. The companies are being supportive of Beijing's goals. Alibaba's Mr. Ma recently traveled to America to talk up the benefits of China-U. S. trade, and Tencent's Pony Ma organized a forum on improving the competitiveness of Hong Kong, a former British colony, and the surrounding area.

Both sides are fumbling for "the best way to coexist," says an executive who has worked on government relations for decades.

Write to Li Yuan at [email protected]

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on WHOLE FOODS MARKET, INC.
11:50aDJJACK MA : China's Tech Entrepreneurs Need to Watch Their Backs
04:48a WHOLE FOODS MARKET : Want a better burger? Add jalapenos, bacon and cheese
04:36a Meal-kit maker Blue Apron goes public, demand underwhelms as Amazon looms
06/28 WHOLE FOODS MARKET : June 28, 2017 - Whole Foods Market receives award for commi..
06/28 WHOLE FOODS MARKET : Cities Fast Facts
06/28 WHOLE FOODS MARKET : ' new '365' store coming to weehawken
06/28 WHOLE FOODS MARKET, INC. : ex-dividend day
06/27 WHOLE FOODS MARKET : June 27, 2017 - Whole Foods Market 365® Store Coming to Wee..
06/27 WHOLE FOODS MARKET : June 27, 2017 - 5 Percent of NYC Whole Foods Market’s..
06/27DJFood Brands Face Amazon Squeeze -- WSJ
More news
Sector news : Supermarkets & Convenience Stores
09:51a CARREFOUR : shares climb as company unveils Brazil IPO details
09:45a BOOKER : Tesco and Booker want UK regulator to 'fast track' competition probe
09:40aDJTESCO : Investec Bank plc Form 8.5 (EPT/RI) - Tesco Plc
08:35aDJTESCO : Asks Regulator to Fast Track Antitrust Investigation of Booker Deal
06/28DJTESCO : Cuts 1,200 Jobs in Head Office
More sector news : Supermarkets & Convenience Stores
News from SeekingAlpha
06:12a GROCERY STORE STOCKS : Analysis Of A Changing Industry
06/28 Amazon's Next Move
06/28 TOP MARKET NEWS : What Happened In Investing Today
06/28 KROGER : The Buybacks Make Sense
06/28 Uncertain Outlook On Amazon's Whole Foods Bet
Advertisement
Financials ($)
Sales 2017 15 909 M
EBIT 2017 717 M
Net income 2017 394 M
Debt 2017 192 M
Yield 2017 1,48%
P/E ratio 2017 32,65
P/E ratio 2018 30,11
EV / Sales 2017 0,86x
EV / Sales 2018 0,83x
Capitalization 13 502 M
More Financials
Chart WHOLE FOODS MARKET, INC.
Duration : Period :
Whole Foods Market, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | WFM | US9668371068 | 4-Traders
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends WHOLE FOODS MARKE...
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Technical analysis
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 23
Average target price 38,9 $
Spread / Average Target -8,0%
Consensus details
EPS Revisions
More Estimates Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
John P. Mackey Chief Executive Officer & Director
A. C. Gallo President & Chief Operating Officer
Gabrielle Sulzberger Chairman
Keith Manbeck Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Jason J. Buechel Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
More about the company
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
WHOLE FOODS MARKET, IN..37.35%13 502
WAL-MART STORES10.69%231 944
ALIMENTATION COUCHE TA..5.30%28 165
CARREFOUR-2.75%19 330
DAIRY FARM INTERNATION..12.01%10 725
YONGHUI SUPERSTORES CO..44.60%9 897
More Results