Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Li Ka-shing's retirement is the end of a long era. The Hong Kong magnate built a property-to-telecoms empire. At 89, Li said on Friday he would step down in May. The move comes as the financial hub faces economic and political uncertainty, while protectionism globally is on the rise. That is a tough new reality for his eldest son and successor.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China is rolling out the welcome mat for technology companies - and Taiwan. Foxconn, the world's largest electronics assembler and key Apple supplier, is set to list a $50 billion-plus subsidiary in Shanghai. The speedy approval shows Beijing is serious about luring tech giants onto mainland exchanges.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Zhou Hongyi may have pulled off one of history’s great trades. The Chinese executive led a $9.3 billion management buyout of New York-listed antivirus company Qihoo 360 in 2016. Now its successor, 360 Security Technology, is trading in Shanghai at a $56 billion market capitalisation. That value difference far outstrips what most hedge funds or commodity traders achieve in years of arbitraging price anomalies.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Foxconn is aiming to manufacture something different in a new location. The Taiwanese assembler of Apple's iPhones plans to spin off a subsidiary in Shanghai. Fresh funds will help it push into new technologies. Given the nature of stock trading in China, it also could be retooling its valuation.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Baidu is following the right script with a video spinoff. On Tuesday, the $78 billion Chinese search engine operator confirmed it plans to list the Netflix-like iQiyi, which could be worth $8 billion or more. Outside investment will help as the unit burns cash on shows and battles rivals for viewers. Lessening the financial burden on Baidu also means more time to deliver on its bets in artificial intelligence.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alibaba's reunion with Ant Financial is heartening. The reshuffle, unveiled late last week, sees Jack Ma's $474 billion e-commerce goliath take 33 percent of the financial technology group. That simplifies the duo's relationship, draws a line under a controversy, and heralds a likely flotation.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jack Ma just landed a supporting role in a financial thriller. The e-commerce titan he leads is buying a $750 million stake in a cinema chain owned by Dalian Wanda. It should help improve the picture at tycoon Wang Jianlin's troubled conglomerate and might even bolster its ambitions to unite film production with theatres.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's IPO cleanup is off to an encouraging start. Regulators are rejecting more subpar applications; in January they turned down a record six applicants in a single day, including one by the country's largest private psychiatric hospital group. Tougher issuance standards could lead to broader reforms, plus help clear a massive backlog of aspiring issuers. Empowering bureaucrats even more is an acceptable short-term trade-off.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's tech giants are keeping tycoon Wang Jianlin's relisting dream alive. A consortium led by Tencent will pay $5.4 billion for a stake in Dalian Wanda Group's indebted property arm. The investment buys Wang time to execute a promised Shanghai relisting, and the new alliance could help clear regulatory hurdles too. What the new backers will get out of it is less clear.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Leshi's perfect storm is blowing ill winds across the Chinese tech industry. Hubris, margin loans and starry-eyed investors have led to a cash crunch at the $9 billion video-streaming and smart-TV business of embattled LeEco. The company is now chasing founder Jia Yueting, branded "China's Steve Jobs," for money he owes it. Bad behaviours that converged here will turn up elsewhere in due course.