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Alibaba’s Soaring Stock Price, Apple WeChat Store & Janet Yellen’s Visit

Published on: July 13, 2023

In this week’s episode of After Hours, WPIC Co-Founder and CEO Jacob Cooke speaks to Todd Embley about Alibaba’s soaring stock price, Apple’s new WeChat store, and U.S. Secretary Treasury Janet Yellen’s visit to Beijing.

Check out the discussion above. You can also read the edited transcript below.

Todd Embley:
Hi everyone, I’m Todd Embley and welcome to another edition of the Negotiation After Hours. This is a new video series where we speak to WPIC Marketing Technologies co-founder and CEO Jacob Cooke on the top consumer tech and business stories from China and APAC.

Jacob, welcome to the show. Where are you joining us from today?

Jacob Cooke:
I’m dialing in from our Vancouver office today, downtown Vancouver. I’ll be here for the next couple of weeks.

Todd Embley:
Welcome back to Canada.

Now there’s a few big stories that we’re going to get your take on this week.

First on Friday, China imposed huge fines on Ant Group and Tencent, and Alibaba and Tencent’s stock shares have soared since. Tell us what happened and the significance for China’s tech sector.

Jacob Cooke:
Well, huge is relative, right? I think it was a billion dollars for the Ant Group and $400 million for Tencent. Neither one of those that would even be equal to December’s profits. So, they’re doing well.

One of the things I think why the market is reacting is because there has been ongoing regulatory issues with both of these companies and the finance departments. From what the government has released about these fines is that they feel both companies are now compliant, and they used very similar words to those. And that’s why it’s really allowed the stock Alibaba to jump up 10% in the last couple of days since the news. And that’s really kind of the gist of it.

So, we can expect that these platforms are now going to be regulated the way that they are right now and continue to innovate and grow like they have been.

Todd Embley:
All right. Another interesting bit of news on the platform economy space. On Tuesday, Apple launched a store on WeChat.

What’s your take on that?

Jacob Cooke:
Apple has been a huge winner in China and it’s always been an adopter of new technologies.

Like even for them, they’re globally so built upon the apple.com website, but they’ve been adopting platform sales in China.  The largest iPhone market now in the world — and they’re selling them at where Chinese people are buying them.

So, the flagship stores are obviously hugely important part. You can see them lined up anytime there’s a new release. But they have a T-Mobile store, they have a PDD store, they now now a WeChat store, which is stuff they just don’t do in other markets. So, it really shows they’ve got a good strong local presence, incredibly committed to the market.

They’re seeing very strong growth in Q1 in the numbers for iPhone sales being up too, and they’re dominating even the local built rivals. So, they’re getting rewarded for paying attention to the market and operating in a way that consumers expect.

Todd Embley:

Finally, what do you make of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent trip to Beijing?

Jacob Cooke:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s coming on the back of Secretary Blinken’s visit to as well.

She had great meetings. She was treated very cordially when she came here. Great welcome. No major policy announcements.

I think just in general, the more that they talk, the more high-level meetings that we see, the better the business and economic relationship is really going to be. Not just between China and the US, but between China and the G8 and the world in general.

Todd Embley:
All right. Thanks very much, Jacob.

To everybody listening, don’t worry. We come back. We hit hard. We go fast. You get your four minutes of up-to-date news of China and Asia, and everything going on over there. Jacob, thanks for bringing it today.

And we’ll see you all next time.

Jacob Cooke:
You’re welcome. Bye.

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