Category: Technical, IT Recruiting


Permalink 10:02:29 pm, by dacare, 1095 words, 451 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Banking & Financial Services, Technical, IT Recruiting

China’s Haier to Buy GE Appliance Business for $5.4 Billion

Updated Jan. 15, 2016 5:17 a.m. ET


BEIJING— General Electric Co. agreed to sell its appliance unit for $5.4 billion to Chinese manufacturer Haier Group, which is looking to expand its products into homes around the world.

GE and Haier announced the deal Friday, saying the companies will cooperate world-wide to expand their reach in health care, advanced manufacturing and the industrial sectors.

The deal will help Haier sell refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances that are already popular in China overseas after years of struggling to gain a stronger foothold in the U.S. and elsewhere. Haier said it will have the rights to use the GE brand for appliances for 40 years.

The acquisition also enables GE to focus on its industrial business—jet engines and power turbines instead of washing machines and even finance.

“Haier has a good track record of acquisitions and of managing brands,” GE’s chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Immelt said in a news release. “Haier has a stated focus to grow in the U.S., build their manufacturing presence here, and to invest further in the business.”

Qingdao Haier Co., a Shanghai- listed company in which Haier owns 41%, will acquire the GE appliance unit, Haier said. It said the deal “establishes a model for cross-border investment and cooperation between China and the United States.”

The deal, which values GE Appliances at 10 times the last 12 months of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to GE, was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

It marks the third major overseas acquisition by Chinese companies this week.


China’s Haier Nears Deal to Buy GE Appliance Business
A consortium of investors including China National Chemical Corp. on Sunday agreed to buy KraussMaffei Group for 925 million euros ($1 billion), one of the largest Chinese takeovers of a German company. Two days later, Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. agreed to acquire production and finance company Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in cash, the largest China-Hollywood deal to date.

GE has been running an auction for the century-old appliance business since it abandoned a $3.3 billion sale to Sweden’s Electrolux AB in December. The U.S. Justice Department had sued to block that transaction, saying the combination of the two companies would hurt competition for cooktops and ranges. Haier is unlikely to face the same antitrust hurdles as Electrolux because of its small presence in the U.S.

In seeking a fresh buyer, GE executives wanted “a better deal” than they had gotten from Electrolux, one person familiar with the matter said. GE also stands to receive a $175 million breakup fee from Electrolux.

The Chinese appliance maker outbid other foreign corporate bidders for the Louisville, Ky.-based business, according to a person close to the deal.

Haier has struggled to compete in the U.S. While it calls itself the biggest appliance maker in terms of unit sales, Haier is mainly known in the U.S. for niche products such as compact refrigerators and window air-conditioning units.

The privately held company has also been expanding its range of products and retail partners in the U.S. Last August, Haier said it would invest $72 million to expand its 15-year-old refrigerator plant in Camden, S.C.

The GE transaction, however, will vault the Chinese company past Electrolux and other rivals in the U.S. market for white goods, which is currently led by Whirlpool. Sales for the GE Appliances and Lighting division, of which appliances is the lion’s share, were $8.4 billion in 2014.

Haier held talks with GE in 2008 to buy the U.S. firm’s appliance unit. In 2010, a Haier executive said the company didn’t buy at the time because the price for the unit was too high. Haier also made an unsuccessful bid for Maytag Corp. in 2004, but lost out to Whirlpool.

Since then, Haier has been vying for more U.S. retail partners, tapping major advertising agencies in an effort to become a household name. Haier held a 29.8% market share of major household appliance sales in China last year, compared with 5.6% in the U.S., according to market research firm Euromonitor.

For Haier, which had $32.6 billion in revenue world-wide in 2014, growth overseas is critical. Profit margins from the company’s refrigerators and washing machines in China are razor-thin due to increased competition at home, where online shopping has sparked price wars, pushing down prices in the electronics and appliances sector.

Another drag on business is that fewer people in China are buying new homes and thus need fewer new appliances.

The deal will broaden Haier’s customer base and distribution channels. It will also sharpen its credibility in the U.S., where “Chinese brands are perceived as low quality,” said Klaus Meyer, a business professor at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.

Based in China’s northeastern coastal city of Qingdao, Haier is one of China’s legacy state-owned enterprises. Haier’s chief executive, Zhang Ruimin, was the general manager when the company started in 1984 as a successor to a loss-making refrigerator factory that had been opened in 1949, when Chairman Mao Zedong founded modern China.

Mr. Zhang, now 67, has become somewhat of a legend in business circles back home, building a no-nonsense demeanor when he, as newly appointed chairman in 1985, grasped a sledgehammer, smashing a faulty refrigerator to demonstrate zero tolerance for shoddy products at the factory.

Within his first decade as chairman, he transformed Haier, creating China’s largest appliance maker and becoming the first businessman appointed to China’s Central Committee, one of the Communist Party’s highest decision-making bodies.

Mr. Zhang built the brand by investing in a cartoon in the 1990s called the “Haier Brothers,” creating mascots that generations in China came to recognize long after the airing of the more than 200 episodes. Today, Haier has become one of the China most valuable brands, worth $1.9 billion in 2015, according to media agencies Millward Brown and WPP, which calculated the value using the company’s financial data and consumer survey data.

GE Appliances will keep its headquarters in Louisville, Ky, the companies said.

Haier said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange if the deal ceases due to failure to obtain approvals from antitrust regulators, Chinese regulators or Qingdao Haier’s shareholders, Qingdao Haier will be required to pay $200 million to $400 million to GE as compensation.

GE’s assets Haier is acquiring had a book value of 1.84 billion dollars as of the end of 2014.

—Ted Mann in New York and Rose Yu in Shanghai contributed to this article.

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Permalink 02:18:05 pm, by dacare, 404 words, 473 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Technical, IT Recruiting

Yahoo! to recruit new blood after student protest

Yahoo! will recruit 100 local employees after witnessing the younger generation's potential amid the Sunflower Movement, Yahoo! Inc. Asia-Pacific region Senior Vice President Rose Tsou said yesterday.

This has been the second positive response from the business world following conclusion of the Sunflower Movement, the protest led by students who occupied the Legislative Yuan to show their disapproval of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement.

Tsou said that the Sunflower Movement provided a lot inspiration for her firm, especially after seeing how local students successfully used the Internet to generate tremendous energy.

That is an ability previous generations didn't have, Tsou said.

When all industries are facing the impact of Internet development, this could prove to be either the best or most challenging era for young people, she added.

Tsou said that Yahoo! Inc. will be looking for talents from different fields, including advertisement, engineering and product planning.

According to the company, a summer internship will be launched to recruit roughly 20 people in order to form an elite team.

The company added that the interns will receive salary and benefits enjoyed by fulltime employees, but their project will also be evaluated based on standards for fulltime employees as well.

Tsou said that the Internet industry needs to keep improving in order to avoid being eliminated, and that Yahoo Inc. aims to become the largest company in the world.

According to Tsou, the company currently has over 1,000 employees in Taiwan, which makes it the largest Internet company on the island, and over half of its employees are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Tsou said that Yahoo Inc. has always been looking for people who can communicate and work well with others, adding that the company hopes to find young people who can think independently and perform well.

Huang An-chieh, chairman of the Accton Technology Corporation, recently said that the Sunflower Movement gave him the courage to reflect upon himself, prompting him to resign in order to allow others to take over.

Women on Boards in Taiwan

Taipei Financial Center Corp. Chairwoman Christina Sung became the first head of the newly established Women on Boards, aiming to push for new laws that will increase the number of female chief executives.

According to Sung, only 14 percent of chief executives in publicly traded companies are women.

Nine officials, scholars and business leaders also joined the organization, including Tsou, Pacific Sogo Chairwoman Huang Ching-wen and L'Oreal Taiwan Chairwoman Amy Chen.

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Permalink 08:53:05 am, by dacare, 802 words, 764 views   English (US)
Categories: Living & Working in China, Technical, IT Recruiting

Huawei Hires Foreign Executives in Global Push

Huawei Technologies Co., which is struggling to break out of the mold of a Chinese company, is recruiting more Western executives and rolling out a long-term incentive program to attract foreign workers.

The moves come as the Shenzhen-based company expands aggressively overseas and tries to remake itself into a global brand. Huawei, which generates two-thirds of its revenue outside China, is now the world's second-largest supplier of telecommunications-network equipment after industry leader Ericsson. ERIC-B.SK -0.30%

Yet Huawei's senior executives are predominantly Chinese, and only about one-quarter of its 150,000 employees are non-Chinese nationals.

Huawei's fast growth in the telecom-equipment market has drawn criticism in the West.

A U.S. congressional report last year labeled the company a security threat and questioned whether it has close ties to the Chinese government. Similar concerns have been raised in Australia and the U.K. Huawei has denied the allegations.

To attract workers in India, where Huawei hires many engineers for its local research-and-development facility, the company earlier this year introduced an employee-benefit program modeled after its China share-ownership program. That program lets Chinese workers buy a stake in the company and profit when Huawei does well.

Huawei plans to roll out this benefit to other countries, said spokesman Roland Sladek. He declined to elaborate.

The move is significant because Huawei has called its Chinese share-ownership program a driver of the company's success. About 74,000 of the 110,000 Chinese nationals employed at Huawei are shareholders.

In India, Huawei employees become eligible after two years. But unlike its China program, overseas employees can't actually own a stake in the company.

Still, the program is likely to allow the company to "create a strong loyalty among the best talent" as it expands overseas, said Mr. Sladek, who joined Huawei last year from ST-Ericsson, a European joint venture of Ericsson and semiconductor-manufacturer STMicroelectronics STM +0.89% NV.

If Huawei is seen as an international firm, this could ease security concerns and give it greater access to local markets, said Sandy Shen, a Gartner Inc. research director based in Shanghai. "It's very important that they put on the face of a global company when they go into international markets."

Huawei's efforts to transform itself into a global company are becoming apparent at its Shenzhen headquarters.

Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese and Westerners are among the 30,000 employees who work on the nearly square-mile campus. The campus offers Western restaurants serving steak, and an Indian and halal canteen with freshly made chapati flat breads.

CT Johnson, a 45-year-old U.S. finance expert, left Ericsson last year to be Huawei's corporate controller. Mr. Johnson said he had qualms about taking the job, questioning whether "they might be hiring me as a Western guy just for show and without real responsibility." But, he said, those concerns turned out to be unfounded as he was granted access to Huawei's financial statements and details of its operations. Mr. Johnson has since changed jobs within the company, leading a division that negotiates sales contracts with customers.Still, all of Huawei's 13 board directors are Chinese, raising questions about how much impact a handful of foreign executives will have.

Huawei has also hired a number of other high-profile Western executives to diversify its management team, including Colin Giles, a former Nokia Corp. executive from Australia, and John Suffolk, formerly the U.K. government's chief information officer.

Other Chinese technology companies are taking similar steps. Lenovo Group Ltd. 0992.HK +1.77% , which bought International Business Machines Corp.'s personal-computer business in 2005, has hired more executives and managers from Western competitors in recent years.

Lenovo overtook Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ +0.24% as the world's biggest PC maker this year.

Western executives are becoming increasingly receptive to Chinese companies, said Bhavya Sehgal, head of Asian-Pacific research for Frontier Strategy Group, as these companies expand and snap up assets around the world.

Huawei also has more opportunities to recruit executives, in part because some Western rivals have been struggling and cutting jobs, said Canalys analyst Matthew Ball.

In October, Alcatel-Lucent ALU.FR +0.77% of France said it would reduce its workforce by roughly 15%. In July, Huawei said its revenue for the first half of the year rose 11% from a year earlier to 113.8 billion yuan ($18.7 billion).

Mr. Johnson said he is adjusting to an "indirect" manner of communication at a Chinese company. In one of his first projects for Huawei, Mr. Johnson forged ahead with a new method of compiling financial reports, not understanding that colleagues' questions were really an objection.

"At Western companies, I would expect my subordinates to challenge me, in a direct but respectful way," Mr. Johnson said. "At Huawei, and I suspect in most Chinese companies, that's the same as cursing."

The project was later scrapped.

"Chinese companies are giving control, but the question is whether they give all the independence required for Western executives to be successful," said Mr. Sehgal.

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Permalink 03:33:18 pm, by dacare, 1019 words, 640 views   English (US)
Categories: Technical, IT Recruiting

Google to Go 'In-Depth,' Kill Cookies, Solve Death

Making the cover of Time magazine used to be one of the great hallmarks of success for an individual or a company, and it’s still no mean feat. Though, most companies would not be thrilled at being described, like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is this week in its Time cover story, as “one of the most successful, ubiquitous and increasingly strange companies on the planet.”

Then again, Google corporate types may not mind the description, and co-founder and CEO Larry Page may be quite pleased.

It’s not just the wearable computer called Google Glass that Time finds strange, or the “smart balloons” that beam Internet signals to remote locations, or the driverless cars steering themselves down the highways of California, Florida, and Nevada.

Now, Time declares, Google is trying to solve death itself.

Well, yes, apparently it is. But it’s not trying to solve death by, say, the end of the current fiscal quarter, or even in the next few quarters.

In a rare interview with Time, Google's Page suggested that its investment in a company called Calico, announced this week, may not result in any progress for 10 or 20 years. He calls this and Google projects like it, the "moon shots" -- that is, big ideas that can change the world, but not tomorrow.

And that is what is so very strange about Google. Public companies just don’t think 10 or 20 years in the future these days. Or, if they do, they don’t talk about it out loud, because it makes shareholders nervous.

So, before getting into how Google is going to help us all live forever, or at least for much longer, take a look at a couple of projects the company is working on that could pay off a lot sooner:
* Google is working to replace the “tracking cookie,” that familiar but odious component of the Web experience, with something less objectionable on privacy grounds, without breaking the economic system that supports the Internet.
* It has enhanced its search results by adding “in-depth articles” to its results, in order to flesh out timely matches with greater context.
Killing Cookies

Google is considering ways to replace the third-party or tracking cookie as the basic piece of information that marketers use to target individuals based on their Web-browsing activity.

Google’s attempt to lead on this issue, first reported by, will be controversial in itself.

It isn’t going to be easy to replace a system that underpins the now-$120 billion digital advertising business, but it could be argued that it has got to be done, and soon.

For one thing, marketers are getting better at interpreting and responding to the information they have gathered on users’ interests and habits. But the more effective they get, the creepier they are. Advertisers do not aim to creep out their most-likely potential customers, so the industry itself is at least considering alternatives to the cookie.

Other industry players have responded to consumers’ concerns. The latest version of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer browser has a default setting of “Do Not Track,” and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not permit third-party cookies in its Safari browser.

Worst of all, mobile apps do not support third-party cookies. So, their days are numbered.

Among the alternatives Google reportedly is considering is an anonymous identifier, or AdID, a system already in use by Apple.

According to, Google will start “reaching out” to industry, consumer, and government groups to get their reaction in the coming weeks and months.

Early indications are that the advertising industry will be wary of a change that could make Google the keeper of knowledge that is now in their own hands. In the words of AdAge, this system could take Google “from being the biggest card player at the table to owning the casino.”

Exploring “In-Depth”

Google is, after all, supposed to be a search engine company, so it’s a relief to learn that it's still working on that.

It’s also good to get an explanation for those “in-depth articles” links that have begun popping up in some search results.

It seems that Google conducted a study late last year that concluded that about 10% of the queries conducted on its search engine were not satisfactory. That is, the user required more information, different information, or at least more context, than its algorithm had turned up.

The result is “in-depth articles,” a selection of related long-form articles that might be months or even years old, but that includes the context that is otherwise missing.

In an article co-authored by data scientist Peter J. Meyers,’s Denis Pinsky explains the new section, well, in-depth.

Curing Death

But about that cure for death…

The new company, called Calico and funded in part by Google, is dedicated to tackling the issues of aging-related disease, with the goal of extending the human life span.

In a blog post announcing the company, Page says he believes the company can improve millions of lives by bringing what he calls “moon shot thinking” to health care and biotechnology.

The company will be led by Arthur D. Levinson, a biochemist by training who is the chairman and former CEO of Genentech as well as the chairman of Apple. He also was on Google’s board until 2009, when he resigned to resolve a regulatory probe into the overlapping directors at Google and Apple.

Even thinks Calico is, for Google, “an odd move.” What happened, it asks, to the promise Page made just two years ago to put more focus in core ventures?

The Time cover story might have an interesting answer to that question. Medicine is becoming an information science, it notes, as vast amounts of data are increasingly used to customize treatment. And Google, the article notes, “is very, very good with large data sets.”

But if that’s not persuasive, consider this: Google has about $54 billion in cash. If it can use a chunk of that to extend all of our lives, or just to cure Larry Page’s midlife crisis (he’s 40), what could it hurt?

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Permalink 03:00:29 pm, by dacare, 267 words, 584 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Technical, IT Recruiting

Telstra China chief executive Xiaowei Chen exits

Telstra’s China chief executive Xiaowei Chen has left the company for “personal reasons” and not been replaced.

The move is potentially a blow to Telstra’s plans to expand into Asia to offset falling domestic fixed-line profits.

Chen Xiaowei’s departure was first revealed by industry publication Communications Day. A Telstra spokesman said she had left the company several months ago and not been replaced.

The McKinsey & Co consultant and former TV presenter for China Central Television was responsible for Telstra’s assets in China and tasked with growing the telco’s business in China both organically and through acquisitions.

The executive was appointed in May 2011 with Telstra’s then group managing director of Telstra International Tarek Robbiati describing her hiring as “a significant milestone in our drive to recruit the very best people throughout our operations.”

The company runs several popular websites in China including, which is a leading site for car-owners looking for products and services.

Chinese national Tim Chen quit the board of Telstra in October 2012, ostensibly to pursue opportunities away from the telco. But he re-joined the company as its head of international operations exactly one month later at the behest of chief executive David Thodey.

Telstra has a presence in several Asian countries through its submarine cable assets and is actively using them to expand its footprint in the region. Earlier this month it appointed Singapore-Chinese executive Chin Hu Lim to the board as a director to drive growth.

But it also faces significant competition from home-grown rivals in the region who offer similar products and services.

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Permalink 10:20:34 am, by dacare, 576 words, 581 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Technical, IT Recruiting

In Hong Kong, High-Skilled Jobs Decline

Hong Kong is facing an expansion of low-skilled employment at a time when the number of high-skilled jobs is contracting, reflecting a torpid environment for the territory’s financial services industry and other white-collar sectors.

In the second quarter, the number of high-skilled jobs slipped by 0.9% from a year earlier, following a 2.4% drop in the first quarter. By contrast, non-professional jobs surged 3.8% in the second quarter after rising 4.7% in the first.

Overall, total employment rose 2.5% year-on-year to 3.75 million positions in the second quarter. Of these, 1.38 million are high-skilled jobs while 2.37 million are in the low-skilled segment.

The reason for a contraction in the number of high-skilled positions, according to human resources professionals, is weak hiring in the financial sector. The financial-services industry contributes about 20% of employment and just under a fifth to national output but it’s share has been falling. That’s in contrast to rapid growth of the retail sector and other blue-collar industries that have driven GDP growth lately as more mainland Chinese shop here.

Hong Kong’s GDP grew 3.3% in the second quarter, a healthy clip. The jobless rate also remains a relatively low 3.3%. But economists are concerned the increasing reliance on low-skilled sectors could hurt productivity growth and drag on the economy in the future.

“I believe the contraction of Hong Kong professional sector is more related to financial deleveraging over the global economy,” said Hang Seng Bank economist Ryan Lam. “Financial centers like Hong Kong are more vulnerable to the end of the credit-driven era than Singapore, which has a diversified manufacturing base.”

Hong Kong’s recruitment agencies said they’d witnessed a decline in middle-management jobs, especially in financial services.

“The global financial headwind has made companies more cautious in creating permanent headcount or making replacement hiring, especially mid to senior positions,” said Lancy Chui, regional managing director for Greater China at ManpowerGroup.

She noted some financial institutions continue to downsize and restructure operations following the financial turmoil in 2008.

“I don’t see any new posts for professional jobs in financial services this year,” said another senior consultant for a recruitment agency in the city. “It’s only job replacements filled by a junior post, with lower pay.”

Some recruiters point to cost-cutting in the financial-services industry globally as a factor contributing to Hong Kong’s changing employment landscape.

“Managing costs is still the top priority for most organizations in financial services, and this is the main factor behind the current cautious hiring environment,” said George McFerran, Asia Pacific managing director of eFinancialCareers, a recruitment firm.

GDP has gotten a boost in recent quarters from the rising tide of spending by cashed-up Chinese mainlanders visiting the territory to hunt for everything from daily necessities to luxury goods. Between 2007 and 2011, the contribution of tourism, including the retail trade, to the city’s GDP rose to 4.5% from 3.4%.

Alexa Chow, managing director of Centaline Human Resources Consultant Ltd., said she expected demand for non-professional jobs in the retail and services sectors to remain strong for years to come as tourism from mainland China continues to boom.

Still, some economists worry that the trend toward lower-skilled employment may push down economic growth in future quarters.

“A structural shift of employment toward this low-profitability, labor-reliant sector could cause a gradual slowdown in GDP growth,” said Hang Seng Bank’s Mr. Lam. “If this trend continues, Hong Kong could turn into another tourism city filled with low-skilled labor instead of being an international financial center.”

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