French retail giant Carrefour has agreed to sell an 80% stake in its China operations for ~$705 million to, an Alibaba (BABA) backed company. While China represents a massive opportunity with its almost 1.4 billion population, it has not been an easy market for foreign companies, at least when it comes to retail and e-commerce.

Macy’s has already exited China, and Walmart (WMT) and Tesco have sold partial stakes to domestic Chinese companies. Walmart sold its China e-commerce business to (JD) in 2016. Germany-based Metro AG is also reportedly planning to sell its China operations. Amazon (AMZN), which has had great success in the United States, as well as emerging markets like India, is also planning to close its e-commerce store in China.

Tough market

To be sure, it has never been easy for foreign companies to do consumer-focused business in China. US automotive giants like Ford and General Motors also had to form joint ventures to capture the Chinese market. However, retail has been an even sorrier story for foreign companies. Even after spending years in China, Walmart hasn’t been able to make a mark in the country. With growing e-commerce sales, life has become even tougher for foreign retail companies in China. Online retail sales increased 17.8% year-over-year in China in May, more than twice the growth in overall retail sales.

Alibaba and

Alibaba is reportedly thinking of a Hong Kong listing. The company has also announced a share split and restructured its top management. Alibaba’s chair and co-founder Jack Ma is set to retire later this year. Alibaba has gained 22.6% so far in 2019, while stock up 38.1% year-to-date.

Latest articles

President Trump eased the Huawei ban on June 28. Since then, investors have been closely monitoring how US officials implement the policy change.

Norfolk Southern will report its second-quarter earnings results on Wednesday. The company is expected to report an adjusted EPS of $2.79.

Dish Network’s (DISH) wireless business is currently in the making, as cord cutting has hit US satellite pay-TV providers harder than their cable counterparts.

Halliburton (HAL) reported its second-quarter earnings on Monday before the markets opened. The company's earnings rose sequentially.

22 Jul

Economic Data and Earnings Before the Fed's Meeting

WRITTEN BY Mohit Oberoi, CFA

Economic data and earnings will keep investors busy this week. More than a quarter of the S&P 500 companies are scheduled to release their earnings.

22 Jul

Will Chevron Outperform ExxonMobil in Q2?

WRITTEN BY Maitali Ramkumar

Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM) are scheduled to post their second-quarter earnings results on August 2.