Tudou: China Video-Sharing Will Go Public
Gary Wang, the founder and chief executive officer at Shanghai-based Tudou.com, China's second-largest online video site, says the company has plans for an initial public offering soon to better compete against rival Youku.com in the world's biggest Internet market. China has 420 million Internet users, and about 75 percent of them watch videos online. Last year, Youku had about 18 percent of China's online-video market, and Tudou roughly 13 percent, according to analysts. Tudou, whose name is a playful reference to couch potatoes, will seek a listing on a stock exchange outside China in order to give its Western backers "the exit they need," Wang says.
Japan Bank for Int'l Cooperation: California Rail Project May Get a Hand
State-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation is offering loans to support California's $40 billion high-speed rail project. The 432-mile Los Angeles-to-San Francisco link, due to open in 2020, will transport passengers between the two cities in less than three hours. Japan is offering the loan (of undisclosed size) to give Japanese companies, including East Japan Railway, an edge on European and Asian rivals in bidding for contracts for the project.
Best Buy: Overseas Sales Are Driving Profits
The world's largest consumer-electronics retailer reported a 61 percent profit gain for the second quarter as purchases overseas climbed 6 percent. Best Buy reported earnings of $254 million, compared with $158 million for the same period last year. Shoppers abroad account for about a quarter of the retailer's revenues.
Archer Daniels Midland: A More Palatable Name for Corn Syrup
The Corn Refiners Assn. has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow makers of high fructose corn syrup to call their product "corn sugar." In a statement, the trade group—which represents Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, among others—said "independent research" shows current labeling confuses U.S. consumers. Despite an industry-backed ad campaign designed to dispel concerns about the health effects of the sweetener, consumption of corn syrup has fallen to a 20-year low. Scientists have speculated that there is a connection between corn syrup and obesity, but there's been no conclusive research on the topic.
Wal-Mart Stores: Up Against Farmers as Well as Unions
An alliance of farmers, ranchers, and labor is criticizing Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, for allegedly using its market power to hold down agriculture prices. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the National Farmers Union, and others want the Obama Administration to broaden its inquiry into anticompetitive practices in agriculture to include Wal-Mart. Their complaints will get a public airing at a Justice Dept. and Agriculture Dept. workshop set for December.
On the Move
— VW's Jonathan Browning named CEO of U.S. operations
— Verizon CFO John Killian to retire at the close of 2010
— Goldman Sachs' Eileen Rominger, chief investment officer, is stepping down at year's end