Gridsum Supports Chinese New Year Marketing Campaign for China Southern Airlines

BEIJING, Feb. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Gridsum Holding Inc. (“Gridsum” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: GSUM), a leading provider of cloud-based big-data analytics and artificial intelligence (“AI”) solutions in China, today announced that China Southern Airlines Company Limited (“China Southern Airlines”) (NYSE: ZNH) has launched a Chinese New Year marketing campaign using Gridsum’s Marketing Automation suite. The marketing campaign will employ virtual reality (“VR”) and augmented reality (“AR”) technologies to create an immersive 360-degree advertising experience for users across multiple marketing channels including Baidu apps, Baidu Tieba, Weibo and WeChat. This is the first marketing campaign of its kind for an airline in China.

The Chinese New Year marketing campaign is leveraging Gridsum’s Marketing Automation suite, cloud-based big-data analytics and AI capabilities to create a variety of highly-targeted marketing content. Gridsum began collaborating with China Southern Airlines in June 2017 to improve its search engine marketing campaigns on Baidu. By the end of 2017, China Southern Airline’s return on its investment in search engine marketing had significantly improved from 2016, resulting in the expansion of the scope of service which now includes other search engines such as Qihoo360, Sogou, and Google among others.

Mr. Guosheng Qi, Chief Executive Officer of Gridsum, commented, “The Chinese New Year holiday is one of the most important travel periods in China and we are excited to support this first-of-its-kind marketing campaign for China Southern Airlines. By leveraging our deep experience in generating innovative highly-targeted marketing content for cross-platform campaigns, our Marketing Automation suite will help China Southern Airlines on their marketing strategy and further improve their business KPIs during China’s peak travel season. With an expanded mandate from China Southern Airlines, we will continue to work closely with them to develop new value-added services and marketing content in order to help them make better data-driven business decisions and increase marketing and sales efficiency.”

About China Southern Airlines Company Limited

China Southern Airlines Company Limited (NYSE: ZNH) provides commercial airline services throughout Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

For more information about the Company, please visit http://global.csair.com.

About Gridsum

Gridsum Holding Inc. (NASDAQ: GSUM) is a leading provider of cloud-based big-data analytics and AI solutions for multinational and domestic enterprises and government agencies in China. Gridsum’s core technology, the Gridsum Big Data Platform, is built on a distributed computing framework and performs real-time multi-dimensional correlation analysis of both structured and unstructured data. This enables Gridsum’s customers to identify complex relationships within their data and gain new insights that help them make better business decisions. The Company is named “Gridsum” to symbolize the combination of distributed computing (Grid) and analytics (sum). As a digital intelligence pioneer, the Company’s mission is to help enterprises and government organizations in China use data in new and powerful ways to make better informed decisions and be more productive.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “aims,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “likely to” and similar statements. Among other things, quotations from management in this announcement as well as Gridsum’s strategic and operational plans contain forward-looking statements. Gridsum may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its reports filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in its annual reports to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Gridsum’s beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: unexpected difficulties in Gridsum’s pursuit of its goals and strategies; the unexpected developments, including slow growth, in the digital intelligence market; reduced demand for, and market acceptance of, Gridsum’s solutions; difficulties keeping and strengthening relationships with customers; potentially costly research and development activities; competitions in the digital intelligence market; PRC governmental policies relating to media, software, big data, the internet, internet content providers and online advertising; and general economic and business conditions in the regions where Gridsum provides solutions and services. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Gridsum’s reports filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and Gridsum undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.

For more information, please visit http://www.gridsum.com/.

Investor Relations

Gridsum

ir@gridsum.com

Christensen

In China

Mr. Christian Arnell

Phone: +86-10-5900-1548

Email: carnell@christensenir.com

In U.S.

Mr. Tip Fleming

Phone: +1 917 412 3333

Email: tfleming@christensenir.com

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Is Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech Limited (HKG:399) A Healthcare Industry Laggard Or Leader?

Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech Limited (SEHK:399), a HKDHK$688.17M small-cap, is a healthcare company operating in an industry, which has experienced tailwinds from issues such as higher demand driven by an aging population and the increasing prevalence of diseases and comorbidities. The demand for new drug development to meet new or persistent chronic illnesses, as well as the ongoing need for biotech drugs as Baby Boomers continue to age, are growth drivers for the optimistic outlook for the biotech industry in the long run. Healthcare analysts are forecasting for the entire industry, a relatively muted growth of 9.06% in the upcoming year , and a whopping growth of 48.18% over the next couple of years. This rate is larger than the growth rate of the Hong Kong stock market as a whole. Is now the right time to pick up some shares in biotech companies? In this article, I’ll take you through the sector growth expectations, as well as evaluate whether Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech is lagging or leading its competitors in the industry. View our latest analysis for Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech

What’s the catalyst for Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech’s sector growth?

SEHK:399 Past Future Earnings Dec 22nd 17
SEHK:399 Past Future Earnings Dec 22nd 17

New R&D methods and big data analytics are creating opportunities for innovations, however, stakeholders have been challenged to keep abreast of this structural shift while under pressure to cut costs. Over the past year, the industry saw growth in the twenties, beating the Hong Kong market growth of 11.29%. Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech lags the pack with its sustained negative earnings over the past couple of years. The company’s outlook seems uncertain, with a lack of analyst coverage, which doesn’t boost our confidence in the stock. This lack of growth and transparency means Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech may be trading cheaper than its peers.

Is Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech and the sector relatively cheap?

SEHK:399 PE PEG Gauge Dec 22nd 17
SEHK:399 PE PEG Gauge Dec 22nd 17

Biotech companies are typically trading at a PE of 21x, above the broader Hong Kong stock market PE of 14x. This means the industry, on average, is relatively overvalued compared to the wider market. However, the industry returned a similar 10.57% on equities compared to the market’s 10.00%. Since Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech’s earnings doesn’t seem to reflect its true value, its PE ratio isn’t very useful. A loose alternative to gauge Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech’s value is to assume the stock should be relatively in-line with its industry.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech has been a biotech industry laggard in the past year. If your initial investment thesis is around the growth prospects of Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech, there are other biotech companies that have delivered higher growth, and perhaps trading at a discount to the industry average. Consider how Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech fits into your wider portfolio and the opportunity cost of holding onto the stock.

Are you a potential investor? If Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech has been on your watchlist for a while, now may be a good time to dig deeper into the stock. Although its growth has delivered lower growth relative to its biotech peers in the near term, the market may be pessimistic on the stock, leading to a potential undervaluation. Before you make a decision on the stock, I suggest you look at Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech’s future cash flows in order to assess whether the stock is trading at a reasonable price.

For a deeper dive into Innovative Pharmaceutical Biotech’s stock, take a look at the company’s latest free analysis report to find out more on its financial health and other fundamentals. Interested in other healthcare stocks instead? Use our free playform to see my list of over 1000 other healthcare companies trading on the market.

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Fintech already transforming banking world, experts say at World Internet Conference

WUZHEN – From meeting the credit needs of a farmer in Jiangsu to those of a start-up being run out of a San Francisco garage, leaders of fintech companies shared on Tuesday (05/12) how technology and data have already changed the way banking and finance works.

Technologies like big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping to resolve two core issues in lending: providing a better estimate of risk, and in building trust, industry experts said at a panel discussion on the final day of the World Internet Conference here.

Baidu, for instance, has tapped on big data and AI to measure the credibility of small and medium enterprises to offer them tailored loans, said the search engine’s senior vice president Zhu Guang.

Mr Zhu cited a crab farmer in Jiangsu who had been advertising with Baidu for eight years. This year, Baidu offered him a loan of five million yuan ($xx) to expand his business, which was promptly repaid after he posted record revenues of over 100 million yuan.

“How did we do this? We did risk management of his operations, and through big data analysis we made the decision that we could provide loans to him,” said Mr Zhu.

He added that the same technologies had also helped less academically-inclined students obtain loans to attend vocational colleges. Such loans would have been rejected previously.

JD Finance CEO Chen Shengqiang said that historic data, such as a farmer’s crop yields in the past, had eliminated the need for loan collateral thus lowering barriers to capital access.

Fintech can also benefit the fledgling start-up. AngelList, a platform that connects start-ups to angel investors, pointed to how digitisation and analytics helped thousands of freshly-minted US companies comply with government filing requirements even as they were matched with suitable early-stage investors.

Among its early successes was the funding of Uber back in 2010, when “it was doing ten rides a night in the city of San Francisco”, said CEO Kevin Laws.

The speed of change means there are many more opportunities on the horizon for fintech firms to disrupt traditional banks, said the experts. They pointed to how technology like blockchains – distributed ledgers that are highly resistant to tampering and make all transactions transparent – could make trust even easier to build.

“The essence of finance is…how do you give trust to a person you’ve never met?” said Mr Soul Htite, CEO of online lending marketplace, Dianrong.

“There’s a huge opportunity today because of systems like big data that allows us to predict the future, and systems like blockchain that allows us to write data and never change it.”

To guide the development of the Internet in the coming years, the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies (CACS) on Monday (04/12) launched a new internet development index that it said fills a gap in existing measurements that “fail to reflect the big picture and overall trend of Internet development across the world”.

The new index, which broadly measures countries’ development in six areas – Internet infrastructure, innovativeness, industry development, Internet use, cyber security and Internet governance – had the US in pole position, followed by China and then South Korea.

The Global Internet Development Index provided quantifiable data for countries to assess their Internet development and “take corresponding measures”, said the report.

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Through Technology, China Works Towards Global Domination

China, a state-led economy, is making full use of structural and policy advantages over market-based economies, like the United States.

As a political system under Communist Party rule, China can set and implement long-term strategic goals. In the US, by contrast, political power is separated into three branches of government, which function within a framework of checks and balances. Private corporations, operating in decentralized markets, are narrowly focused on short-term, company-specific goals, such as optimizing quarterly profits and boosting stock market valuations.

Unless there is an urgent sense of national crisis—as happened in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first Earth satellite, triggering a national campaign to boost R&D—the US government places its faith in the efficiency of the market mechanism. It believes that the marketplace yields superior outcomes to the national goals set by the State.

Although that faith was justified in America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union, it remains to be seen whether the decentralized market model will outperform the State-centric system in the post-Cold War rivalry between the US and China.

China’s economy is far more dynamic, flexible, and productive than the rigid economic system of the Soviet Union.

Digital Technology

The Communist Party Congress has laid out bold plans to make China become the world’s leading power by 2050. President Xi Jinping understands that if China is to displace the US as the world’s superpower, China must advance to the forefront of transformative technology.

What, specifically, are these transformative technologies? AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, big data analytics, microprocessors and semiconductor technology, cloud computing platforms, driverless cars, robotics, IoT (internet-of-things), mobile devices, pharmaceuticals, stem cell and gene-based R&D.

AI Technology

Of these, AI is the key—the seminal, enabling technology. It is the application of AI algorithms that allow advanced computers to collect, analyze, and store huge volumes of data. Data is the basic ingredient for AI development across all sectors of the global economy: retail, financial services, health care, transportation, entertainment, hospitality, energy, and infrastructure.

Knowing this, the Chinese State has targeted AI as the wedge technology in which to invest huge financial and human resources over the next 10 to 15 years. By focusing and investing substantially more resources than other countries, China expects to emerge as the world’s AI leader by the year 2030.

Population and Data

The sheer mass of domestic data is another structural advantage that China is harnessing. China is the world’s second largest economy and the world’s most populous country, with 1.4 billion people—more than four times America’s 326 million.

There are more than 721 million Chinese internet users, compared to 287 million Americans. The largest crowd of internet users thus reside in China. Ninety-five percent of the 721 million Chinese rely on mobile devices.

By using smartphones for ordinary transactions, China is moving rapidly towards becoming a cashless society. Mobile websites, Alipay and WeChat, account for nearly $5 trillion in financial transactions.

From the standpoint of aggregate numbers, therefore, China can draw upon a deep reservoir of empirical data. And data gathering and analysis, as pointed out already, is the central thoroughfare for the long journey to global leadership in digital technology.

One-Way Street

A third advantage that the Chinese State has created—based on government policy (not on systemic factors)—is asymmetric access to trade and investments, namely, easy access to overseas markets for Chinese companies but stringently restricted access to China’s own market for American corporations. Call this market divide the 21st century version of “The Great Wall of China.”

Facial recognition technology in China

If any of America’s five tech titans—Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft—try to establish a presence inside “The Great Wall of China,” the Chinese State requires that they transfer key proprietary technology, build manufacturing, R&D or Cloud storage centers inside China, and agree to joint ventures or partnerships with local Chinese companies. Over time, such transfers of proprietary technology enable local Chinese companies to catch up and eventually to push out American companies. This policy approach can be described as a “One-Way Street.”

Why do leading American corporations, like Apple and Qualcomm, accept patently unfair trade and investment practices? Because the lure of China’s enormous domestic market is simply irresistible: specifically, the purchasing power of 1.4 billion Chinese consumers who are the beneficiaries of rising disposable incomes.

What’s at work here, once again, is China’s pursuit of strategic, long-term goals and corporate America’s quest for short-term revenues and profits. Take the cash now. Don’t be paralyzed by future uncertainties. Call this trade-off a risky and potentially costly “Faustian Bargain.”

Chinese Investments and Acquisitions

While restricting foreign entry into its domestic market, China is taking full advantage of its access to open overseas markets. In 2016, Chinese entities invested an estimated $200-250 billion in new technology start-ups and established hi-tech companies.

Half of that amount was invested in the United States, representing anywhere from 7-10% of all venture deals done in the US in 2016. The technologies that China has targeted cover the spectrum from semiconductors to AI, machine learning, robots, and cloud computing. All are essential technologies for achieving global leadership.

China World Robot Conference

The Chinese have spent roughly $150 billion to acquire American semiconductor companies, including both early stage start-ups and established firms. US venture funds, seeking the highest rates of return, are reluctant to invest in hardware start-ups, given the steep costs of capital investments and the high risks.

Too often, the only investment money available to American semiconductor start-ups is Chinese money. And China usually brings the semiconductor technology—as well as R&D and manufacturing know-how—back inside the Great Wall of China.

America’s Ecosystem of Innovation

The semiconductor industry is an indispensable fixture in America’s ecosystem of innovation. If semiconductors fall under Chinese sway, America’s ecosystem of innovation—its most precious national asset—could be seriously impaired, if not permanently damaged. This would deal a devastating blow to America’s base of economic and military power, because America’s military weaponry have become increasingly dependent on technological breakthroughs in commercial R&D.

Industrial Espionage and Cybertheft

China’s restrictions on access to its domestic market fall into the category of coercive trade practices, but such practices are not, strictly speaking, illegal.

Where China crosses the border into the dark underworld of illegality is its ruthless campaign of cyber-theft, industrial espionage, patent infringement, piracy, and counterfeiting. Whereas Russia engages in cyber-hacking in order to destabilize democratic societies, China is focused on cyber-hacking aimed at stealing advanced technology.

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, an independent organization, has estimated that cyber-theft by foreign countries—primarily China—amounts to $225 to $600 billion per year.

The lower-end estimate of $225 billion is more than 1% of America’s GDP. The higher end of $600 billion is roughly 3% of America’s GDP. That’s a staggering sum. America’s defense budget, the world’s biggest, is 3.5% of GDP.

Clear and Present Danger

China’s strategic goal of becoming the global leader in digital technology by 2030 poses a clear and present danger to the economy and national security of America, as well as those of its global allies, particularly Western Europe and Japan.

China’s global strategy of technological domination is far more threatening than the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957. What is urgently needed today and over the next several decades is a strong, sustained, and coordinated response by the United States and its allies. In the face of China’s strategic challenge to the West, is Japan prepared to collaborate comprehensively with the United States?

Daniel I. Okimoto, professor emeritus at Stanford University, is also co-chairman of Silicon Valley Japan Platform.

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Is Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc (SPPI) On The Right Side Of Disruption?

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SPPI), a USD$1.94B small-cap, is a healthcare company operating in an industry, which has experienced tailwinds from issues such as higher demand driven by an aging population and the increasing prevalence of diseases and comorbidities. The growth in development of new drugs for unmet needs, as well as the ongoing and increasing need for biotech drugs as Baby Boomer generation continues to age, are growth drivers for the positive outlook in the biotech industry over the long term. Healthcare analysts are forecasting for the entire industry, negative growth in the upcoming year , and a whopping growth of 44.94% over the next couple of years. This rate is larger than the growth rate of the US stock market as a whole. Should your portfolio be overweight in the biotech sector at the moment? Today, I will analyse the industry outlook, as well as evaluate whether SPPI is lagging or leading its competitors in the industry. Check out our latest analysis for Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

What’s the catalyst for SPPI’s sector growth?

NasdaqGS:SPPI Past Future Earnings Nov 19th 17
NasdaqGS:SPPI Past Future Earnings Nov 19th 17

New R&D methods and big data analytics are creating opportunities for innovations, however, stakeholders have been challenged to keep abreast of this structural shift while under pressure to cut costs. In the past year, the industry delivered growth of 8.45%, though still underperforming the wider US stock market. SPPI lags the pack with its negative growth rate of -23.41% over the past year, which indicates the company will be growing at a slower pace than its biotech peers. However, the future seems brighter, as analysts expect an industry-beating growth rate of 5.09% in the upcoming year. This future growth may make SPPI a more expensive stock relative to its peers.

Is SPPI and the sector relatively cheap?

NasdaqGS:SPPI PE PEG Gauge Nov 19th 17
NasdaqGS:SPPI PE PEG Gauge Nov 19th 17

The biotech industry is trading at a PE ratio of 27x, higher than the rest of the US stock market PE of 22x. This means the industry, on average, is relatively overvalued compared to the wider market. However, the industry did return a higher 16.08% compared to the market’s 10.06%, which may be indicative of past tailwinds. Since SPPI’s earnings doesn’t seem to reflect its true value, its PE ratio isn’t very useful. A loose alternative to gauge SPPI’s value is to assume the stock should be relatively in-line with its industry.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? SPPI’s industry-beating future is a positive for shareholders, indicating they’ve backed a fast-growing horse. If you’re bullish on the stock and well-diversified by industry, you may decide to hold onto SPPI as part of your portfolio. However, if you’re relatively concentrated in biotech, you may want to value SPPI based on its cash flows to determine if it is overpriced based on its current growth outlook.

Are you a potential investor? If SPPI has been on your watchlist for a while, now may be the time to enter into the stock, if you like its growth prospects and are not highly concentrated in the biotech industry. However, before you make a decision on the stock, I suggest you look at SPPI’s future cash flows in order to assess whether the stock is trading at a reasonable price, as well as other important fundamentals such as the company’s financial health in order to build a holistic investment thesis.

For a deeper dive into Spectrum Pharmaceuticals’s stock, take a look at the company’s latest free analysis report to find out more on its financial health and other fundamentals. Interested in other healthcare stocks instead? Use our free playform to see my list of over 1000 other healthcare companies trading on the market.

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Should Your Next Investment In The Healthcare Industry Be In KalVista Pharmaceuticals Inc (KALV)?

KalVista Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:KALV), a USD$125.74M small-cap, is a healthcare company operating in an industry, which has experienced tailwinds from issues such as higher demand driven by an aging population and the increasing prevalence of diseases and comorbidities. The growth in development of new drugs for unmet needs, as well as the ongoing and increasing need for biotech drugs as Baby Boomer generation continues to age, are growth drivers for the positive outlook in the biotech industry over the long term. Healthcare analysts are forecasting for the entire industry, negative growth in the upcoming year , and a massive growth of 44.94% over the next couple of years. This rate is larger than the growth rate of the US stock market as a whole. Should your portfolio be overweight in the biotech sector at the moment? Today, I will analyse the industry outlook, as well as evaluate whether KALV is lagging or leading its competitors in the industry. View our latest analysis for KalVista Pharmaceuticals

What’s the catalyst for KALV’s sector growth?

NasdaqGM:KALV Past Future Earnings Nov 18th 17
NasdaqGM:KALV Past Future Earnings Nov 18th 17

New R&D methods and big data analytics are creating opportunities for innovations, however, stakeholders have been challenged to keep abreast of this structural shift while under pressure to cut costs. In the previous year, the industry saw growth of 8.45%, though still underperforming the wider US stock market. KALV lags the pack with its sustained negative earnings over the past couple of years. The company’s outlook seems uncertain, with a lack of analyst coverage, which doesn’t boost our confidence in the stock. This lack of growth and transparency means KALV may be trading cheaper than its peers.

Is KALV and the sector relatively cheap?

NasdaqGM:KALV PE PEG Gauge Nov 18th 17
NasdaqGM:KALV PE PEG Gauge Nov 18th 17

The biotech industry is trading at a PE ratio of 27x, above the broader US stock market PE of 22x. This means the industry, on average, is relatively overvalued compared to the wider market. However, the industry did return a higher 16.08% compared to the market’s 10.06%, which may be indicative of past tailwinds. Since KALV’s earnings doesn’t seem to reflect its true value, its PE ratio isn’t very useful. A loose alternative to gauge KALV’s value is to assume the stock should be relatively in-line with its industry.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? KALV recently delivered an industry-beating growth rate in earnings, which is a positive for shareholders. If you’re bullish on the stock and well-diversified by industry, you may decide to hold onto KALV as part of your portfolio. However, if you’re relatively concentrated in biotech, you may want to value KALV based on its cash flows to determine if it is overpriced based on its current growth outlook.

Are you a potential investor? If KALV has been on your watchlist for a while, now may be the time to enter into the stock, if you like its ability to deliver growth and are not highly concentrated in the biotech industry. However, before you make a decision on the stock, I suggest you look at KALV’s future cash flows in order to assess whether the stock is trading at a reasonable price, as well as other important fundamentals such as the company’s financial health in order to build a holistic investment thesis.

For a deeper dive into KalVista Pharmaceuticals’s stock, take a look at the company’s latest free analysis report to find out more on its financial health and other fundamentals. Interested in other healthcare stocks instead? Use our free playform to see my list of over 1000 other healthcare companies trading on the market.

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Is Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc (EIGR) On The Right Side Of Disruption?

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:EIGR), a USD$119.70M small-cap, is a healthcare company operating in an industry, which has experienced tailwinds from issues such as higher demand driven by an aging population and the increasing prevalence of diseases and comorbidities. The growth in development of new drugs for unmet needs, as well as the ongoing and increasing need for biotech drugs as Baby Boomer generation continues to age, are growth drivers for the positive outlook in the biotech industry over the long term. Healthcare analysts are forecasting for the entire industry, negative growth in the upcoming year , and an enormous growth of 44.94% over the next couple of years. This rate is larger than the growth rate of the US stock market as a whole. An interesting question to explore is whether we can we benefit from entering into the biotech sector right now. In this article, I’ll take you through the sector growth expectations, as well as evaluate whether EIGR is lagging or leading its competitors in the industry. See our latest analysis for EIGR

What’s the catalyst for EIGR’s sector growth?

NasdaqGM:EIGR Past Future Earnings Nov 6th 17
NasdaqGM:EIGR Past Future Earnings Nov 6th 17

New R&D methods and big data analytics are creating opportunities for innovations, however, stakeholders have been challenged to keep abreast of this structural shift while under pressure to cut costs. Over the past year, the industry saw growth of 8.45%, though still underperforming the wider US stock market. EIGR leads the pack with its impressive earnings growth of 63.39% over the past year. Furthermore, analysts are expecting this trend of above-industry growth to continue, with EIGR poised to deliver a 8.22% growth over the next couple of years. This growth may make EIGR a more expensive stock relative to its peers.

Is EIGR and the sector relatively cheap?

NasdaqGM:EIGR PE PEG Gauge Nov 6th 17
NasdaqGM:EIGR PE PEG Gauge Nov 6th 17

The biotech industry is trading at a PE ratio of 27x, higher than the rest of the US stock market PE of 22x. This illustrates a somewhat overpriced sector compared to the rest of the market. However, the industry did return a higher 16.08% compared to the market’s 10.06%, which may be indicative of past tailwinds. Since EIGR’s earnings doesn’t seem to reflect its true value, its PE ratio isn’t very useful. A loose alternative to gauge EIGR’s value is to assume the stock should be relatively in-line with its industry.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? EIGR’s industry-beating future is a positive for shareholders, indicating they’ve backed a fast-growing horse. If you’re bullish on the stock and well-diversified by industry, you may decide to hold onto EIGR as part of your portfolio. However, if you’re relatively concentrated in biotech, you may want to value EIGR based on its cash flows to determine if it is overpriced based on its current growth outlook.

Are you a potential investor? If EIGR has been on your watchlist for a while, now may be the time to enter into the stock, if you like its growth prospects and are not highly concentrated in the biotech industry. However, before you make a decision on the stock, I suggest you look at EIGR’s future cash flows in order to assess whether the stock is trading at a reasonable price, as well as other important fundamentals such as the company’s financial health in order to build a holistic investment thesis.

For a deeper dive into Eiger BioPharmaceuticals’s stock, take a look at the company’s latest free analysis report to find out more on its financial health and other fundamentals. Interested in other healthcare stocks instead? Use our free playform to see my list of over 1000 other healthcare companies trading on the market.

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Artificial intelligence and big data will be the growth drivers of China’s economic transformation

Kevin Du is travelling to the United States this week to visit Harvard Business School. But he has other things on his mind.

He plans to make a side trip to other top universities and technology companies, part of his regular day job as a headhunter, looking to rope in engineers, programmers and coders to work in China.

China, already the world’s largest market for automatons, e-commerce and smartphones, is also the job market for artificial intelligence, big data analytics and robotics. The Chinese government has just unveiled a road map to global dominance in AI by 2030, forecasting the industry to be worth 1 trillion yuan (US$151 billion) by then.

“I have been visiting scholars and engineers in universities, Google, Microsoft and high-flying start-ups like iRobot, trying to bring AI and big data experts back to Nanjing,” Du said.

Du, 38, was working for Nanjing’s city government as a recruiter for more than six years, helping to set up labs and companies in the city.

Now, he has struck out on his own, using the network he established to help Chinese technology companies like Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding – as well as local governments from Nanjing to Guangzhou – find talent and technology to bring back to China.

He is not alone. Wu Weiyue, 27, with an MBA from Oxford University, is one of hundreds of Chinese students heading home right after graduating abroad, in their belief that China’s economic growth pace and market size are better able to put technology to commercial use.

Wu joined PerceptIn in July, a two-year-old start-up specialising in visual intelligence, an important technology used in autonomous driving. The company has since grown its team to nearly 30 in Shenzhen and Santa Clara, and has located a strategic round of funding at a valuation of US$50 million.

Alibaba seeking to reshape retail industry through big data, cloud computing

“The timing is ripe,” said Wu, who feels if she had waited for, say another five years, she would have missed out on a huge opportunity. “It won’t be surprised at all if China leads the world in autonomous driving technology.”

The paths chosen by Wu and Du reflect the changing face of China’s economy. Top leaders are keen to find a new engine that powers economic growth when traditional industries are struggling with overcapacity and piling debt.

That switch was highlighted by President Xi Jinping in his opening speech at the 19th party congress last month.

“China has transformed to high-quality growth, from high-speed growth … we need to speed up building China into a strong country with advanced manufacturing, pushing for deep integration between the real economy and advanced technologies including internet, big data and AI,” Xi said.

Wang Tao, an economist with UBS, said that Xi’s speech without specifying a gross domestic product (GDP) target perhaps signalled a subtle shift in the party’s primary development objective.

Wang said that China would take the opportunity to cut overcapacity and leverage, while transforming the economy “by moving up the global value chain and develop new growth drivers in mid- to high-end consumption and innovation”.

Analysts with Goldman Sachs were of a similar view. They noted that a twin-measure framework had been set by Xi that stresses cutting overcapacity and deleveraging in the old economy, and simultaneously while pushing for innovation that accelerated structural transformation.

“Instead of purely focusing on the speed of economic growth, policymakers now also emphasise higher productivity, higher profitability, more innovation and efficient distribution,” said a Goldman Sachs note.

Fred Hu, chairman of Beijing-based private investment firm Primavera Capital Group, said that since China has set a target to become a moderate socialist country in 15 years it will put more emphasis on innovation and technology, consumer services and clean technology such as renewable energy.

The real technology threat is already here: big data and e-commerce platforms

“In the next five years, China will focus on economic development and unleash potential for innovation to generate sustainable economic growth,” he said.

China’s march towards a technology-powered “new economy” will be fuelled by the use of big data, cloud computing and the internet of things among others.

Even China’s tech-savvy consumers are prepared. The country is already the world’s largest e-commerce market with about 500 million people buying almost everything from shampoo to groceries to cars online.

Shopping is being further fuelled by the switch to “cashless society”. For example, by scanning quick response codes using smartphones, Chinese consumers can buy snacks, rent a bike or a car without carrying their wallets around.

But what the technology brings to the overall economic growth is worth noting.

PwC research this year estimated that AI technologies would boost global GDP by a further 14 per cent by 2030 – the equivalent of an additional US$15.7 trillion. And China, as the world’s second largest economy, will see an estimated 26 per cent boost to GDP by that time, the most in the world.

“The adoption of AI is expected to dramatically boost productivity, which is critical for the sustainable economic power of China,” said Scott Likens, new services and emerging technologies leader for the US, China and Japan at PwC Consulting. “AI will enable more personalised production, drive greater product variety and spur consumption demand.”

But Likens said the only challenge was how fast China could complete the workforce shift as the adoption of AI would bring new job openings that required a new set of skills from people and cut low-end repetitive jobs that could easily be replaced by robots.

Justin Ren, associate professor of operations and technology management at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, said it was hard to predict the exact trajectory of growth in China’s tech-enabled economy in the coming years and when it would be able to fully make up for the decline of the country’s traditional industries.

“But it is safe to say that China’s technology component will grow much faster than its traditional industries,” Ren said. “Just take a look at the revenue growth of China’s top three tech players: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. Ten years ago, they accounted for less than 0.02 per cent of China’s GDP. Today, they are likely around 0.5 per cent, a 25-fold increase in less than 10 years,” he said.

While the move to a technology-powered economy is being actively encouraged, some experts want China to exercise caution. China’s policymakers still face urgent problems, ranging from state enterprises’ high debt pile and overcapacity, a frothy property market and lacklustre private investment, and increasing financial risks.

Natixis said in a note that it expected future growth to decelerate, even if moderately. “The reasons are lack of incentives for fixed asset investment – at least private – and worsened outlook for property market.”

Chen Zhiwu, director of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong, said the chances of economic turmoil in the next three to five years were “very high”.

He said that the problems of the economy had been rolled over rather than solved. “By administrative measures you could temporarily curb the capacity, suppress people’s will to expand with leverage. But the harder you push for it, the more severe the market will be distorted.”

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Chinese internet leaders are also HR pioneers

Where would you expect to find the world’s most innovative talent-development program or a meld of big data and artificial intelligence together predicting employee resignations with 95% accuracy? Your answer probably would not be China, but think again.

While dreadful personnel management practices, as well as dangerous labor abuses, can still be found in the country, it would be a pity to ignore the innovation going on.

Chinese companies have been the quickest to adopt new technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and talent analytics. Their innovative human resources practices can bring a fresh perspective from one of the world’s most dynamic markets.

It is no secret that China’s employers face a large challenge. Annual workforce turnover can be as high as 30%. Employee loyalty is low; with staff no longer bound to their employers by the pre-reform “iron rice bowls” of job and benefit security, they can shop around for better pay and conditions. Employers are forced to go to great lengths to provide the right incentives and prospects to keep talent.

China’s huge population and immense workforce is transforming, too. Change is being driven by a rapidly expanding middle class, technological development and the new millennial generation. As this group comes of age, its members are making clear that they are not satisfied with just having a job. Employers need to satisfy the needs of employees who have become more demanding than ever before.

China, meanwhile, has embraced digitalization, including big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing more quickly than most developed economies. A big challenge is how to close the widening gap between what universities and colleges can teach and what technology companies need. Employers have to rely on new tools and practices to keep their employees up to date.

Driving innovation

Chinese digital giants Baidu and Tencent Holdings have taken the lead in technology-driven HR. According to an assessment by the U.S.-based Association for Talent Development, Tencent has developed the world’s most innovative talent-development program. The Baidu Talent Intelligence Center, meanwhile, is leading the way on applying advanced big data and AI capabilities for smart HR.

Baidu started exploring the use of big data and AI for HR in 2013. Its Talent Intelligence Center relies on a data pool covering more than 100,000 current and former employees. Traditional HR information, such as pay and performance, is combined with unstructured data from social-media platforms and text analysis of emails, corporate communications and chats.

During a 2015 pilot, the center identified 30 employees as likely to leave the organization within three months and 29 of them did. The center also offered its analysis of their reasons for leaving, giving the company an opening to head off the resignations of other staff members. Baidu says analysis by its center has helped to improve its staff retention rate, but it has not disclosed figures.

Tencent’s HR Big Data Team has developed a similar application that can make predictions over a time frame of just one month. Not unlike Baidu, Tencent has acquired data across more than 100 indicators, including deep analysis of employees’ online comments to colleagues and the company, as well as dining hall payment card balances and speed of use.

To help keep staff, Tencent has developed a sophisticated digital learning environment, drawing participation from around 90% of employees. Established in 2007, the Q-Learning mobile learning platform focuses on skill, mindset and culture training. Leveraging its experience as a leading social communication and gaming company, Tencent’s philosophy for the platform is to make training convenient, funny, short and continuous.

Based on these concepts, Tencent has developed a large database of videos, each no longer than 20 minutes, which describe the development of successful products like WeChat. There are live video classes led by popular instructors like the director of the TV program “Voice of China.” Other skills are taught via games based on popular comics. The Q-Learning platform, in turn, analyzes the most popular courses and search queries, as well as user activity to improve the training experience and ensure it is creating value for employees in addition to keeping them up to date on the newest technologies and skills.

Like Baidu, Tencent says its HR strategies have reduced staff turnover, but it has not disclosed specifics. Company officials say that the online training programs have had a positive impact on product development and other business areas, and has improved employee satisfaction levels and acted as an attraction for new recruits.

Tencent and Baidu are also looking to sell their new expertise in digital HR. Baidu’s Talent Radar, a tool that uses big data and AI to identify hot spots for recruitment in any sector, has been marketed to third parties. Tencent, meanwhile, has fielded many queries about its online learning systems from local and multinational companies.

Tencent and Baidu are certainly ahead of the pack globally in smart HR. Other Chinese companies are looking at these champions not only in regard to their disruptive product offerings but also in relation to how they manage the workforce of the future. Moreover, Tencent and Baidu know all too well that their core competitive advantage lies in their talents. If they want to have a sustainable future, smart HR is a necessity.

Mark Greeven is associate professor for innovation, entrepreneurship and strategy in Zhejiang University’s School of Management.

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Baidu To Launch A Driverless Bus Next Year

Robin Li, the chairman and chief executive officer of Chinese online search giant Baidu, has revealed that the tech firm plans on launching a fully autonomous bus next year in China. Li was speaking during the WSJ D.Live technology event organized by The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year Baidu unveiled Apollo, an open-source driverless-car software which it hopes will assist in turning it into a major player in the space.

According to Li, Baidu is partnering with BAIC Motor Corp in order to produce semi-autonomous vehicles running on Apollo on a mass scale by 2019. In the next four years Baidu intends to produce fully autonomous cars on a mass scale together with its business partner.

Apollo software

Baidu’s fully autonomous bus will be produced in partnership with a bus maker in China and will operate on a route that will be specially designated. The Chinese online search giant is betting on its Apollo software to lure motor vehicle manufacturers who might be put off by Google’ driverless car unit, Waymo.

According to Li Baidu’s pitch to car makers is that they will have more control over their data as well as user experience compared to Waymo’s closed system. However most industry experts are of the opinion that the technology of Google’s self-driving unit is the most advanced with its development having started in 2009.

Due to the fact that Apollo is an open source technology, the Chinese online search giant is not counting on software sales as its sole source of revenue. Li pointed out that numerous other business opportunities existed and this included writing insurance policies, selling high-definition maps, simulation systems and data.

Immersive technology experiences

In its self-driving cars Baidu will offer immersive technology experiences complete with interactive entertainment and screens. Baidu spends approximately 15% of the revenue it generates on research and development and this comes to around $1.5 billion. Most of this R&D budget goes to artificial intelligence.

Baidu’s announcement that it will be launching an autonomous bus next year comes in the wake of the online search firm joining the Hyperledger blockchain consortium, a group which is led by Linux Foundation and which concentrates on the development of blockchain technologies that can be used by enterprises. According to Zhang Xuyang, the vice president of Baidu, blockchain could assist in offering a more customized search experience.

“Over the past 17 years, we have striven to fulfill our mission by listening carefully to our users. We’re thrilled to be part of Hyperledger and look forward to collaborating with other