App delivery boom shakes up China food sector

Business is good. “8Peppers” now has 10 branches and Guo is a partner in a separate kitchen-only project with eight outlets and hundreds more planned nationally.Passionate about food, Chinese are also eager adopters of e-commerce, a potent combination for delivery start-ups.More than 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) worth of meals were delivered in 2017, equalling Bolivia’s gross domestic product, a figure expected to grow another 20 percent this year, consultancy iiMedia Research said.Users of meal-ordering platforms tripled in two years to 343 million in 2017, the China Internet Network Information Center said, the vast majority using mobile apps. The delivery cost of a few yuan is no deterrent as Chinese incomes rise Su Xiaosu struggled after migrating several years ago from rural Jiangsu province to Shanghai, where she married. But in 2016, she joined fast-growing platform Hui Jia Chi Fan (“Go home to eat”), which plugs home kitchens into delivery networks and is now in six cities. Su, 34, now grosses up to 3,000 yuan ($475) per day, an eye-popping take for most Chinese, by frying up Jiangsu specialties in her tiny home kitchen and handing them to blue-clad Ele.me deliverymen in her apartment stairwell. She can now afford a foreign tutor for her young daughter and has plans to buy an apartment, once only a dream.”My biggest concern is upsetting my neighbours. There are crowds of deliverymen during peak hours and some elderly neighbours sleep early,” Su said. Users of meal-ordering platforms in China have tripled in two years to 343 million The industry is another proxy battle between e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba and gaming and social media rival Tencent in their struggle for tech dominance in everything from online games to content and mobile payments.Alibaba is an Ele.me backer while Tencent is heavily invested in Meituan. Delivery platforms have raised billions in venture capital and are said to be burning cash via discounts to grab market share, with growth rates expected to slow.But the industry impact will deepen, say analysts.”It will change restaurant design. Kitchen space only used to be one-fourth of a restaurant. But restaurants are now becoming something like processing centres for delivery,” said Wang Yuke of real estate consultancy RET. Su Xiaosu fries up Jiangsu specialties in her tiny home kitchen More than 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) worth of meals was delivered in 2017 Kale to go: Amazon to roll out delivery at Whole Foods He doesn’t need them—stationed outside each outlet are packs of food deliverymen on motorbikes waiting to whisk dishes from Guo’s steaming kitchens to homes, office buildings and factories across the city of 24 million.China’s app-based meal-delivery boom of the past two years has introduced several now-familiar phenomena: families and office workers huddling around mobile phones to place orders, delivery scooters scattering pedestrians on crowded sidewalks, and mountains of empty plastic meal containers.But it’s also fuelling wider change by shrinking restaurants and reducing how often families cook at home while allowing millions to fry up meals in their own home kitchens and ship them to hungry buyers.”In a rapidly developing city like Shanghai, time is money. So people don’t want to spend it cooking for themselves anymore,” said Guo, 29, adding that many younger people like him are no longer learning how to cook.”8Peppers” focuses purely on delivery through leading platforms like Ele.me and Meituan, avoiding the expense of paying waiters and maintaining a dining space. ‘Convenience and efficiency’The delivery cost of a few yuan is no deterrent as Chinese incomes rise, said Zhang Xuhao, Ele.me’s founder and CEO.”Price is not so important anymore. Convenience and efficiency get the most attention, especially among Chinese born in the 90s or 2000s,” Zhang told AFP. Citation: App delivery boom shakes up China food sector (2018, February 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-app-delivery-boom-china-food.html Charts on the food-delivery boom in China “8Peppers” focuses purely on delivery through leading platforms like Ele.me and Meituan Ele.me is now working on user-data systems that can help restaurateurs determine where to open for maximum sales, and testing delivery drones.With its massive and growing cities, “China’s potential is extremely large”, Zhang said. Guo Bonan has opened several new branches of his “8Peppers” spicy Sichuan-style restaurants across Shanghai since last year, and not one has a dining room. supermarket sales are ‘depressed’ as meal deliveries reduce grocery demand Explore further “People just aren’t cooking at home anymore.”Even perennially strong sales of instant noodles dropped three straight years from 2013 to 2016 as food delivery took off, according to state media.Supermarkets have rushed to offer delivery, and Alibaba in 2015 launched a new grocery chain with online ordering and delivery.Alibaba and others also have launched initiatives to connect suddenly vulnerable mom-and-pop stores to delivery networks.”That’s the future. Some of these new apps will help mom-and-pop stores survive,” said Lannes. © 2018 AFP Food fightNot everyone is happy.Besides delivery waste that has taxed municipal authorities, tens of thousands of accidents were blamed on notoriously risk-taking deliverymen in 2017, including scores of deaths, prompting new government safety guidelines.And supermarket sales are “depressed” as meal deliveries reduce grocery demand, said Bruno Lannes, a partner with consultancy Bain & Company.”It’s now so easy to get food delivered at home, in the office or anywhere within 30 minutes, and in a variety that you can’t get at home,” Lannes said. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Dubai splashes billions on mega projects ahead of Expo

The value of Expo-related projects underway hit $42.5 billion in March, according to the Construction Intelligence Report.It said that $17.4 billion were invested in infrastructure and transport projects, $13.2 billion on housing and $11 billion for hotels and theme parks.The projects include an $8 billion expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport—located at the southern pole of the city and tipped to complement Dubai International Airport to the north.Dubai airport was the world’s busiest for international travel in 2017, handling more than 88 million travellers. Al Maktoum, when complete, will have the capacity to handle 160 million travellers per year. The emirate is spending $2.9 billion to develop a new metro line that will link its main transport hubs to the Expo site.The new line will also link the $13.4 billion Dubai South Villages and Dubai Exhibition City, projects currently underway.Authorities expect Expo 2020 to boost the real estate market and the hospitality sector, creating up to 300,000 new jobs and energising the economy. The six-month event, the first World Expo to be staged in the Middle East, is expected to attract up to 300,000 visitors per day, half of them from abroad, when it opens in October 2020, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Dubai, a city state which has established itself as a regional business hub and tourism destination, has the Gulf’s most diversified economy that is not dependent on oil.The economy of Dubai, where the population of three million people is comprised mainly of foreigners, is based on finance, property, tourism and leisure.Over 21 percent of this year’s public spending of $15.5 billion is earmarked for infrastructure projects. Oil income contributes just six percent to public revenues. Explore further © 2018 AFP Dubai, home to Burj Al Arab, the world’s tallest building, is splashing billions in order to host Expo 2020 which authorities hope will boost the real estate market and the hospitality sector in the city state Citation: Dubai splashes billions on mega projects ahead of Expo (2018, April 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-dubai-splashes-billions-mega-expo.html Dubai is splashing tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure and hospitality projects related to the international trade fair Expo 2020, Dubai-based BNC Network said in a report published Sunday. French PM oversees major Airbus deal signed in Dubai This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Volkswagen sets sales record in 2018 despite headwinds

first_img Citation: Volkswagen sets sales record in 2018 despite headwinds (2019, January 11) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-volkswagen-sales-headwinds.html © 2019 AFP Some 10.83 million vehicles from the 12-brand group rolled out of dealerships last year, up 0.9 percent on 2017, the automaker said in a statement.”We are very pleased about this great result. Especially in the second half, things were not easy for us,” said Christian Dahlheim, head of Volkswagen group sales.Strong demand for SUVs contributed to growth in the key markets of Europe, the United States, China and South America.The group’s own-brand VW cars, Skoda, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini all set new delivery records in 2018. The only dark cloud came from high-end Audi, whose sales slumped by 3.5 percent.Each year, the Wolfsburg-based group is locked in a tight race with Toyota and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi for the title of the world’s topselling carmaker. The rivals have yet to reveal their 2018 figures.Volkswagen was plunged into crisis in 2015 when it admitted to cheating emissions tests in millions of diesel cars. But although it remains mired in costly legal woes, customers have stayed loyal to the group.One of the biggest headwinds last year came from the European Union’s tough new WLTP emissions tests, which were spurred by the “dieselgate” scandal.A scramble to get ready for the more complex tests from September led to production bottlenecks and a fierce price war to shift non-compliant models at several carmakers, Volkswagen chief among them.VW also had to grapple with “general economic uncertainty” in China, where a tit-for-tat tariffs spat with the US has weighed on growth, particularly in the last half of 2018. “The reluctance to buy on the part of consumers had a negative impact on the entire automobile market” in China, VW said, but the group nevertheless saw a “slight” sales increase there over the full year.VW added that it was looking to the future “with optimism” but warned of challenges ahead.”In view of volatile geopolitical developments, our business will face an equally strong headwind in 2019,” said Dahlheim.Fellow German car titan BMW also announced record annual sales on Friday of 2.49 million vehicles worldwide, up 1.1 percent on the previous year.Growth was driven by the luxury BMW and Rolls Royce brands, which both reported their best-ever figures and more than offset a drop in sales at the smaller Mini subsidiary.BMW said it expected sales to grow “slightly” in 2019 even as market conditions would “remain challenging”. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A record performance despite headwindscenter_img German car giant Volkswagen said Friday it sold a record number of vehicles in 2018 even as it felt the sting from US-China trade tensions and problems with European emissions tests in the final months of the year. Volkswagen clinches record sales in 2017 Explore furtherlast_img read more

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These Odd Quasiparticles Could Finally Unmask Dark Matter

first_img The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics Paul M. Sutter is an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University, host of Ask a Spaceman and Space Radio, and author of Your Place in the Universe. Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoDr. Marty Nature's Feast SupplementWhy Certain Cats Are Fatter Than OthersDr. Marty Nature’s Feast SupplementUndoLCR Health SupplementIs A Confused Metabolism Causing You To Gain Weight?LCR Health SupplementUndoTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryMeal Kit Wars: 10 Tested & Ranked. See Who WonTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryUndoLivestlyDear Seniors And Retirees, These Dog Breeds Are RecommendedLivestlyUndoSimbalyWorld’s First Surviving Octuplets Are All Grown Up. Look At Them 9 Years LaterSimbalyUndo 9 Ideas About Black Holes That Will Blow Your Mind About 80% of all the matter in the cosmos is of a form completely unknown to current physics. We call it dark matter, because as best we can tell it’s…dark. Experiments around the world are attempting to capture a stray dark matter particle in hopes of understanding it, but so far they have turned up empty. Recently, a team of theorists has proposed a new way to hunt for dark matter using weird “particles” called magnons, a name I did not just make up. These tiny ripples could lure even a fleeting, lightweight dark matter particle out of hiding, those theorists say. [The 11 Biggest Unanswered Questions About Dark Matter] The dark matter puzzle We know all sorts of things about dark matter, with the notable exception of what it is.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65887-quasiparticles-could-unmask-dark-matter.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Even though we can’t directly detect it, we see the evidence of dark matter as soon as we open up our telescopes to the wider universe. The first revelation, way back in the 1930s, came through observations of galaxy clusters, some of the largest structures in the universe. The galaxies that inhabited them were simply moving too quickly to be held together as a cluster. That’s because the collective mass of the galaxies gives the gravitational glue that keeps the cluster together — the greater the mass, the stronger that glue. A super-strong glue can hold together even the fastest moving galaxies. Any faster and the cluster would simply rip itself apart. But there the clusters were, existing, with galaxies buzzing around within them far faster than they should given the mass of the cluster. Something had enough gravitational grip to hold the clusters together, but that something was not emitting or interacting with light. This mystery persisted unresolved through the decades, and in the 1970s astronomer Vera Rubin upped the ante in a big way through observations of stars within galaxies. Once again, things were moving too fast: Given their observed mass, the galaxies in our universe should’ve spun themselves apart billions of years ago. Something was holding them together. Something unseen. [11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy] The story repeats all across the cosmos, both in time and space. From the earliest light from the Big Bang to the largest structures in the universe, something funky is out there. Searching in the dark So dark matter is very much there — we just can’t find any other viable hypothesis to explain the tsunami of data in support of its existence. But what is it? Our best guess is that dark matter is some kind of new, exotic particle, hitherto unknown to physics. In this picture, dark matter floods every galaxy. In fact, the visible portion of a galaxy, as seen through stars and clouds of gas and dust, is just a tiny lighthouse set against a much larger, darker shore. Each galaxy sits within a large “halo” made up of zillions upon zillions of dark matter particles. These dark matter particles are streaming through your room right now. They’re streaming through you. A never-ending rain shower o’ tiny, invisible dark matter particles. But you simply don’t notice them. They don’t interact with light or with charged particles. You are made of charged particles and you are very friendly with light; you are invisible to dark matter and dark matter is invisible to you. The only way we “see” dark matter is through the gravitational force; gravity notices every form of matter and energy in the universe, dark or not, so at the largest scales, we observe the influence of the combined mass of all these countless particles. But here in your room? Nothing. Unless, we hope, there’s some other way that dark matter interacts with us normal matter. It’s possible that the dark matter particle, whatever the heck it is, also feels the weak nuclear force — which is responsible for radioactive decay — opening up a new window into this hidden realm. Imagine building a giant detector, just a big mass of whatever element you have handy. Dark matter particles stream through it, almost all of them completely harmlessly. But sometimes, with a rarity depending on the particular model of dark matter, the passing particle interacts with one of the atomic nuclei of the elements in the detector via the weak nuclear force, knocking it out of place and making the entire mass of the detector quiver. Enter the magnon This experimental setup works only if the dark matter particle is relatively heavy, giving it enough oomph to knock out a nucleus in one of those rare interactions. But so far, none of the dark matter detectors around the globe have seen any trace of an interaction, even after years and years of searching. As the experiments have ground along, the allowable properties of dark matter have slowly been ruled out. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; we simply don’t know what dark matter is made of, so the more we know about what it isn’t, the clearer the picture of what it could be. But the lack of results can be a little bit worrying. The heaviest candidates for dark matter are getting ruled out, and if the mysterious particle is too light, it will never be seen in the detectors as they’re set up right now. That is, unless there’s another way that dark matter can talk to regular matter. In a recent article published in the preprint online journal arXiv, physicists detail a proposed experimental setup that could spot a dark matter particle in the act of changing the spin of electrons (if, in fact, dark matter can do that). In this setup, dark matter can potentially be detected, even if the suspect particle is very light. It can do this by creating so-called magnons in the material. Pretend you have a chunk of material at a temperature of absolute zero. All the spins — like tiny little bar magnets — of all the electrons in that matter will point in the same direction. As you slowly raise the temperature, some of the electrons will start to wake up, wiggle around and randomly point their spins in the opposite direction. The higher you raise the temperature, the more electrons wind up flipped — and each of those flips reduces the magnetic strength by just a little bit. Each of those flipped spins also causes a little ripple in the energy of the material, and those wiggles can be viewed as a quasiparticle, not a true particle, but something you can describe with math in that way. These quasiparticles are known as “magnons,” probably because they’re like tiny, cute little magnets. So if you start off with a really cold material, and enough dark matter particles strike the material and flip some spins around, you’ll observe magnons. Because of the sensitivity of the experiment and the nature of the interactions, this setup can detect a lightweight dark matter particle. That is, if it exists. The 11 Biggest Unanswered Questions About Dark Matterlast_img read more

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Malakoffs Saudi assets purchase to fill earnings gap

first_imgKUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga research expects improved sentiment for Malakoff Corp Bhd for raising its stake in Saudi Arabia’s water and power plant assets.Following the announcement, the research house raised the stock to outperform at a higher target price of RM1 from 90 sen previously.It said in a note that the move will boost its bottomline by 18% while filling the earnings gap left by the expired Port Dickson power plant’s PPA extension and tariff cut at Segari Energy Ventures.Malakoff announced yesterday it had entered an agreement to acquire the entire stake in Desaru Investment Ltd (DIL) from Khazanah for US$70mil. Property 12 Jul 2019 Malakoff to acquire Khazanah’s stake in Desaru Investments DIL is a 40% stakeholder in a Malaysian consortium comprising a 40% stake in Malakoff and a 20% stake in Tenaga, which owns about 30% share in two independent water and power plants in Saudi Arabia.With the purchase, Malakoff will double its stake in these two assets to 24% each in 4Q19.”In the past three years, the combined associate incomes from these two assets were RM46.8m/RM57.6m/RM47.5m which made up 14%/20%/21% group’s core profit, respectively. “As such, upon completion of the acquisition, contributions from these two assets are important as they could make up a-third of the group earnings,” said Kenanga.The independent water and power plants are the first and largest in Saudi Arabia as well as the main water suppliers for the Makkah province. They also form 13% of power and water capacity for the country, and have remaining concession periods of about 10 years.According to Kenanga, the acquisition is priced at EV/EBITDA of c.8x which it believes is fairly reasonable, being quite close to MALAKOF’s FY18 EV/EBITDA of 7.8x.”Assuming yearly contribution of RM47.5m for the next 10 years at 12% effective stake, total earnings collections could be RM475m which is 66% higher than the acquisition price of c.RM287 (USD70m @ 4.10), without taking into account the time value of money, a seemingly good deal,” it said. Related News Travel 11 Jul 2019 KL Tops Holiday Destinations For Saudi Arabia Travellers World 11 Jul 2019 Saudi Arabia moves to secure Yemen Red Sea ports after UAE drawdowncenter_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Tags / Keywords: Corporate News Related Newslast_img read more

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