时间:2019年08月19日 10:39:31

One week after its debut, Apple’s new mobile wallet is showing promise with consumers.亮相一周后,苹果(Apple)的全新移动钱包在吸引消费者方面展现了美好前景。Apple’s rivals in the payments industry, meanwhile, are scrambling to prevent it from being too successful.与此同时,苹果在付业的竞争对手正在紧急行动起来,设法阻止它变得太成功。Even before Apple Pay was announced, a coalition of retailers refused to accept it in their stores. More than 50 companies make up this group, the so-called Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, including global retail giants like Walmart, Best Buy and Gap Inc.在苹果宣布要推出Apple Pay之前,一个零售商联盟已经拒绝在其门店中接受它了。这个名为“商家客户交易”(Merchant Customer Exchange,简称MCX)的组织有50多家公司成员,包括沃尔玛(Walmart)、百思买(Best Buy)和Gap等全球零售业巨头。It’s not that these companies don’t want a mobile wallet to truly catch on with consumers. They see the mobile wallet as a way to help retailers understand more about their customers’ shopping habits and, potentially, let merchants avoid the high fees they pay when processing credit card transactions.这些公司并非不想要一个能真正吸引消费者的移动钱包。在它们看来,移动钱包是一种帮助零售商更好地了解顾客购物习惯的办法,并且有可能让商户规避信用卡交易中需要缴纳的高额费用。But they are working on building a competitor, CurrentC, a mobile wallet app that will connect directly to customers’ bank accounts or store-specific credit card. It won’t be available until 2015.但是它们在开发一种和Apple Pay相抗衡的移动钱包应用CurrentC,这种应用会直接和顾客的账号或针对具体商户的信用卡绑定。它至少要到2015年才能推出。The problem is that under the terms of their MCX contractual agreement, they are not supposed to accept competing mobile payments products like Apple Pay, according to multiple retailers involved with MCX, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. If these retailers break their contracts, they will face steep fines for doing so, these people said.问题是,据多家属于MCX的零售商称,根据MCX的合同规定,他们是不可以接受Apple Pay这种竞争对手的移动付产品的,这些商家要求在本文中匿名。他们说,一旦违反合同规定,会遭到高额罚款。Since Apple Pay was introduced a week ago, consumers have tried to use it in MCX members like Rite Aid and CVS. So those businesses have disabled the technology that supports Apple Pay.Apple Pay是一周前推出的,自那以后有消费者试图在Rite Aid和CVS等MCX会员商户使用它。这些商户因此已经禁用了持Apple Pay的技术。For weeks, Walmart and Best Buy have said they will not support Apple’s payments product. And Target, which has partnered with Apple for online payments, does not accept Apple Pay in its stores.几周来沃尔玛和百思买一直在说,他们不会持苹果的付产品。在在线付上与苹果有合作的塔吉特(Target),在其门店是不接受Apple Pay的。At stake is the future of how consumers choose to pay for things, with technology companies, credit card businesses and retailers all fighting for a piece of what may become a billion mobile payments market, according to projections from Forrester.此事关乎消费者付方式的未来,据弗雷斯特(Forrester)的预计,移动付将形成一个900亿美元(约合5506亿元人民币)的市场,科技公司、信用卡商家和零售商都希望能分得一勺羹。But the clock is ticking. If Apple Pay becomes a hit, MCX member retailers still waiting on CurrentC to begin could miss out on untold mobile payment transactions. Merchants also risk customer resentment if they continue to refuse Apple Pay. And if Apple Pay catches on, consumers may not be interested in a competing product.但是时间不等人。如果Apple Pay大获成功,还在等CurrentC的MCX零售商成员错过的移动付交易是难以估量的。如果商户继续拒绝Apple Pay,还有可能招致顾客的怨恨。而一旦Apple Pay普及起来,消费者可能就不会想去尝试与之竞争的产品了。“These retailers are in a real jam,” said Karen Webster, chief executive of Market Platform Dynamics, a payments industry consulting firm. “The last thing merchants want is ticking off their consumers over payment,” Ms. Webster said.“这些零售商有大麻烦了,”付业咨询公司市场平台动态(Market Platform Dynamics)首席执行官凯伦·韦伯斯特(Karen Webster)说。“因为付款方式的问题惹怒顾客是商家最不愿意看到的事。”First announced in 2012, CurrentC is an effort by merchants to build their ideal mobile wallet. CurrentC is designed to link directly to a customer’s bank account instead of a credit card. This is a strategic move, analysts say; in bypassing the credit card companies, merchants can avoid the high fees that they are required to pay on each credit transaction they process.将推出CurrentC的消息是2012年宣布的,此举的意图是打造一种商家的理想移动钱包。按照CurrentC的设计,应用是和顾客的账户直接联接的,而不是信用卡。分析人士说,这是一个战略举措;绕过信用卡公司后,商户可以避开每次进行信用交易时产生的高额费用。“Retailers are looking for a combination of factors to adopt in stores,” said Mallory Duncan, senior vice president of the National Retail Federation, a retail advocacy group. “And that includes if it delivers a good price to hold down costs for them and their customers.”“零售商在寻找一种门店需考虑的各项因素的组合,”零售倡导组织美国零售联合会(National Retail Federation)高级副总裁莫罗伊·邓肯(Mallory Duncan)说。“这其中包括它是否能给一个好价钱,帮商户和顾客降低成本。”CurrentC would also give retailers the ability to track shopping habits across the dozens of stores that belong to MCX, a data set that has traditionally been held by credit card companies, not merchants. If retailers had access to this data, it could be used to deliver relevant deals and loyalty points to consumers, which could increase these companies’ bottom lines.CurrentC还让商家可以对顾客在MCX旗下所有商户的购物习惯进行跟踪,这组数据通常是由信用卡公司而非商家掌握的。如果零售商能拿到这个数据,就可以用它来推出定位准确的促销活动和积分,从而有望增加公司的收入。That could also amount to in-store experiences centered on the smartphone, an area in which Walmart, one of the biggest partners in MCX, has increasingly dabbled in recent years.同时它还可能营造一种以智能手机为中心的购物体验,作为MCX最大的合作伙伴之一,沃尔玛近年来一直在试水这个领域。“MCX is studying how to make sure all of the things that a customer wants to do in a store can be facilitated in a conscious way,” said Steve Mott, owner of BetterBuyDesign, a payments industry consulting firm.“MCX正在研究如何有意识地让顾客在一个商店里做的所有事都便利起来,”付业咨询公司BetterBuyDesign所有人史蒂夫·莫特(Steve Mott)说。Unlike Apple Pay, CurrentC is months away from beginning. When it is finally introduced, there is no guarantee it will take off.和Apple Pay不同的是,CurrentC还要再过数月才能启用。即使等到最终推出,也不能保会普及起来。Critics of CurrentC say it appears much more difficult to use than Apple Pay. Instead of contactless payment technology, CurrentC will rely on QR codes, a type of bar code that merchants scan to complete the transaction. It will also be an app that users must find and download from Apple’s App store.对CurrentC持批评态度的人说,它看起来比Apple Pay难用很多。CurrentC没有使用无需接触的付技术,而是依靠QR码,商家通过扫描这种条形码来完成交易。同时它也是一个应用,用户必须到苹果的应用商店上找到并下载它。Apple Pay, on the other hand, relies on so-called near-field communication technology built into every iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. In contrast to using CurrentC, customers are not required to open an app or even unlock their iPhones when using Apple Pay.而Apple Pay则依靠所有iPhone 6和iPhone 6 Plus内置的所谓近场通讯技术。和CurrentC不同的是,顾客在使用Apple Pay时不必打开一个应用,甚至不用把他们的iPhone解锁。Mobile payments are still very young in commerce and shopping. In 2013, mobile proximity payments in the ed States amounted to .6 billion, according to eMarketer, an industry research firm. That is but a fraction of the .26 trillion spent in brick-and-mortar stores that year.移动付在商贸和购物领域仍然是个新鲜事物。产业研究公司eMarketer的数据显示,2013年美国的近距离移动付总额为16亿美元。相比当年实体商铺内付总额的4.26万亿美元只是个零头。And while many industry experts expect mobile payments to rise over the next five years, there is no guarantee that consumers will find mobile wallets any more convenient than paying with cash or a credit card. Google’s payments product, Google Wallet, famously flopped after its introduction in 2011. PayPal’s mobile wallet options have failed to truly catch on as well.虽然很多业界专家预计移动付在未来五年里会有增长,但消费者是否会认为移动钱包比现金或信用卡更便利,却很难说。谷歌(Google)在2011年推出的付产品Google Wallet是个著名的失败案例。贝宝(PayPal)的移动钱包方案也没能真正普及起来。Still, many say they believe that if any company is able to widely influence consumer behavior, it’s Apple. And if that is the case, MCX may have picked the wrong mobile wallet to back.不过,很多人还是认为,如果说有什么公司能对消费行为产生深远影响的话,那就是苹果了。如果真是如此,MCX可能持了一个错误的移动钱包。“When these contracts were signed several years ago, no one knew about Apple Pay, or what mobile wallets were going to look like,” Ms. Webster said. “It just didn’t have the same sort of consumer froth around it.”“几年前签这些合同的时候,大家都不知道有Apple Pay,也不知道移动钱包应该是个什么样子,”韦伯斯特说。“CurrentC可是没有这种让消费者热议的魅力。” /201410/339436

Lucian Bebchuk is professor of law, economics and finance and director of the program on corporate governance at Harvard law School.卢西恩·别布丘克(Lucian Bebchuk)是法学、经济学和金融学教授,也是哈佛大学法学院(Harvard Law School)公司治理项目的主管。Wall Street is eagerly watching what is expected to be one of the largest initial public offering in history: the offering of the Chinese Internet retailer Alibaba at the end of this week. Investors have been described by the media as “salivating” and “flooding underwriters with orders.” It is important for investors, however, to keep their eyes open to the serious governance risks accompanying an Alibaba investment.华尔街正热切关注着中国互联网零售商阿里巴巴集团本周末的首次公开募股(IPO),预计它将成为有史以来规模最大的IPO之一。媒体报道称,投资者“垂涎”于这次IPO,“承销商已被订单淹没”。不过,投资者却有必要注意到,投资阿里巴巴时面临严重的公司治理风险。Several factors combine to create such risks. For one, insiders have a permanent lock on control of the company but hold only a small minority of the equity capital. Then, there are many ways to divert value to affiliated entities, but there are weak mechanisms to prevent this. Consequently, public investors should worry that, over time, a significant amount of the value created by Alibaba would not be shared with them.这些风险源于多重因素。首先,内部人士虽然只拥有少数股权,但却对公司拥有永久的控制权。其次,阿里巴巴可以有许多办法把价值转移给相关实体,而阻止它这么做的机制却十分脆弱。因此,公众投资者应该担心的是,未来阿里巴巴创造的价值中,将有相当大一部分不会拿出来与他们分享。In Alibaba, control is going to be locked forever in the hands of a group of insiders known as the Alibaba Partnership. These are all managers in the Alibaba Group or related companies. The Partnership will have the exclusive right to nominate candidates for a majority of the board seats. Furthermore, if the Partnership fails to obtain shareholder approval for its candidates, it will be entitled “in its sole discretion and without the need for any additional shareholder approval” to appoint directors unilaterally, thus ensuring that its chosen directors always have a majority of board seats. Many public companies around the world, especially in emerging economies, have a large shareholder with a lock on control. Such controlling shareholders, however, often own a substantial portion of the equity capital that provides them with beneficial incentives. In the case of Alibaba, investors need to worry about the relatively small stake held by the members of the controlling Alibaba Partnership.在阿里巴巴,掌握公司控制权的永远是一群内部人士,也就是阿里巴巴的合伙人。这些合伙人都是阿里巴巴集团或相关企业的管理人员。他们将拥有提名多数董事的独有权利。此外,如果合伙人没能让股东通过他们提名的候选人,他们将有权“全权决定且不需要获得任何股东的持”,就可以单方面任命董事,从而确保他们选择的董事总是能够占据董事会的大部分席位。在世界范围内,特别是新兴经济体,很多上市公司都有一个拥有控制权的大股东。但此类控股股东的资金在权益资本中占据了大部分,他们有追求利益的动力。至于阿里巴巴,投资者有担心的必要,因为阿里巴巴合伙人所持有的股份相对较少。After the I.P.O., Alibaba’s executive chairman, Jack Ma, is expected to hold 7.8 percent of the shares and all the directors and executive officers will hold together 13.1 percent. Over time, insiders may well cash out some of their current holding, but Alibaba’s governance structure would ensure that directors chosen by the Alibaba Partnership will forever control the board, regardless of the size of the stake held by the Partnership’s members.上市之后,阿里巴巴执行主席马云将持有7.8%的股份,所有董事及高管持有的股份总额将达到13.1%。一段时间后,内部人士可能会将一部分股份套现,但阿里巴巴的管理架构将确保阿里巴巴合伙人选出的董事将永远控制董事会,无论合伙人持有多少股份。With an absolute lock on control and a limited fraction of the equity capital, the Alibaba insiders will have substantial incentives to divert value from Alibaba to other entities in which they own a substantial percentage of the equity. This can be done by placing future profitable opportunities in such entities, or making deals with such entities on terms that favor them at the expense of Alibaba.有了这种绝对的永久控制,加上一小部分的权益资本,阿里巴巴的内部小圈子将有巨大的动力将该集团的价值转移到他们拥有可观股本的其他实体中。要做到这一点,可以采用的方式是把未来的赚钱机会放到此类实体中,或是与之做交易时达成对阿里巴巴不利的条款。Alibaba’s prospectus discloses information about various past “related party transactions,” and these disclosures reflect the significance and risks to public investors of such transactions. For example, in 2010, Alibaba divested its control and ownership of Alipay, which does all of the financial processing for Alibaba, and Alipay is now fully controlled and substantially owned by Alibaba’s executive chairman.阿里巴巴的招股书中披露了过去多笔“关联方交易”的信息,而这些披露反映了此类交易对公众投资者的重要性和风险。例如,2010年,阿里巴巴剥离了对付宝的控制权和所有权。付宝承担了阿里巴巴旗下平台的所有付款流程,如今变为由马云本人完全控制并大体持有。Public investors should worry not only about whether the Alibaba’s divesting of Alipay benefited Mr. Ma at the expense of Alibaba, but also about the terms of the future transactions between Alibaba and Alipay. Because Alibaba relies on Alipay “to conduct substantially all of the payment processing” in its marketplace, these terms are important for Alibaba’s future success.公共投资者应当担忧的,不限于阿里巴巴剥离付宝是否以自身为代价让马云受益,还有阿里巴巴与付宝之间未来交易的条款。由于阿里巴巴依赖付宝进行旗下市场中“近乎全部的付款流程”,这些条款维系着阿里巴巴未来的成功。Mr. Ma owns a larger fraction of Alipay’s equity capital than of Alibaba’s, so he would economically benefit from terms that would disfavor Alibaba. Indeed, given the circumstances, the I.P.O. prospectus acknowledges that Mr. Ma may act to resolve Alibaba-Alipay conflicts not in Alibaba’s favor.马云在付宝的持股比例超过了在阿里巴巴的持股比例,因此,他可以从那些不利于阿里巴巴的条款中获取经济收益。实际上,鉴于这些情况,阿里巴巴的招股书承认,在化解阿里巴巴与付宝的冲突时,马云或许会不站在前者这一边。The prospectus seeks to allay investor concerns, however, by indicating that Mr. Ma intends to reduce his stake in in Alipay within three to five years, including by having shares in Alipay granted to Alibaba employees. But stating such an intention does not represent an irreversible legal commitment. Furthermore, transfers of Alipay ownership stakes from Mr. Ma to other members of the Alibaba Partnership would still leave the Partnership’s aggregate interest to be decidedly on the side of Alipay rather than Alibaba.不过,招股书试图打消投资者的忧虑,指出马云有意在三五年内减持在付宝的股份,包括将其转给一些阿里巴巴的内部人士。不过,表明这样的意图并不意味着这是不可反悔的法律承诺。此外,将付宝的所有权股从马云手中转到其他的阿里巴巴合伙人那里,仍会让合伙人的总体利益明确无误地落到付宝一边,而非阿里巴巴。Given the significant related party transactions that have aly taken place, and the prospect of such transactions in the future, Alibaba tried to placate investors by putting in a “new related party transaction policy.” But this new policy hardly provides investors with solid protection. Unlike charter and bylaw provisions, corporate policies are generally not binding. Furthermore, Alibaba’s policy explicitly allows the board, where the nominees of Alibaba partnership will always have a majority, to approve any exceptions to the policy that the board chooses.鉴于已经出现过重大的关联方交易,而且未来仍可能发生,阿里巴巴试图通过设置“关联方交易新政策”来安抚投资者。可是,这种新政策几乎不能为投资者提供切实的保障。不同于公司的规章制度,企业政策基本上没有约束力。况且,阿里巴巴的政策明确允许董事局按照自身意愿批准政策例外,而董事局中阿里巴巴合伙人任命的人选将永远占据多数。Of course, the Alibaba partners might elect not to take advantage of the opportunities for diversion provided to them by Alibaba’s structure. And, even if the partners do use such opportunities, the future business success of Alibaba might be large enough to make up for the costs of diversions and leave public investors with good returns on their investment.当然,阿里巴巴合伙人或许会选择不去利用阿里巴巴的公司结构提供给他们的转移机会。此外,就算合伙人的确利用了这样的机会,阿里巴巴未来的商业成功可能也足以弥补转移的成本,留给公众投资者不错的投资回报率。Before jumping in, however, investors rushing to participate in the Alibaba I.P.O. must recognize the substantial governance risks that they would be taking. Alibaba’s structure does not provide adequate protections to public investors.尽管如此,急于参与阿里巴巴IPO的投资者们,在纵身一跃之前,必须意识到自己会承担可观的公司治理风险。阿里巴巴的结构并未给公众投资者提供充分的保护。 /201409/329419

Gartner and IDC don’t always agree, but on this they are united: Apple was overtaken in U.S. PC sales in the second quarter of 2014 by Lenovo.高德纳(Gartner)与国际数据公司(IDC)常常看法不同,但在这一点上,他们的意见是一致的,那就是:2014年二季度,联想(Lenovo)在美国的个人电脑销量超过了苹果(Apple)。There are a few caveats worth mentioning (see below), but there’s no getting around the fact that Lenovo — a Chinese company founded in Beijing in 1984 — is on a tear.在此,有几点值得一提(见下文),但一个不可回避的事实是,联想作为一家1984年在北京成立的中国公司,发展相当迅猛。o It bought IBM’s personal computer business in 2005 and by 2013 had become the world’s largest PC vendor by unit sales.o 联想于2005年收购了IBM的个人电脑业务,并在2013年成为全球销量最高的个人电脑厂商。o It entered the smartphone business in 2012 and is aly the largest vendor of smartphones in mainland China.o 联想于2012年开始涉足智能手机业务,目前已成为中国大陆地区最大的智能手机厂商。o It has agreed to take off Google’s GOOG -0.86% hands a storied U.S. brand – Motorola Mobility — picking up for .91 billion the better part of a company for which Google paid .5 billion just two years ago.o 联想已同意斥资29.1亿美元,从谷歌(Google)手中收购知名美国品牌托罗拉移动(Motorola Mobility)的大部分资产。而就在两年前,谷歌收购托罗拉移动可是花了125亿美元。.形势的变化极具讽刺意味。当年,IBM因为Windows设备的利润率太低而选择退出个人电脑市场。联想收购了IBM的确利润微薄的ThinkPad品牌,如今,联想公司正在美国市场上大举攻城略地。This is a deeply ironic turn of events. IBM IBM -0.38% got out of the PC business because the margins on Windows boxes were too thin. Lenovo took over IBM’s ThinkPad brand – thin margins and all — and is chewing up the U.S. PC market待到联想凭借托罗拉品牌进入美国智能手机市场时,Android设备厂商们可有得受了。I wouldn’t want to be selling Android boxes when Lenovo enters the U.S. smartphone market with the Motorola brand.需要注意的是:Those caveats:o 国际数据公司和高德纳公司都没有将iPad或平板电脑算作个人电脑,尽管高德纳算上了它所说的移动个人电脑(但没有算上Chromebook),而国际数据公司将上网本和Chromebook都算上了。平板电脑销量虽然有所放缓,但如果将平板销量统计在内,苹果将是美国最大的个人电脑厂商,而不是屈居第四位。o Neither IDC nor Gartner counts iPads or tablets as PCs, although Gartner counts what it calls mobile PCs (but not Chromebooks) while IDC counts both netbooks and Chromebooks. Tablet sales may have slowed, but if they were counted, Apple would be in the No. 1 PC maker in the U.S., not No. 4.o 上季度美国个人电脑销量激增,是因为微软(Microsoft)从四月份开始不再持Windows XP,这促使IT经理们换掉了数百万台老旧的Windows电脑。而苹果Mac的销量没有类似的激增。o PC sales in the U.S. got a bump last quarter because Microsoft in April discontinued support for Windows XP, prompting IT managers to replace millions of aging Windows boxes. The Mac got no such bump.高德纳和国际数据公司的公开预测是“初步的”,而且不可实。苹果公布每季度的Mac销量,但不会分别公布在各国市场的销量。2013年二季度,苹果在全球售出了375万台Mac电脑。据高德纳和国际数据公司称,其中有170万台Mac电脑被运往美国。o Gartner’s and IDC’s public estimates are “preliminary” and not verifiable. Apple releases quarterly Mac unit sales, but doesn’t break them down by country. In Q2 2013, it sold 3.75 million Macs worldwide. According to Gartner and IDC, 1.7 million of those Macs were shipped to the U.S.以下分别是国际数据公司和高德纳给出的2014年二季度各大厂商个人电脑在美国市场的发货量(从上至下一次为惠普、戴尔、联想、苹果、东芝及其他)。 /201407/311633

文章编辑: 放心报