Oh China, what are we going to do with you?
I don't think of myself as a conspiratorial person, but in my article on China Mobile's investment in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank I just couldn't help it.
The pieces just seemed to line up too well -- China's banks are in need of fresh reserves, many banks raising funds may start to make it tougher, the government doesn't want to send any signals that the banks are showing any cracks... And then you've got China Mobile making this $6 billion investment and saying it's to build out its mobile e-commerce business.
Sorry, but it just sounds like a lot of baloney to me.
Maybe the investment won't be a terrible one for China Mobile, but that doesn't make the possibility that it was strong-armed sit any better with me. That company has a butt-load (that's a technical term...) of cash and if there aren't smart, business-expanding investments for the company to make then it's gotta start giving that cash back to shareholders rather than keeping it around so that politicians can meddle with it.
Help me out here folks, am I going to be wearing a tin foil hat soon or does this deal smell funny?