Is Coke's Chinese deal fizzling out?

Bottles of Huiyuan Juice at a supermarket in Chengdu, in China's southwestern province of Sichuan. Coca-Cola says it plans to buy Chinese juice maker Huiyuan Juice Group in a $2.4 billion deal.

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Bob Moon: Just last week, we told you about Coca-Cola's big plans in China. The iconic American drink-maker announced plans to buy the dominant Chinese fruit juice company for $2.5 billion. But this weekend new questions about the deal, shall we say, bubbled up. From Shanghai, Marketplace's Scott Tong reports.


Scott Tong: China just rolled out a new law to guard against business monopolies. And Sunday, regulators said they'll test it out on the coke deal, which would be the largest-ever foreign takeover of a Chinese firm.

But many bloggers here aren't happy about the buy-out. They've been venting it's a case of a domestic company selling out its "hardship and sweat" to foreigners. Business consultant Robert Kapp is the former head of the U.S.-China Business Council.

Robert Kapp: They're uneasy when very, very large foreign companies move into China and, as they see it, nip in the bud the growth possibilities for certain Chinese enterprises that they think have the capacity to become world beaters themselves.

Coke's proposed Chinese partner praised the deal Saturday, calling it good for Chinese workers. But some in the online community doesn't buy it; they think Coke's pulling the strings here. If the deal dies, some would consider it sweet revenge against the U.S. Three years ago, congressional opposition killed a plan by a Chinese oil company to buy an American one.

In Shanghai, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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