UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

(Mark One)    
  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

  For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017  

 

Or
 
 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

     
For the transition period from            to            .

 

Commission file number: 001- 37593

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

British Virgin Islands  

N/A

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

Building B23-A,

Universal Business Park

No. 10 Jiuxianqiao Road

Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100015 China

(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

 

(86) 10-5975-6336

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class   Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Ordinary Shares, no par value per share

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐    No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐    No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes ☒    No  o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒    No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of the Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer  ☐ Accelerated filer ☐

Non-accelerated filer ☒

(Do not check if a

smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company ☐ Emerging growth company ☒

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐    No ☒

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, which was Pacific Special Acquisition Corp as of June 30, 2017 with 5,042,817 shares held by non-affiliates, based on the closing sale price of the Registrant’s ordinary shares on June 30, 2017, the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, as reported on The Nasdaq Stock Market which was $10.25 per share, was approximately $51.7 million. Ordinary shares held by each executive officer and director and by each person who may be deemed to be an affiliate of the Registrant have been excluded from this computation. The determination of affiliate status for this purpose is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes. As of March 27, 2018, the Registrant had 31,307,522 of its ordinary shares, no par value, outstanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I
Item 1. Business 1
Item 1A. Risk Factors 11
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 33
Item 2. Properties 33
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 33
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 33
PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 34
Item 6. Selected Financial Data 37
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 38
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 50
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 51
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 108
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 108
Item 9B. Other Information 108
PART III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance  109
Item 11. Executive Compensation 114
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 119
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 121
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services 123
PART IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 124
Signatures 127

 

i

 

 

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section in Item 7 of this report, and other materials accompanying this Annual Report on Form 10-K contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements relate to our future plans, objectives, expectations, intentions and financial performance and the assumptions that underlie these statements. Generally, the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “may,” “will,” and similar expressions and the negatives thereof identify forward-looking statements, which generally are not historical in nature. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following: the plans and objectives of management for future operations, projections of income or loss, earnings or loss per share, capital expenditures, dividends, capital structure or other financial items, our future financial performance, including any such statement contained in a discussion and analysis of financial condition by management or in the results of operations included pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and the assumptions underlying or relating to any such statement . Management believes that these forward-looking statements were reasonable when made. However, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made and may be based on assumptions that do not prove to be accurate. Borqs Technologies, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, occurring after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. For a detailed discussion of these risks and uncertainties, see the “Business” and “Risk Factors” sections in Items 1 and 1A, respectively, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

ii

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1.     Business

 

Overview

 

Borqs Technologies, Inc. (“we”, “the Company” or “Borqs”) is a global leader in software, development services and products providing customizable, differentiated and scalable Android-based smart connected devices and cloud service solutions. We are a leading provider of commercial grade Android platform software for mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators, as well as complete product solutions of mobile connected devices for enterprise and consumer applications.

 

Our Connected Solutions business unit works closely with chipset partners to develop new connected devices. Borqs developed the reference Android software platform and hardware platform for Intel and Qualcomm phones and tablets. We provide Connected Solutions customers with customized, integrated, commercial grade Android platform software and service solutions to address vertical market segment needs through the targeted BorqsWare software platform solutions. The BorqsWare software platform consists of BorqsWare Client Software and BorqsWare Server Software. The BorqsWare Client Software platform has been used in Android phones, tablets, watches and various Internet-of-things (“IoT”) devices. The BorqsWare Server Software platform consists of back-end server software that allows customers to develop their own mobile end-to-end services for their devices.

 

Our MVNO business unit provides a full range 2G/3G/4G voice and data services for general consumer usage and IoT devices, as well as traditional telecom services such as voice conferencing, and acts as a sales and promotion channel for the products developed by the Connected Solutions BU.

 

The Connected Solutions business unit represented 73.4%, 70.9% and 79.2% of our net revenues in the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. In the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Borqs generated 85%, 93% and 86% of its net revenues from customers headquartered outside of China and 15%, 7% and 14 % of its net revenues from customers headquartered within China. As of December 31, 2017, Borqs had collaborated with six mobile chipset manufacturers and 29 mobile device OEMs to commercially launch Android based connected devices in 11 countries, and sales of connected devices with the BorqsWare software platform solutions are embedded in more than 12.3 million units worldwide.

 

We have dedicated significant resources to research and development, and have research and development centers in Beijing, China and Bangalore, India. As of December 31, 2017, 352 of our 612 employees were technical professionals dedicated to platform research and development and product specific customization.

 

On January 8, 2018, we entered into a letter of intent to acquire a 60% equity interest in Shanghai KADI Machinery Technology Co., Ltd (“KADI”), a Chinese company that develops software and hardware solutions for electric vehicle control modules, such as charging, battery management and vehicle controls. We are currently negotiating a definitive agreement to acquire such equity interest for an aggregate of $11.7 million in cash to be paid to KADI and ordinary shares with an agreed-upon value of $3.3 million to be issued to selling shareholders of KADI. KADI is not a customer or a supplier of Borqs. In accordance with the letter of intent, we have made three of four scheduled cash advances to KADI due of $150,000, with the fourth payment due in April 2018. These advances will be deducted from our initial cash payments to KADI under the definitive agreement to be negotiated. If this transaction is not consummated within nine months after signing of the letter of intent, the advance payments will be converted into shares representing five percent of the outstanding capital stock of KADI. There are no termination fees or penalties under the letter of intent.

 

We have achieved significant growth since inception in 2007. Net revenues increased from $75.1 million in 2015 to $120.6 million in 2016 and $154.3 million to 2017. We recorded net income of $0.8 million and $2.6 million in 2015 and 2016, respectively. For 2017, we had a net loss of $12.4 million, which included non-cash merger related costs of $14.5 million.

 

The following customers accounted for 10% or more of our total revenues for the years indicated:

 

  2017 Reliance Retail Limited 41.4%
    Alpha Network, Limited 13.1%
       
  2016 Reliance Retail Limited 16.6%
    Alpha Network, Limited 14.6%
       
  2015 Alpha Network, Limited 25.7%
    Qualcomm India Private Limited 10.0%

 

  1  

 

 

Corporate Organizational Chart

 

The following diagram illustrates our current corporate structure and the place of formation, ownership interest and affiliation of each of our subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities as of the date of this report.

 

 

Wholly-owned Subsidiaries and Consolidated Affiliated Entities

 

The following is a summary of our material subsidiaries and affiliated entities:

 

Borqs Beijing, a wholly foreign owned enterprise established under the laws of the PRC in 2007, is our primary operating entity and 100% owned by Borqs Hong Kong Limited;

 

  2  

 

 

Borqs Hong Kong Limited (“Borqs Hong Kong”), a limited company established under the laws of Hong Kong in 2007, engages in the software and services business and is 100% owned by Borqs International Holding Corp;

 

Borqs Software Solutions Private Limited (“Borqs Software Solutions”), a private limited company established under the laws of India in 2009, engages in the R&D for software and is 99.99% owned by Borqs International Holding Corp and 0.01% owned by Borqs Hong Kong;

 

Borqs Korea (“Borqs Korea”), a company established under the laws of South Korea in 2012, engages in the R&D of software and is 100% owned by Borqs Hong Kong;

 

Beijing Borqs Software Technology Co, Ltd. (“Borqs Software”), a company established under the laws of the PRC in 2008, engages in government subsidized software development and engineering projects as well as other software and services business and is 100% owned by Beijing Big Cloud Century Technology Limited (“BC-Tech”), which is 100% owned by Borqs Beijing;

 

Beijing Borqs Wireless Technology Co, Ltd. (“Borqs Wireless”), a company established under the laws of the PRC in 2013, engages in software development and engineering projects as well as other software and services business and is 100% owned by BC-Tech, which is 100% owned by Borqs Beijing;

 

YuanTel (Beijing) Telecommunications Technology Co., Ltd. (“YuanTel Telecom”), a company established under the laws of the PRC in 2004, engages in MVNO services and is 95% owned by YuanTel (Beijing) Investment Management Co., Ltd., which is 79% owned by Beijing Big Cloud Network Technology Co., Ltd. (“BC-NW”), which is 100% beneficially owned and controlled by Borqs International through contractual control arrangements; and

 

Beijing Tongbaohuida Technology Co., Ltd. (“Tongbaohuida”), a company established under the laws of the PRC in 2012 and is 100% owned by YuanTel Telecom. Tongbaohuida has been inactive for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

 

Business Units

 

We have two business units, Connected Solutions and MVNO. The Connected Solutions BU develops wireless smart connected devices and cloud solutions. The MVNO BU operates a mobile virtual network in China that provides a full range of 2G/3G/4G mobile communication services at the consumer level and some traditional commercial telephony services.

 

Borqs provides Connected Solutions customers with customized, integrated, commercial grade Android platform software and service solutions to address vertical market segment needs through the targeted BorqsWare software platform solutions. The BorqsWare software platform consists of BorqsWare Client Software and BorqsWare Server Software. The BorqsWare Client Software platform consists of three major components: the latest commercial grade Android software that works with particular mobile chipsets, functionality enhancements of the open source Android software and mobile operator required services. Based on the BorqsWare Client Software platform, customers may require Borqs to provide further customization based on their specific market needs. The BorqsWare Client Software platform has been used in Android phones, tablets, watches and various Internet-of-things (“IoT”) devices. The BorqsWare Server Software platform consists of back-end server software that allows customers to develop their own mobile end-to-end services for their devices. The BorqsWare Server Software provides software necessary for upgrades, charging and various APIs that enhance the customers’ services. Based on BorqsWare Server Software service platform, customers may require us to provide further customization based on their specific needs.

 

The MVNO BU provides a full range 2G/3G/4G voice and data services for general consumer usage and IoT devices, as well as traditional telecom services such as voice conferencing. The MVNO BU also acts as a sales and promotion channel for the products developed by the Connected Solutions BU. Borqs believes that a key component of the sales of connected devices going forward is the bundling of those devices with a voice/data plan through its MVNO BU. The MVNO BU launched operations in the fourth quarter of 2014. The MVNO BU provides services throughout China. Borqs had more than two million registered subscribers at the end of 2015, approximately 4.5 million at the end of 2016, and approximately 5.37 million at the end of 2017.

 

The MVNO BU provides bundled voice and data services to Chinese consumers, serving as the principal in doing so and recognizing revenue on a gross basis. As sales of bundled services are mostly pre-paid by the consumers, cash received in advance of voice and data consumption are recognized as deferred revenue. Revenue is recognized when the services are actually used. Pre-paid bundled services do not expire. Sales of the bundles are mostly made through agents and franchisees. Bundled services sold to agents are discounted and not refundable to Borqs; and such discounts are recorded as reductions of revenue. We enter into profit sharing arrangements with franchisees under which bundled services may be returned if not sold to the consumers. The franchisees receive certain percentages of profits made by Borqs on the sales of the bundled services as they are used by the consumers. We account for profit sharing with franchisees as selling expenses in the consolidated statements of operations. Pursuant to the Company’s policy, the amount of discounts that may be provided by the franchisees to consumers is capped at 5%, based on which, we recognized the maximum amount of discounts that may be provided by the franchisees as reductions of revenue.

 

  3  

 

 

Solutions

 

 

The Connected Solutions BU helps customers design, develop and realize the commercialization of their connected devices. The MVNO BU helps customers deploy their devices in China with 2G/3G/4G cellular connectivity with flexible voice/data plan.

 

Ideation & Design —  Based on customer requirements on the type of connected device the customer want to have, we can help customers design the product ID and user interface. We have the design engineering to provide 2D/3D rendering. The Company can provide physical mockup with different color, material and finishes, so the customer can hold and “feel” the mockup before finalizing the product ID.

 

Software IP Development —  IoT devices are often highly customized and require special software to display the data (e.g. circular watch display and user interface), to reduce the power consumption (e.g., a small battery in a wearable device), to perform specific functions (e.g., push-to-talk) and to connect to the network (e.g., 3G/4G connection). The Company has developed a large number of software libraries that can be reused for various connected devices.

 

Product Realization —  Some customers have limited hardware design capabilities. The Company has a strong hardware research and development team to help customers to design the hardware, including the PCBA design and mechanical design. The Company can also provide turn-key services to help customer to handle the manufacturing logistics (including supply chain and EMS management) in order to manufacture the product. The Company has the experiences and resources to manage the factory supply chain, quality control and other manufacturing logistics.

 

Deployment —  A number of connected devices require cellular 2G/3G/4G connectivity to connect to the network to access the backend cloud services. If a customer intends to deploy their connected devices in China, the customer can acquire SIM cards with flexible voice/data plans from our MVNO to have the cellular connectivity.

 

Cloud Services and Support —  The MVNO can help customers to provision and manage their subscribers database, handle the payment and re-charging and as well as provide data analytics of the subscribers for their usage traffic models.

 

Our Connected Solutions business unit works closely with chipset partners to develop new connected devices. Borqs developed the reference Android software platform and hardware platform for Intel and Qualcomm phones and tablets. We provide Connected Solutions customers with customized, integrated, commercial grade Android platform software and service solutions to address vertical market segment needs through the targeted BorqsWare software platform solutions. The BorqsWare software platform consists of BorqsWare Client Software and BorqsWare Server Software. The BorqsWare Client Software platform has been used in Android phones, tablets, watches and various Internet-of-things (“IoT”) devices. The BorqsWare Server Software platform consists of back-end server software that allows customers to develop their own mobile end-to-end services for their devices.

 

  4  

 

 

The Connected Solutions BU has a global customer base covering the core parts of the Android platform value chain, including mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators. As of December 2017, Borqs has collaborated with six mobile chipset manufacturers and 29 mobile device OEMs to commercially launch Android based connected devices in 11 countries, and sales of connected devices with the BorqsWare software platform solutions are embedded in more than 12 million units worldwide.

 

Our MVNO business unit provides a full range 2G/3G/4G voice and data services for general consumer usage and IoT devices, as well as traditional telecom services such as voice conferencing, and acts as a sales and promotion channel for the products developed by the Connected Solutions BU.

 

Customers

 

The Company’s primary customers are mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators. In 2017, Reliance Retail Limited and Alpha Network, Limited Corp accounted for approximately 41% and 13% of our revenues, respectively. In 2016, Reliance Retail Limited and Alpha Network Limited accounted for approximately 17% and 15% of our revenues, respectively. In 2015, Alpha Network Limited and Qualcomm India Private Limited accounted for approximately 26% and 10% of our revenues, respectively. The majority of the Company’s customers are located outside of China.

 

The Connected Solutions BU designs chipsets and related software for mobile connected devices. The Company outsources manufacturing of connected devices to third-party factories, buying key components for devices and consigning them to the factories to manufacture and assemble. The Company serves as a contract manufacturer of the products for Reliance, using Colmei Technology International Ltd. (“Colmei”) and its affiliate Shenzhen Crave Communication Co., Ltd. (“Crave”) to source necessary components. Due to Crave’s large manufacturing volume, it is able to negotiate favorable component pricing. The Connected Solutions BU benefits from Crave’s and Colmei’s component purchasing power and business referred to the Company by Crave and Colmei. The Company sells the final products to its customers, which are responsible for marketing and retail distribution.

 

The MVNO BU serves all the domestic China market. Operating under the brand name Yuantel, the MVNO BU leverages the network coverage China Unicom, which is China’s incumbent mobile operator. Subscribers purchase prepaid services, and are charged by the amount of data consumed, minutes of voice calls made, number of text messages sent, and other value-added services (such as caller ID display) used. As needed, subscribers may refresh the mobile phone SIM card, on a pay-as-you-go basis. Each month, we pay China Unicom for the total amount of traffic (MB of data, minutes of voice call made, etc.) actually consumed by subscribers.

 

The Company uses MVNO franchisees and agents as distribution channels. Those franchisees sell our prepaid services to their subscribers, on SIM cards. The Company compensates franchisees under a profit-sharing arrangement that is based on gross margin on franchisee sales of our services to subscribers. Agents sell our services on behalf of the Company and pay us a discount price for those services.

 

Research and Development

 

The Company has dedicated significant resources to research and development, with research and development centers in Beijing, China and Bangalore, India. As of December 31, 2017, 352 of our 612 employees were technical professionals dedicated to platform research and development and product specific customization. Technical professionals have diverse backgrounds and experience gained through employment with leading mobile chipset designers and manufacturers, mobile device OEMs, internet content providers and other software and hardware enterprises.

 

The Company’s research and development centers work together to develop core proprietary software, and each center focuses on project specific implementation related to specific hardware platforms and customer specifications. The Company technical professionals are divided into two core groups, one focused on our Android+ software platform solutions, and one focused on our Android+ service platform solutions. Each group is further divided into sub-groups for platform development, system engineering and architecture, low-level software development, high-level application development, program management, system testing and verification and software configuration management.

 

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Our current research and development efforts are focused on developing the BorqsWare software and service platform solutions to improve and enhance the following aspects of the Android platform:

 

stability and reliability;

 

performance and power management;

 

Android platform integration with various kinds of chipsets;

 

usability, input mechanism and display mechanism;

 

security and anti-hacking of applications;

 

in-country localization;

 

automated cross applications software testing;

 

4G radio network specific functionality, such as FDD-LTE and TD-LTE; and

 

mobile operator end-to-end services; and integration of mobile Internet services with traditional telecommunication services, such as integration of instant messaging with short messaging.

 

A typical research and development project is staffed with members of the sales team, a research and development team comprised of a project manager, a platform development team, a customer development team and a system testing team, as well as finance personnel. At the beginning of a project, a member of the sales team will work with a project manager to simultaneously track research and development and commercial milestones. The project manager is responsible for ensuring the research and development milestones are achieved in a timely manner, including system testing, and a member of the sales team is responsible for tracking sales milestones. Finance personnel review each invoice and determine the appropriate accounting treatment under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”). A typical research and development project takes between six to nine months to complete. In general, a significant portion of each research and development project consists of existing Android platform software and service solutions, while incorporating necessary customizations for a particular customer.

 

Intellectual Property

 

The Company regards patents, copyrights, trademarks, software registrations, trade secrets and similar intellectual property as critical to its success. The Company relies on a combination of trademark, copyright, patent, software registration and trade secret laws, and enters into confidentiality agreements with employees and relevant third parties to protect our intellectual property rights. All employees enter into agreements requiring them to keep confidential all proprietary and other information relating to customers, methods, technologies, business practices and trade secrets.

 

The Company has been granted 130 patents in China and six patents in the United States, and as of December 31, 2017 it has 18 pending patent applications in China and three pending patent applications in the United States. The Company also has 91 software copyrights and 47 trademarks registered and 17 pending trademarks in China. In addition, the Company has registered its domain name with various domain name registration services.

 

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Competition

 

The Company believes that the marketplace for connected devices and MVNO solutions is highly fragmented, but that few are capable of providing an end-to-end solution with software, hardware, product realization and bundling with a SIM card with voice/data plan (via a MVNO or mobile operator).

 

The market for connected devices and MVNO solutions is rapidly evolving, and in the future the Company may not be able to compete successfully against current and potential competitors. The Company expects competition to intensify as new competitors enter the market, and as existing competitors attempt to diversify and expand their software and service solutions offerings across the Android platform. The primary competitors for the Company include traditional hardware-centric OEMs and software development companies.

 

The traditional OEMs are strong in hardware design and own factories, but they are very weak in software development as well as not familiar with operator and mobile chipset requirement;

 

The large software development companies have sizable software teams and global coverage, but they are very weak in hardware design and manufacturing expertise;

 

Some of the Company’s competitors have significantly greater financial, technical, marketing, sales and other resources and significantly greater name recognition than we have.

 

Some of the companies that operate in the software and services solutions market may have significantly greater financial, technical, marketing, sales and other resources and significantly greater name recognition than we have.

 

Competitive Strengths

 

We believe the following factors differentiate us from our competitors and contribute to our success:

 

Strategic relationships with leading chipset vendors.

 

The Company works closely with leading chipset vendors in their software development, including software for their latest state-of-the-art chipsets. The Company develops connected device products and solutions based on these chipsets. These relationships enable the Company to develop a competitive product portfolio.

 

Strong software capabilities across core parts of the Android platform value chain drive a full suite of BorqsWare software and services platform solutions and a significant time to market advantage for customers.

 

The Company has focused on building its innovative technology platform to serve customers across the core parts of the Android platform value chain. We believe the Company was first to develop commercial grade software to support video telephony for Android. In collaboration with China Mobile, the Company developed the base chipset software to deploy Android-based mobile devices to support China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network.

 

Global customer base and extensive industry relationships .

 

The Company had more than 50 customers as of December 31, 2017, including some of the world’s leading companies in the mobile industry. Its diversified customer base includes mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators. Through 2017, the Company has collaborated with more than six mobile chipset manufacturers (including Intel, Qualcomm, Marvell) and 29 connected device OEMs (including LGE, Micromax, Acer, Motorola and Vizio) to commercially launch Android-based devices in 11 countries, and more than 10 million mobile devices sold worldwide have BorqsWare software platform solutions embedded. Our products have been deployed by more than 10 service providers (including AT&T, China Mobile, Claro, Orange, Reliance Jio, Sprint, Verizon) on four continents.

 

Significant resources dedicated to research and development; Patents .

 

The Company dedicated significant financial and human resources to research and development needed to build a full suite of connected device software and service platform solutions to address evolving customer needs across the core parts of the Android platform value chain.

 

  7  

 

 

Government Regulation

 

The Company’s operations are subject to extensive and complex state, provincial and local laws, rules and regulations. The PRC government restricts or imposes conditions on foreign investment in telecommunication business. Borqs International Holding Corp and its PRC subsidiaries are considered foreign persons or foreign-invested enterprises under PRC foreign investment related laws. As a result, they are subject to PRC legal restrictions on or conditions for foreign ownership of telecommunication business. Due to these restrictions, the Company conducts its MVNO business in China through BC-NW, its variable interest entity and the subsidiaries of BC-NW. As all the registered shareholders of BC-NW are PRC citizens and all other shareholders of the subsidiaries of BC-NW are also PRC citizens or PRC domestic enterprises, BC-NW and its subsidiaries are therefore considered as PRC domestic enterprises under PRC law. The “registered shareholders” of BC-NW refer to those shareholders who have pledged their equity interest in BC-NW to Borqs Beijing Ltd., or WFOE, and entered into exclusive option agreements with WFOE as part of the contractual arrangements. The Company’s contractual arrangements with BC-NW and the registered shareholders of BC-NW allow it to have the power to direct the activities of BC-NW and its subsidiaries that most significantly impact their economic performance.

 

The Company’s operations are also subject to trial licenses granted by the Ministry of Industry & Information Technology of China, or MIIT, under the mobile virtual network trial program initiated by the MIIT in 2013 to implement the Chinese State Council’s encouragement of private investments in various industries, including telecommunication industry. The trial program and all trial licenses issued thereunder, including those of the Company, were originally set to expire as of December 31, 2015. According to the trial program policies issued by the MIIT, the MIIT will work on formalizing commercial policies regarding the operation of MVNO based on the development of the trial program. On December 28, 2015, the MIIT issued a notice stating that while the government is “diligently researching and determining the formal commercial policies regarding the operation of MVNO, the temporary licenses issued continue to allow MVNO enterprises to operate, and the base telecommunication enterprises shall continue to provide cooperation, support and maintenance services”, as translated from the MIIT’s notice. All MVNOs in China, including the Company, will continue to operate and provide mobile communication services for subscribers based on the trial licenses.

 

The MIIT issued a Notice on the Official Commercial Use of Mobile Communication Resale Business (Draft for Comments), or the Draft Notice, on January 24, 2018, which requires an enterprise that has obtained a trial license, or the Pilot Enterprise to execute commercial contracts with a basic telecommunications company and apply for the telecommunications business license to replace the trial license after certain date to be provided in the official version of the Draft Commercial Use Notice, or the Official Notice. The Pilot Enterprise is allowed to continue to carry out its MNVO business during such application period. According to the Draft Notice, the Pilot Enterprise will be ordered to terminate its MVNO business under certain circumstances, including (1) termination of cooperation between the Pilot Enterprise and the basic telecommunications enterprise resulting in Pilot Enterprise’s failure to operate its business; (2) failure to obtain the telecommunications business license within 2 years since the date of promulgation of the Official Notice; (3) occurrence of serious telecommunication fraud cases or malignant group accidents due to the Pilot Enterprise’s malpractice. The MIIT is currently soliciting comments on this Draft Notice and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to its enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation. It is also uncertain whether the Official Notice would have any substantial changes from the Draft Notice.

 

Employees 

 

As of December 31, 2017, we had 612 employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union. Most of the Company’s employees are located in China, and a large percentage of its research and development personnel are located in India.

 

The Company pays most of employees a base salary and performance-based bonuses, including annual incentive bonuses and project-based bonuses. It pays commissions to sales personnel. Employees are also eligible to participate in the Company’s stock incentive program.

 

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The Company is required under PRC laws and regulations to participate in a government-mandated, defined benefit plan for its full time employees, pursuant to which we provide social welfare benefits, such as pension, medical care, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance, maternity insurance and employee housing fund. The Company employees are not covered by any collective bargaining agreement. The Company believes it has good relations with its employees.

 

The Company uses a variety of methods to recruit technical professionals to ensure that it has sufficient research and development and other expertise on an ongoing basis, including the company website, an external online recruiting website, targeted technical forums, campus recruitment at leading technical universities and institutions, job fairs and internal referrals from current employees.

 

The Company offers training programs to its employees covering professional training such as training related to customer service and product management and technical training such as training related to telephony and project management. The Company holds periodic workshops to enhance the leadership skills of management personnel.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

To the knowledge of our management, there is no material litigation currently pending or contemplated against us, any of our officers or directors in their capacity as such or against any of our property.

 

Description of Properties

 

The Company’s principal executive offices are located in Beijing, China, where the Company leases approximately 3,600 square meters of office space. The Company also occupies leased facilities of 4,400 square meters for other offices and research and development facilities in India. The following table sets forth the location, approximate size and primary use and expiration date of all the Company’s materially important physical facilities as of December 31, 2017. Extension beyond the expiration of both leases will be up to negotiation with the property owners.

 

Locations   Approximate Size   Primary Uses   Lease Expiration Date
Beijing, China   3600 sq. meters   Principal executive office and research and development   May 31, 2020
Bangalore, India   4400 sq. meters   Research and development   December 9, 2020
Total   8000 sq. meters        

 

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Employees

 

As of December 31, 2017, we had 612 employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union.

 

Segments

 

We operate in two reportable segments, which are mobile virtual network operator services (“MVNO” or “Yuantel”), and Connected Solutions. See Note 2, Segment Reporting, of our notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

Geographic Concentration

 

The following table sets forth the Company’s connected solutions net revenues from customers, in absolute amount and as a percentage of net revenues, based on location of the customer’s headquarters. Our MVNO net revenues, which were $20.0 million, $35.1 million and $32.1 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, were related to customers in China. These figures do not take into account the geographic location of end-users of customer products:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
China     8,485       15.4 %     6,076       7.1 %     17,687       14.5 %
India     7,949       14.4 %     25,126       29.4 %     70,421       57.6 %
United States     14,978       27.2 %     34,526       40.4 %     23,312       9.1 %
Rest of the World     23,703       43.0 %     19,720       23.1 %     10,813       8.8 %
Net Revenues     55,115       100.0 %     85,448       100.0 %     122,233       100 %

 

The Company’s connected solutions net revenues from customers with headquarters in the United States are attributed to its ongoing collaboration with a prominent mobile chipset vendor and other mobile device OEMs. From 2015 to 2017, revenues from customers with headquarters in China declined slightly, and we engaged a significant new customer in India during the second half of 2016 and this customer continued to place orders with us in 2017.

 

Available Information

 

Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other periodic reports are available free of charge on our website ( www.borqs.com ) as soon as reasonably practicable after we have electronically filed such materials with, or furnished such materials to the Securities and Exchange Commission. They are also available at www.sec.gov .

 

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Item 1A.     Risk Factors

 

Factors That Could Affect Future Results

 

You should carefully consider the risks below, as well as other information included or incorporated by reference in this report, before making an investment decision. We operate in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment that involves many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from results contemplated by forward-looking statements in this report.  The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. In such an event, the market price of our ordinary shares could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. Because of the factors discussed below, other information included or incorporated by reference in this report and other factors affecting our operating results, past performance should not be considered a reliable indicator of future performance. The risks discussed in this report are not the only risks we face. Risks and uncertainties of which we are not currently aware, or which we currently deem to be immaterial, may also adversely affect our business, financial condition or operating results.

 

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

 

Our quarterly results may fluctuate significantly and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business.

 

Our quarterly operating results, including the levels of our revenue, gross margin, profitability, cash flow and deferred revenue, may vary significantly in the future, and period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful. Accordingly, the results of any one quarter should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Our quarterly financial results may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control and, as a result, may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business. Fluctuations in quarterly results may negatively impact the value of our ordinary shares. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly financial results include, but are not limited to:

 

our ability to attract new customers;

 

our ability to convert users of our limited free versions to paying customers;

 

the addition or loss of large customers, including through acquisitions or consolidations;

 

our customer retention rate;

 

the timing of recognition of revenue;

 

the amount and timing of operating expenses related to the maintenance and expansion of our business, operations and infrastructure;

 

network outages or security breaches;

 

general economic, industry and market conditions;

 

increases or decreases in the number of features in our services or pricing changes upon any renewals of customer agreements;

 

changes in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;

 

the timing and success of new services and service introductions by us and our competitors or any other change in the competitive dynamics of our industry, including consolidation among competitors, customers or strategic partners; and

 

the timing of expenses related to the development or acquisition of technologies or businesses and potential future charges for impairment of goodwill from acquired companies.

 

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We generate a significant portion of our net revenues from a small number of major customers and key projects and any loss of business from these customers or projects could significantly reduce our net revenues and harm our business.

 

We derive a significant portion of our net revenues from a small number of major customers and key projects. Our five largest customers in 2017, 2016 and 2015 accounted for 69.3%, 51.5% and 57.8% of our net revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Our ability to maintain close relationships with major customers is essential to the success of our business. However, the volume of work performed for specific customers varies significantly from year-to-year and project-to-project, and we are typically are not the exclusive solutions provider for our customers, and we do not have long-term purchase commitments from customers. A major customer in one year may not provide the same level of net revenues for us in any subsequent year. In addition, reliance on any individual customer for a significant portion of our net revenues may give that customer a degree of pricing leverage when negotiating contracts and terms of service with us.

 

Many factors not within our control could cause the loss of, or reduction in, business or revenues from any customer, and these factors are not predictable. These factors include, among others, pricing pressure from competitors, a change in a customer’s business strategy, or failure of a chipset manufacturer or device OEM to develop competitive products. Our customers may choose to pursue alternative technologies and develop alternative products in addition to, or in lieu of, our products, either on their own or in collaboration with others, including our competitors. The loss of any major customer or key project, or a significant decrease in the volume of customer demand or the price at which we sells our products to customers, could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We provide mobile communication services as a mobile virtual network operator in China. The current license to operate such services is based on a government issued extension of a trial license, and if we cannot obtain a renewed license or the current extension is terminated, we will need to cease operating as a MVNO and our total revenues will be significantly reduced.

 

In 2014, after acquiring YuanTel Investment, we entered into the MVNO business. Our MVNO business unitcontributed 26.6%, 29.1% and 20.8% of our net revenues in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. The ability of our MVNO business unit to provide mobile communication services in China is based on trial licenses granted by the Ministry of Industry & Information Technology of China, or MIIT, under the mobile virtual network trial program initiated by the MIIT in 2013 to implement the Chinese State Council’s encouragement of private investments in various industries, including telecommunication industry. The trial program and all trial licenses issued thereunder, including our own, were originally set to expire as of December 31, 2015. According to the trial program policies issued by the MIIT, the MIIT will work on formalizing commercial policies regarding the operation of MVNO based on the development of the trial program. On December 28, 2015, the MIIT issued a notice stating that while the government is “diligently researching and determining the formal commercial policies regarding the operation of MVNO, the temporary licenses issued continue to allow MVNO enterprises to operate, and the base telecommunication enterprises shall continue to provide cooperation, support and maintenance services”, as translated from the MIIT’s notice. All MVNOs in China, including us, will continue to operate and provide mobile communication services for subscribers based on the trial licenses.

 

The MIIT issued a Notice on the Official Commercial Use of Mobile Communication Resale Business (Draft for Comments), or the Draft Notice, on January 24, 2018, which requires an enterprise that has obtained a trial license, or the Pilot Enterprise to execute commercial contracts with a basic telecommunications company and apply for the telecommunications business license to replace the trial license after certain date to be provided in the official version of the Draft Commercial Use Notice, or the Official Notice. The Pilot Enterprise is allowed to continue to carry out its MNVO business during such application period. According to the Draft Notice, the Pilot Enterprise will be ordered to terminate its MVNO business under certain circumstances, including (1) termination of cooperation between the Pilot Enterprise and the basic telecommunications enterprise resulting in Pilot Enterprise’s failure to operate its business; (2) failure to obtain the telecommunications business license within 2 years since the date of promulgation of the Official Notice; (3) occurrence of serious telecommunication fraud cases or malignant group accidents due to the Pilot Enterprise’s malpractice. The MIIT is currently soliciting comments on this Draft Notice and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to its enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation. It is also uncertain whether the Official Notice would have any substantial changes from the Draft Notice. Thus, we cannot assure you that we are able to obtain the official MVNO license after the promulgation of Official Notice.

 

If we cannot obtain the official MVNO license after the promulgation of Official Notice, we will be forced to cease this operation, and our total revenues will be significantly reduced and our investment into this business will be completely lost. We rely on China Unicom, the incumbent operator, to provide us with attractive and competitive bulk wholesale rates of voice-per-minute and MB-of-data to compete with our competitors. If we are not provided competitive bulk wholesale rates from China Unicom, we will not be able to maintain our gross margin and will not be able to operate profitably, which may lead to shutting down the MVNO Business Unit entirely.

 

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Failure to complete real-name registration of all users of our MVNO services could subject us to penalties, damage our reputation and brand, and harm our business and results of operations.

 

Chinese laws require telecommunication business operators to verify and register real names and identification information of users of mobile phones. For example, in September 2016, the MIIT and certain other governmental departments issued the Notice regarding Prevention of and Cracking Down Telecommunication or Online Frauds to emphasize the real-name registration requirements and to further require telecommunication business operators, including MVNOs, to complete the real-name registration for all of their existing users by end of 2016. In August 2016 and February 2017, we were given a warning by the MIIT for our failure to strictly comply with the real-name registration requirement. We have since rectified such failure in accordance with the MIIT’s requirements and have also established internal policies and require all our staff to strictly comply with the real-name registration requirements for new users. However, we cannot assure you that all our staff will strictly implement our internal policies or that all users will provide authentic information to us. If we are found by the authorities not to comply with the real-name registration requirement, we may be subject to penalties, or be required to suspend or terminate our MVNO business. In addition, complying with these laws and regulations could cause us to incur substantial costs.

 

PRC laws and regulations governing our businesses and the validity of certain of our contractual arrangements are uncertain. If we are found to be in violation, we could be subject to sanctions. In addition, changes in PRC laws and regulations or changes in interpretations thereof may materially and adversely affect our business.

 

The PRC government restricts or imposes conditions on foreign investment in telecommunication business. We and our PRC subsidiaries are considered foreign persons or foreign-invested enterprises under PRC foreign investment related laws. As a result, we are subject to PRC legal restrictions on or conditions for foreign ownership of telecommunication business. Due to these restrictions and conditions, we conduct our MVNO business in China through BC-NW, our variable interest entity and the subsidiaries of Beijing Big Cloud Network Technology Co., Ltd. (“BC-NW”). As all the registered shareholders of BC-NW are PRC citizens and all other shareholders of the subsidiaries of BC-NW are also PRC citizens or PRC domestic enterprises, BC-NW and our subsidiaries are therefore considered PRC domestic enterprises under PRC law. The “registered shareholders” of BC-NW refer to those shareholders who have pledged their equity interest in BC-NW to Borqs Beijing and entered into exclusive option agreements with Borqs Beijing as part of the contractual arrangements. Our contractual arrangements with BC-NW and the registered shareholders of BC-NW allow it to have the power to direct the activities of BC-NW and our subsidiaries that most significantly impact economic performance.

 

There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the laws and regulations governing the MVNO business, or the enforcement and performance of our contractual arrangements with BC-NW. These laws and regulations may be subject to change, and their official interpretation and enforcement may involve substantial uncertainty. New laws and regulations that affect existing and proposed future businesses may also be applied retroactively.

 

Although we believe we are in compliance with current PRC laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that the PRC government would agree that our contractual arrangements comply with PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. The PRC government has broad discretion in determining penalties for violations of laws and regulations. If the PRC government determines that we do not comply with applicable law, it could revoke our business and operating licenses, require us to discontinue or restrict our operations, restrict our right to collect revenues, block our websites, require us to restructure our operations, impose additional conditions or requirements with which we may not be able to comply, impose restrictions on our business operations or on our customers, or take other regulatory or enforcement actions against us that could be harmful to our business. Any of these or similar occurrences could significantly disrupt our business operations or restrict us from conducting a substantial portion of our business operations, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If any of these occurrences results in our inability to direct the activities of any of our consolidated affiliated entities that most significantly impact our economic performance, and/or our failure to receive the economic benefits from any of our consolidated affiliated entities, we may not be able to consolidate such entity in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

 

We operate in multiple rapidly evolving industries. If we fail to keep up with technological developments and changing requirements of our customers, business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our industry is rapidly evolving and subject to continuous technological developments. Our success depends on our ability to keep up with technological developments and changing customers demands. As a result, we need to invest significant resources in research and development in order to enhance our existing products and to respond to changes in customer preference, new challenges and industry changes in a timely and effective manner. If we fail to keep up with technological developments and continue to innovate to meet the needs of our customers, our software and service platform solutions may become less attractive to customers, which in turn may adversely affect our reputation, competitiveness, results of operations and prospects.

 

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We face intense competition and, if we are unable to compete effectively, it may lose customers and our revenues may decline.

 

The Android platform and software market is highly fragmented and competitive, and we expect competition to persist and intensify from both existing competitors and new market entrants. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our industry are reliability and efficiency, performance, product features and functionality, development complexity and time-to-market, price, support for multiple architectures and processors, interoperability with other systems, support for emerging industry and customer standards and protocols and levels of training, technical services and customer support.

 

Our business model is to provide a full suite of Android+ software and service platform solutions to a broad range of customers, including mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators. In addition, we face competition from companies seeking to compete with the Android platform by developing their own operating systems, such as Baidu and Alibaba in China, and major mobile device OEMs, such as Foxconn Technology Group and BYD Electronic (International) Company Limited, which are able to develop low-level software for mobile chipsets, as well as Huawei, GTE and Xiaomi.

 

The market for Android platform software and service solutions is still rapidly evolving, and we may not be able to compete successfully against current and potential competitors in the future. In addition, some of our independent competitors are more focused on one or several particular segments of the value chain and may deliver better services in those segments than we do. Furthermore, some of our competitors may have significantly greater financial, technical, marketing, sales and other resources and significantly greater name recognition than we have. If we are unable to compete successfully on the principal competitive factors described above or otherwise, our business could be harmed.

 

Our MVNO business unit faces intense competition in the wireless communications market and if we cannot compete effectively our revenues, profits, cash flows and growth may be adversely affected.

 

The wireless communications market is extremely competitive, and competition for customers is increasing. We compete with other MVNOs such as Snail Mobile, d.Mobile and Soshare. We are one of the top MVNOs in China as measured in terms of registered subscribers, and we intend to expand our market share organically or by acquiring smaller MVNOs. However, we continue to face intense competition from the dozens of other MVNOs and we may not be able to compete successfully in the future. In addition, continued consolidation in the industry creates even large competitors, and such competitors may have greater financial, technical, personnel and marketing resources and a larger market share than us, and we may not be able to compete successfully against them. If we are unable to compete successfully on the principal competitive factors described above or otherwise, our MVNO business could be harmed.

 

We may undertake acquisitions, investments, joint ventures or other strategic alliances, which could expose us to new operational, regulatory and market risks. In addition, such undertakings may not be successful, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

 

We intend to grow both organically by expanding our current business lines and geographic coverage and through acquisitions, investments, joint ventures or other strategic alliances if the appropriate opportunities arise. These potential business plans, acquisitions, investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances may expose us to new operational, regulatory and market risks, as well as risks associated with additional capital requirements. In addition, we may not be able to identify suitable future acquisition or investment candidates or joint venture or alliance partners. Even if we identify suitable candidates or partners, we may be unable to complete an acquisition, investment or alliance on terms commercially acceptable to us. If we fail to identify appropriate candidates or partners, or complete desired acquisitions, investments or alliances, we may not be able to implement our strategies effectively or efficiently.

 

In addition, our ability to integrate acquired companies and their operations may be adversely affected by many factors, including the ability to capitalize on anticipated synergies, diversion of resources and management’s attention, difficulties in retaining personnel of the acquired companies, unanticipated problems or legal liabilities and tax and accounting issues. If we fail to integrate any acquired company efficiently, our earnings, revenues, gross margins, operating margins and business operations could be adversely affected. The integration of acquired companies is a complex, time-consuming and expensive process.

 

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We are dependent upon the Android platform and, if Google determines to no longer develop the Android platform and our further development is not taken up by reliable alternative sources, our business could be materially harmed.

 

Our business model is dependent upon the Android platform, which is a free and fully open source mobile software platform developed by Google. The Android platform has been updated frequently since our original release and the development of the Android platform is an ongoing process which we do not control. If Google determines to no longer develop the Android platform or our further development is not taken up by reliable alternative sources, such as another third party or the open source community, demand for our Android+ software and service platform solutions could decline significantly and our revenue and financial condition could be materially harmed.

 

If our customers undertake more research and development work in-house, lower demand for our solutions could reduce our net revenues and harm our business.

 

Collaboration with customers is essential to the growth and profitability of our business. However, our customers may elect to undertake more research and development work in-house, and reduce collaboration with us for Android platform projects. There are many factors beyond our control that could cause our customers to move their work in-house, such as spending reductions due to a challenging economic environment, corporate restructuring, cost control, pricing pressure and concerns regarding the protection of technology know-how, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights. If our customers decide to change their strategy by moving more research and development work in-house, our net revenues may decline, and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

Most of our engagements with customers are for a specific project only and do not provide for long-term engagements. If we are unable to generate a substantial number of new engagements for projects on a continuing basis, our business and results of operations will be adversely affected.

 

Our customers generally retain us on project-by-project basis in connection with specific projects rather than on a recurring basis under long-term contracts. Historically, a significant portion of our net revenues has been comprised of software fees, relating to one-time research and engineering work performed for customers. For 2015, 2016 and 2017, our net revenues from software fees were $22.5 million, $14.9 million and $11.2 million, representing 29.9%, 12.4% and 7.3% of total net revenues. Although a significant amount of our net revenues are generated from repeat business, which we define as revenues from a customer who also contributed to our revenues during the prior fiscal year, our engagements with our customers are typically for individual projects that are often on a non-exclusive, project-by-project basis. In addition, a majority of our customer contracts from which we generate product fees can be terminated by customers with or without cause. There are many factors outside of our control that might lead customers to terminate a contract or project with us, including, among others:

 

financial difficulties for our customers;

 

business going to our competitors or remaining in-house;

 

unsuccessful launch of a product;

 

disclosure of core technology by a third party; and

 

mergers and acquisitions or significant corporate restructurings by our customers.

 

Furthermore, some of our customer contracts specify that if a change of control occurs during the term of the contract, the customer has the right to terminate the contract upon advance notice. If our customers terminate our contracts before completion or choose not to renew their contracts, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Therefore, we have to continuously seek new engagements while our current engagements are being performed or are completed or terminated, and we are constantly seeking to expand our business with existing customers and secure new customers. If we are unable to generate a substantial number of new engagements on a continuing basis, our business and results of operations will be adversely affected.

 

  15  

 

 

Because of the characteristics of open source software, there may be fewer technology barriers to entry in the Android platform and software market in which we compete, and it may be relatively easy for competitors, some of which may have greater resources than we have, to enter our markets and compete with us.

 

One of the characteristics of open source software is that anyone can modify and redistribute the existing open source software and use it to compete against us. Such competition can develop without the degree of overhead and lead time required by traditional proprietary software companies. It is possible for new competitors with greater resources than us to develop their own Android platform software and service solutions, potentially reducing the demand for, and putting pricing pressure on, our Android+ software and service platform solutions. In addition, some competitors make their open source software available for free download and use on an ad hoc basis, or may position their open source software as a loss leader in order to win customers. There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors or that competitive pressure and/or the availability of open source software will not result in price reductions, reduced operating margins and loss of market share, any of which could seriously harm our business.

 

We may not be able to continue to use or adequately protect our intellectual property rights, which could harm our business reputation and competitive position.

 

Although Android is an open source mobile software platform for mobile devices, we are not required to share the source code for our Android software, which we have invested significant resources to develop. Accordingly, we believe that patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, software registration and other intellectual property we use are important to our business. We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright, software registration and trade secret protection laws in China and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our intellectual property and brand name. Any failure by us to maintain or protect our intellectual property rights, including any unauthorized use of our intellectual property by third parties or use of “Borqs” as a company name to conduct software or services business, may adversely affect our current and future revenues and our reputation.

 

In addition, the validity, enforceability and scope of protection available under intellectual property laws with respect to the mobile and Internet industries in China, where a significant part of our business and operations are located, are uncertain and still evolving. Implementation and enforcement of PRC intellectual property-related laws have historically been deficient, ineffective and hampered by corruption and local protectionism. Accordingly, protection of intellectual property rights in China may not be as effective as in the United States or other countries. Furthermore, policing unauthorized use of proprietary technology is difficult and expensive, and we may need to resort to litigation to enforce or defend patents issued to us or to determine the enforceability, scope and validity of our proprietary rights or those of others. Such litigation and an adverse determination in any such litigation, if any, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention, which could harm our business and competitive position.

 

We also may be required to enter into license agreements with certain third parties to use their intellectual property for our business operations. If such third parties fail to perform under these license agreements or if the agreements are terminated for any reason, our business and results of operations may be negatively impacted. Furthermore, if we are deemed to be using third parties’ intellectual property without due authorization, we may become subject to legal proceedings or sanctions, which may be time-consuming and costly to defend, divert management attention and resources or require us to enter into licensing agreements, which may not be available on commercial terms, or at all.

 

Security and privacy breaches may expose us to liability and harm our reputation and business.

 

As part of our business we receive and process information about our employees, customers and partners, and we may store (or contract with third parties to store) our customers’ data. While we take security measures relating to our Android+ software and service platform solutions, specifically, and our operations, generally, those measures may not prevent security breaches that could harm our business. Advances in computer capabilities, inadequate technology or facility security measures or other factors may result in a compromise or breach of our systems and the data we store and process. Our security measures may be breached as a result of actions by third parties or employee error or malfeasance. A party who is able to circumvent our security measures or exploit inadequacies in our security measures, could, among other things, misappropriate proprietary information (including information about our employees, customers and partners and our customers’ information), cause the loss or disclosure of some or all of this information, cause interruptions in our operations or our customers’ or expose our customers to computer viruses or other disruptions or vulnerabilities. Any compromise of our systems or the data it stores or processes could result in a loss of confidence in the security of our Android+ software and service platform solutions, damage our reputation, disrupt our business, lead to legal liability and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, a compromise of our systems could remain undetected for an extended period of time, exacerbating the impact of that compromise. Actual or perceived vulnerabilities may lead to claims against us by our customers, partners or other third parties, which could be material. While our customer agreements typically contain provisions that seek to limit our liability, there is no assurance these provisions will be enforceable and effective under applicable law. In addition, the cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures could be significant.

 

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If we fail to effectively manage our technical operations infrastructure, our customers may experience service outages and delays in the further deployment of our services, which may adversely affect our business.

 

We have experienced significant growth in the number of users and the amount of data that our operations infrastructure supports. We seek to maintain sufficient capacity in our operations infrastructure to meet the needs of all of our customers. We also seek to maintain excess capacity to facilitate the rapid provisioning of new customer deployments and the expansion of existing customer deployments. In addition, we need to properly manage our technological operations infrastructure in order to support version control, changes in hardware and software parameters and the evolution of our services. However, the provision of new hosting infrastructure requires significant lead-time. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, website disruptions, outages and other performance problems. These problems may be caused by a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, viruses, security attacks, fraud, spikes in customer usage and denial of service issues. In some instances, we may not be able to identify the cause or causes of these performance problems within an acceptable period of time, which may harm our reputation and operating results. Furthermore, if we do not accurately predict our infrastructure requirements, our existing customers may experience service outages that may subject us to financial penalties, financial liabilities and customer losses. If our operations infrastructure fails to keep pace with increased sales, customers may experience delays as we seek to obtain additional capacity, which could adversely affect our reputation and our revenue.

 

We are vulnerable to technology infrastructure failures, which could harm our reputation and business.

 

We rely on our technology infrastructure for many functions, including selling our Android+ software and service platform solutions, supporting our customers and billing, collecting and making payments. We also rely on our own technology infrastructure, which is located on a third-party site, as well as the technology infrastructure of third parties, to provide some of our back-end services. This technology infrastructure may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from natural disasters, power loss, telecommunication failures, terrorist attacks, computer intrusions and viruses, software errors, computer denial-of-service attacks and other events. A significant number of the systems making up this infrastructure are not redundant, and our disaster recovery planning is not sufficient for every eventuality. This technology infrastructure is also subject to break-ins, sabotage and intentional acts of vandalism by internal employees, contractors and third parties. Despite any precautions we or our third-party partners may take, such problems could result in, among other consequences, interruptions in our services and loss of data, which could harm our reputation, business and financial condition. We do not carry business interruption insurance sufficient to protect us from all losses that may result from interruptions in our services as a result of technology infrastructure failures or to cover all contingencies. Any interruption in the availability of our websites and on-line interactions with customers and partners would create a large volume of questions and complaints that would need to be addressed by our support personnel. If our support personnel cannot meet this demand, customer and partner satisfaction levels may fall, which in turn could cause additional claims, reduced revenue, reputation damage or loss of customers.

 

The international nature of our business exposes us to risks that could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We conduct our business throughout the world in multiple locations. Our corporate structure also spans multiple jurisdictions, with our parent holding company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and intermediate and operating subsidiaries incorporated in China, Hong Kong, India, Brazil, Japan and South Korea. In addition, one of our growth strategies is to further expand our business in Europe and into the United States. As a result, we are exposed to risks typically associated with conducting business internationally, many of which are beyond our control. These risks include, among others:

 

significant currency fluctuations between the Renminbi and the U.S. Dollar and other currencies in which we transact business;

 

difficulty in identifying appropriate mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs, mobile operators and/or joint venture partners, and establishing and maintaining good relationships with them;

 

legal uncertainty owing to the overlap and inconsistencies of different legal regimes, problems in asserting contractual or other rights across international borders and the burden and expense of complying with the laws and regulations of various jurisdictions;

 

potentially adverse tax consequences, such as scrutiny of transfer pricing arrangements by authorities in the countries in which we operate;

 

adverse effect of inflation and increase in labor costs;

 

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current and future tariffs and other trade barriers, such as those recently announced by the United States on goods imported to the U.S. from China, and restrictions on technology and data transfers;

 

general global economic downturn;

 

unexpected changes in political environment and regulatory requirements; and

 

terrorist attacks and other acts of violence or war.

 

The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Furthermore, we are in the process of implementing policies and procedures designed to facilitate compliance with laws and regulations in various jurisdictions applicable to us, but there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors or agents will properly comply with such laws and regulations or our policies. Any such violations could, individually or in the aggregate, materially and adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

 

We may not be able to manage our anticipated growth and our current and planned resources may not be adequate to support our expanding operations; consequently, our business, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

 

We have experienced rapid growth since we commenced operations. Our rapid expansion may expose us to new challenges and risks. To manage the further expansion of our business and the growth of our operations and personnel, we need to continuously expand and enhance our infrastructure and technology, and improve our operational and financial systems and procedures and controls. For example, we currently manage all of our human resources functions manually and expect that we will need to upgrade our current system as we continue to increase our headcount. We also need to expand, train and manage our growing employee base. In addition, our management will be required to obtain, maintain or expand relationships with mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators, as well as other third-party business partners. We cannot assure you that our current and planned personnel, infrastructure, systems, procedures and controls will be adequate to support our expanding operations. If we fail to manage our expansion effectively, our business, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Due to intense competition for highly skilled personnel, we may fail to attract and retain qualified personnel to support our research and development operations; as a result, our ability to bid for and obtain new projects may be adversely affected and our net revenues could decline.

 

Our industry relies on the talents and efforts of highly skilled personnel, and our success depends to a significant extent on our ability to recruit, train, develop, retain and motivate qualified personnel for all areas of our organization. In China our industry has experienced significant levels of employee attrition. Our attrition rates were 18% in 2015, 12% in 2016, and 16% in 2017. We may encounter higher attrition rates in the future, particularly if the mobile industry continues to experience strong growth.

 

Competition in our industry for qualified employees, especially technical employees, is intense, and our competitors directly target our employees from time to time. We have also experienced employees leaving us to start competing businesses or to join the in-house research and development teams of our customers. The loss of the technical knowledge and industry expertise of any of these individuals could seriously impede our success. Moreover, the loss of these individuals, particularly to a competitor, some of which are in a position to offer greater compensation, and any resulting loss of customers or trade secrets and technological expertise could further lead to a reduction in our market share and adversely affect our business. If we are required to increase the compensation payable to our qualified employees to compete with certain competitors with greater resources than we have or to discourage employees from leaving us to start competing businesses, our operating expenses will increase which, in turn, will adversely affect our results or operations.

 

Our success depends substantially on the continuing efforts of our senior executives and other key personnel, and our business may be severely disrupted if we lose their services.

 

Our future success heavily depends upon the continued service of our senior executives and other key employees. In particular, we rely on the expertise, experience, customer relationships and reputation of Pat Chan, our founder, chairman and chief executive officer. We currently do not maintain key person life insurance for any of the senior members of our management team or other key employees. If one or more of our senior executives or key employees are unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, it could disrupt our business operations, and we may not be able to replace them easily or at all. In addition, competition for senior executives and key employees in our industry is intense, and we may be unable to retain our senior executives and key employees or attract and retain new senior executive and key employees in the future, in which case our business may be severely disrupted, and our financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

If any of our senior executives or key employees joins a competitor or forms a competing company, it may lose customers, know-how and other key employees and staff members to them. Also, if any of our business development managers, who generally keep a close relationship with our customers, joins a competitor or forms a competing company, we may lose customers, and our net revenues may be materially and adversely affected. Additionally, there could be unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical knowledge, practices or procedures by such employees. All of our executives and key employees have entered into employment agreements with us that contain non-competition provisions, non-solicitation and nondisclosure covenants. However, if any dispute arises between our executive officers or key employees and us, such non-competition, non-solicitation and nondisclosure provisions might not provide effective protection to us, especially in China, where most of these executive officers and key employees reside, in light of the uncertainties with China’s legal system. See “— Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could harm us.”

 

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A significant majority of our outstanding ordinary shares are held by a small number of shareholders, which may have significantly greater influence on us due to the size of their shareholdings relative to other shareholders.

 

As of March 27, 2018, our top six shareholders owned approximately two-thirds of our ordinary shares, including Zhengqi International Holding Ltd., Intel Capital Corporation, Norwest Venture Partners X, L.P., Asset Horizon International Limited, Keytone Ventures L.P., and GSR Ventures II, which beneficially owned approximately 15.3%, 12.1%,10.7%, 10.5%, 9.7% and 7.8% respectively. These major shareholders have significant influence in determining the outcome of any corporate transactions or other matters submitted to our shareholders for approval, including mergers, consolidations and schemes of arrangement, election and removal of directors and other significant corporate actions. They may not act in our best interests or our minority shareholders’ interests. In addition, without the consent of these major shareholders, we could be prevented from entering into transactions that could be beneficial to us. This concentration of ownership may also discourage, delay or prevent a change in control, which could deprive our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and might reduce the price of our ordinary shares. These actions may be taken even if they are opposed by our other shareholders.

 

In the course of preparing our consolidated financial statements, we identified material weaknesses, significant deficiencies and other deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed under the supervision of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of our consolidated financial statements for external reporting purposes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

Management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017. In making this assessment, management used the framework set forth in the report Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, or COSO. The COSO framework summarizes each of the components of a company’s internal control system, including (i) the control environment, (ii) risk assessment, (iii) control activities, (iv) information and communication and (v) monitoring.

 

Based on that evaluation, our management concluded that these controls were not effective at December 31, 2017. We did not maintain sufficient controls over financial reporting processes due to an insufficient complement of internal personnel with a level of accounting knowledge, experience and training in the application of U.S. GAAP to ensure that the consolidated financial statements were prepared in compliance with U.S. GAAP and SEC requirements properly. This deficiency constitutes as a material weakness of our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed under the supervision of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of our consolidated financial statements for external reporting purposes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

Management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017. In making this assessment, management used the framework set forth in the report Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, or COSO. The COSO framework summarizes each of the components of a company’s internal control system, including (i) the control environment, (ii) risk assessment, (iii) control activities, (iv) information and communication and (v) monitoring.

 

Based on that evaluation, our management concluded that these controls were not effective at December 31, 2017. We did not maintain sufficient controls over financial reporting processes due to an insufficient complement of internal personnel with a level of accounting knowledge, experience and training in the application of U.S. GAAP to ensure that the consolidated financial statements were prepared in compliance with U.S. GAAP and SEC requirements properly. This deficiency constitutes as a material weakness of our internal control over financial reporting.

 

If we fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately and timely report our financial results or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the market price of our ordinary shares may be adversely impacted.

 

We are required to maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and effective internal control over financial reporting. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. As described elsewhere in this Annual Report, we have identified material weaknesses, significant deficiencies and other deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to timely achieve and maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, we may not be able to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our ordinary shares.

 

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In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market.

 

Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until after we are no longer an emerging growth company. At that time, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our internal control over financial reporting is documented, designed, or operating. Failing to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results and could cause a decline in the price of our ordinary shares.

 

We are subject to various anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, and PRC and Indian anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws; any determination that we have violated such laws could damage our business and reputation, limit our ability to bid for certain business opportunities, and subject us to significant criminal and civil penalties, civil litigation (such as shareholder derivative suits), and commercial liabilities.

 

We are subject to anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws in the United States, United Kingdom, China and India that prohibit certain improper payments made directly or indirectly to government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities; officials of those government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities; political parties and their officials; candidates for political office; officials of public international organizations; persons acting on behalf of the foregoing; and commercial counterparties. These laws include the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, the PRC Criminal Law, the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law, the Indian Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, the Indian Penal Code and anti-corruption laws in various Indian states.

 

We are engaged in business in a number of countries that are regarded as posing significant risks of corruption. Of particular note, we conduct operations, have agreements with state-controlled enterprises and other third parties and make sales in the PRC, and we have research and development activities in India, each of which may be exposed to corruption risk. It is our policy to implement safeguards and procedures to prohibit these practices by our employees, officers, directors, or by third parties acting on our behalf. However, we cannot rule out the risk that any of our employees, officers, directors, or third parties acting on our behalf may engage in breaches of our policies or anti-corruption laws, for which we might be held responsible.

 

Allegations of violations of these anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, and investigation into such allegations, could negatively affect our reputation, business, operating results, and financial condition. The violation of these laws may result in substantial monetary and even criminal sanctions, follow-on civil litigation (such as shareholder derivative suits), and monitoring of our compliance program by the United States or other governments, each of which could negatively affect our reputation, business, operating results, and financial condition. In addition, the United States or other governments may seek to hold us liable for violations of these laws committed by companies in which we invest or acquire.

 

There can be no assurance that our ordinary shares will continue to be listed on Nasdaq or, if listed, that we will be able to comply with the continued listing standards of Nasdaq.

 

To continue listing our ordinary shares on The Nasdaq Stock Market, we will be required to demonstrate compliance with Nasdaq’s continued listing requirements, particularly the requirement to maintain a minimum number of holders (300 round-lot holders) — to which the Company is currently not in compliance. Nasdaq has granted us until April 10, 2018 to regain compliance with this requirement and prevent the delisting of our ordinary shares from trading on Nasdaq. We cannot assure you that we will be able to meet this continued listing requirement or maintain other listing standards. If our ordinary shares are delisted by Nasdaq, likely adverse consequences include:

 

less liquid trading market for our ordinary shares;

 

more limited market quotations for our shares;

 

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determination that our ordinary shares are a “penny stock” that requires brokers to adhere to more stringent rules and possibly resulting in a reduced level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for our ordinary shares;

 

more limited research coverage by stock analysts;

 

loss of reputation; and

 

more difficult and more expensive equity financings in the future.

 

Our proposed acquisition of KADI involves transactional and integration risks.

 

We have entered into a letter of intent to acquire a 60% equity interest in Shanghai KADI Machinery Technology Co., Ltd (“KADI”), a Chinese company that develops software and hardware solutions for electric vehicle control modules, such as charging, battery management and vehicle controls. We have not yet finalized a definitive agreement to complete this acquisition, but we are committed to making advance payments totaling $600,000 by the end of April 2018. These advances will be deducted from our initial cash payments to KADI under the definitive agreement to be negotiated. If this transaction is not consummated within nine months after signing of the letter of intent, the advance payments will be converted into shares representing five percent of the outstanding capital stock of KADI. There are no termination fees or penalties under the letter of intent. Assuming we proceed to enter into a definite agreement with KADI and consummate the proposed acquisition, there is no assurance that we can obtain any necessary financing funds in time for KADI to set up correctly for manufacturing products. There is no assurance that the management of KADI will successfully integrate with our management team to gain the intended benefits of this acquisition. We are dependent on the current leadership of KADI’s chairman and chief executive, and if he is unable or unwilling to dedicate his full time to KADI’s business, or if he were to resign or start a competing business, our business and financial results would be adversely affected.

 

Our repurchase of shares from Zhengqi may adversely affect our liquidity and working capital.

 

We have agreed to repurchase 966,136 of our ordinary shares from our largest shareholder, Zhengqi Interntional Holding Limited, at the original purchase price and for an aggregate amount of $10.05 million. The repurchase transaction is not yet completed, though the repurchase funds have been transferred to Zhengqi in anticipation of satisfaction of closing conditions and the 966,136 repurchase shares currently remain outstanding. This repurchase limits our available cash and may adversely affect our ability to carry out our operations normally due to this reduction in working capital.

 

Our repurchase of shares from Zhengqi may trigger litigation by other shareholders.

 

If the Zhengqi repurchase transaction is not completed, up to 1,278,776 shares currently in escrow may not be timely released to the former Borqs International shareholders based on their respective proportionate interests in the merger consideration, and they may sue the Company for any damages they suffer as a result. Further, our agreement to repurchase shares from Zhengqi was not extended to all investors who purchased shares in the August 2017 private placement. Since we repurchased those shares at a premium to current market prices, other purchasers may seek similar treatment. In addition, a minority of our shareholders will not benefit from the expected return of up to 1,278,776 escrowed earnout shares to the original Borqs International shareholders. Those minority shareholders will receive no direct benefit of proposed repurchase and return, and there is no assurance that those minority holders will not make claims against us. Any such litigation could be time-consuming and costly, and could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Dependency on Crave and Colmei and financial risks.

 

Our agreement to purchase shares of Crave and Colmei from the shareholders of those companies may lead us to be more dependent on Crave and Colmei for access to important components and manufacturing capacity. There is no assurance that Crave and Colmei can provide competitive pricing of components and for manufacturing services. There is no assurance that the value of our ownership of Crave and Colmei will not decline, potentially causing a material adverse effect on our financial condition.

 

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Risks Related to Doing Business in China

 

China’s economic, political and social conditions, as well as changes in any government policies, laws and regulations, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

A substantial portion of our operations are conducted in China, and a significant portion of our net revenues are derived from customers where the contracting entity is located in China. Accordingly, our business, financial condition, results of operations, prospects and certain transactions we may undertake are subject, to a significant extent, to economic, political and legal developments in China.

 

China’s economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the amount of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. While the PRC economy has experienced significant growth in the past two to three decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. Demand for our services and products depends, in large part, on economic conditions in China. Any slowdown in China’s economic growth may cause our potential customers to delay or cancel their plans to purchase our services and products, which in turn could reduce our net revenues.

 

Although China’s economy has been transitioning from a planned economy to a more market-oriented economy since the late 1970s, the PRC government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The PRC government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through allocating resources, controlling the incurrence and payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. Changes in any of these policies, laws and regulations could adversely affect the economy in China and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage foreign investment and sustainable economic growth and to guide the allocation of financial and other resources, which have for the most part had a positive effect on our business and growth. However, we cannot assure you that the PRC government will not repeal or alter these measures or introduce new measures that will have a negative effect on us. China’s social and political conditions may also not be as stable as those of the United States and other developed countries. Any sudden changes to China’s political system or the occurrence of widespread social unrest could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could harm us.

 

Our operations in China are governed by PRC government laws and regulations. The PRC legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes. Unlike common law systems, prior court decisions have limited precedential value. Borqs Beijing is generally subject to laws and regulations applicable to foreign investments in China and, in particular, laws applicable to wholly foreign-owned enterprises, and our other wholly-owned subsidiaries in China may be subject to certain laws and regulations in connection with investments made by foreign-invested enterprises.

 

Since 1979, PRC legislation and regulations have significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investments in China. However, China has not developed a fully integrated legal system and recently-enacted laws and regulations may not sufficiently cover all aspects of economic activities in China. In particular, because these laws and regulations are relatively new, and because of the limited volume of published decisions and their nonbinding nature, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve uncertainties. In addition, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules (some of which are not published on a timely basis or at all) that may have a retroactive effect. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation of these policies and rules until sometime after the violation. Moreover, some regulatory requirements issued by certain PRC government authorities may not be consistently applied by other government authorities, including local government authorities, thus making strict compliance with all regulatory requirements impractical, or in some circumstances, impossible. In addition, any litigation in China may be protracted and result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.

 

Our subsidiaries in China are subject to restrictions on making dividends and other payments to it or any other affiliated company.

 

We are a holding company and may rely on dividends paid by our PRC subsidiaries for our cash needs, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to our shareholders to the extent we choose to do so, to service any debt it may incur and to pay our operating expenses. Current PRC regulations permit our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends to us only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations. In addition, each of our PRC subsidiaries are required to set aside at least 10% of our after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a statutory reserve until such reserve reaches 50% of our registered capital. Appropriations to the employee welfare funds are at the discretion of the board of directors of Borqs Beijing. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends.

 

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In addition, under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008, dividends paid to us by our PRC subsidiaries are subject to withholding tax. Currently, the withholding tax rate is 10.0% (subject to reductions by the relevant tax treaties, if applicable).

 

Furthermore, if our PRC subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other payments to us.

 

To date, our PRC subsidiaries have not paid dividends to us out of their accumulated profits. In the future, we do not expect to receive dividends from our PRC subsidiaries because the accumulated profits of these PRC subsidiaries are expected to be used for their own business or expansions. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to distribute dividends or other payments to us could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our businesses, pay dividends or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

 

The discontinuation of any of the preferential tax treatments currently available to our PRC subsidiaries could materially increase our tax liabilities.

 

Preferential tax treatments and incentives granted to our PRC subsidiaries by PRC governmental authorities are subject to review and may be adjusted or revoked at any time in the future. The discontinuation or revocation of any preferential tax treatments and incentives currently available to them will cause their effective tax rate to materially increase, which will decrease our net income and may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies.

 

On February 3, 2015, the State Administration of Taxation, or the SAT, issued a Public Notice Regarding Certain Enterprise Income Tax Matters on Indirect Transfer of Properties by Non-Tax Resident Enterprises, or Public Notice 7, where a non-resident enterprise transfers taxable assets, through the offshore transfer of a foreign intermediate holding company, the non-resident enterprise, being the transferor, maybe subject to PRC enterprise income tax, if the indirect transfer is considered to be an arrangement which does not have a reasonable commercial purpose to circumvent enterprise income tax payment obligations. In addition, Public Notice 7 further provides certain criteria on how to assess reasonable commercial purposes and has introduced safe harbors for internal group restructurings and the purchase and sale of equity through a public securities market. Public Notice 7 also brings challenges to both the foreign transferor and transferee (or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer) of the taxable assets. Where a non-resident enterprise conducts an “indirect transfer” by transferring the taxable assets indirectly by disposing of the equity interests of an overseas holding company, the non-resident enterprise being the transferor, or the transferee, or the PRC entity which directly owned the taxable assets may report to the relevant tax authority such indirect transfer. Using a “substance over form” principle, the PRC tax authority may re-characterize such indirect transfer as a direct transfer of the equity interests in the PRC tax resident enterprise and other properties in China. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax, and the transferee or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer is obligated to withhold the applicable taxes, currently at a rate of up to 10% for the transfer of equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise. Both the transferor and the transferee may be subject to penalties under PRC tax laws if the transferee fails to withhold the taxes and the transferor fails to pay the taxes.

 

On October 17, 2017, the SAT issued the Announcement on Issues Relating to Withholding at Source of Income Tax of Non-Resident Enterprises, or Announcement 37, which became effective on December 1, 2017. The Announcement 37 further clarifies the practice and procedure of the withholding of non-resident enterprise income tax.

 

We face uncertainties with respect to the reporting and consequences of private equity financing transactions, share exchange or other transactions involving the transfer of our ordinary shares by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, or sale or purchase of shares in other non-PRC resident companies or other taxable assets by us. We and other non-resident enterprises in our group may be subject to filing obligations or being taxed if we and other non-resident enterprises affiliated with us are transferors in such transactions, and may be subject to withholding obligations if we and other non-resident enterprises affiliated with us are transferees in such transactions, under Public Notice 7 and Announcement 37. For the transfer of shares in us by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, our PRC subsidiaries may be requested to assist in the filing under Public Notice 7 and Announcement 37. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with Public Notice 7 and Announcement 37 or to request the relevant transferors from whom we purchase taxable assets to comply with these circulars, or to establish that we and other non-resident enterprises affiliated with us should not be taxed under these circulars. The PRC tax authorities have the discretion under Public Notice 7 and Announcement 37 to make adjustments to the taxable capital gains based on the difference between the fair value of the taxable assets transferred and the cost of investment. If the PRC tax authorities make adjustments to the taxable income of the transactions under Public Notice 7 and Announcement 37, our income tax costs associated with such transactions will be increased in the event that we are a transferee of such transactions, which may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Heightened scrutiny over acquisition transactions by the PRC tax authorities may also have a negative impact on potential acquisitions we may pursue in the future.

 

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It is unclear whether we will be considered a PRC “resident enterprise” under the EIT Law and, depending on the determination of our PRC “resident enterprise” status, we may be subject to 25.0% PRC enterprise income tax on our worldwide income, and holders of our ordinary shares may be subject to PRC withholding tax on dividends paid by us and gains realized on their transfer of our ordinary shares.

 

The EIT Law and our Implementing Regulations, both of which became effective on January 1, 2008, provide that enterprises established outside of China whose “ de facto management bodies” are located in China are considered “resident enterprises.” The Implementing Regulations of the EIT Law define the term “ de facto management bodies” as a body which substantially manages, or has control over the business, personnel, finance and assets of an enterprise. On April 22, 2009, the SAT issued the Notice Regarding Determination of Chinese-Controlled Offshore Incorporated Enterprises as PRC Tax Resident Enterprises on the Basis of De Facto Management Bodies, or Circular 82, which provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the “de facto management body” of a PRC-controlled enterprise that is incorporated offshore is located in China. According to Circular 82, certain PRC-controlled enterprises will be classified as “resident enterprises” if all of the following conditions are met: (a) the senior management and core management departments in charge of our daily operations function have their presence mainly in the PRC; (b) our financial and human resources decisions are subject to determination or approval by persons or bodies in the PRC; (c) our major assets, accounting books, company seals, and minutes and files of our board and shareholders’ meetings are located or kept in the PRC; and (d) more than half of the enterprise’s directors or senior management with voting rights habitually reside in the PRC. Further, the Administrative Measures of Enterprise Income Tax of Chinese controlled Offshore Incorporated Resident Enterprises (Trial), or Bulletin No. 45, took effect on September 1, 2011, and provides more guidance on the implementation of Circular 82. The State Administration of Taxation issued an amendment to Circular 82 delegating the authority to our provincial branches to determine whether a Chinese-controlled overseas-incorporated enterprise should be considered a PRC resident enterprise, in January 2014.

 

Although Circular 82, our amendment and Bulletin No. 45 only apply to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups, not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreigners, the determining criteria set forth in Circular 82 and Bulletin No. 45 may reflect the SAT’s general position on how the “de facto management body” text should be applied in determining the tax resident status of all offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises or individuals. Although we do not believe that our legal entities organized outside of the PRC constitute PRC resident enterprises, it is possible that the PRC tax authorities could reach a different conclusion.

 

If we are treated as a PRC “resident enterprise,” we will be subject to PRC enterprise income tax on our worldwide income, as well as PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. Our income such as interest on other non-PRC sourced income may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at a rate of 25.0%. In addition, although under the EIT Law and our Implementing Rules dividends paid to us by our PRC subsidiaries would qualify as “tax-exempt income,” we cannot assure you that such dividends will not be subject to a 10.0% withholding tax, as the PRC foreign exchange control authorities, which enforce the withholding tax, have not yet issued guidance with respect to the processing of outbound remittances to entities that are treated as resident enterprises for PRC enterprise income tax purposes.

 

Furthermore, if we are considered a PRC resident enterprise under the EIT Law, shareholders who are deemed non-resident enterprises may be subject to the PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 10% upon the dividends payable by us or upon any gains realized from the transfer of our ordinary shares, if such income is deemed derived from China, provided that (i) such foreign enterprise investor has no establishment or premises in China, or (ii) it has establishment or premises in China but our income derived from China has no real connection with such establishment or premises. If we are required under the EIT Law to withhold PRC income tax on our dividends payable to our non-PRC resident enterprise shareholders, or if any gains realized from the transfer of our ordinary shares by our non-PRC resident enterprise shareholders are subject to the PRC enterprise income tax, your investment in our ordinary shares could be materially and adversely affected.

 

In addition, if we are considered a PRC resident enterprise and relevant PRC tax authorities consider dividends we pay with respect to our shares and the gains realized from the transfer of our shares to be income derived from sources within the PRC, it is possible that such dividends and gains earned by non-resident individuals may be subject to PRC individual income tax at a rate of 20%. If we are required under PRC tax laws to withhold PRC income tax on dividends payable to our non-PRC investors that are non-resident individuals or if you are required to pay PRC income tax on the transfer of our ordinary shares, the value of your investment in our ordinary shares may be materially and adversely affected.

 

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We may not be able to obtain certain treaty benefits on dividends paid by our PRC subsidiary to us through our Hong Kong Subsidiary.

 

Under the EIT Law, dividends generated from retained earnings after January 1, 2008 from a PRC company to a foreign parent company are subject to a withholding tax rate of 10.0% unless the foreign parent’s jurisdiction of incorporation has a tax treaty with China that provides for a preferential withholding arrangement. Pursuant to the Arrangement between Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income or the Hong Kong Tax Treaty, which became effective on August 21, 2006, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, such as Borqs Hong Kong, will be subject to withholding income tax at a rate of 5% on dividends it receives from our PRC subsidiary if it holds a 25.0% or more interest in that particular PRC subsidiary at all times within the 12-month period immediately preceding the distribution of dividends and be a “beneficial owner” of the dividends. In February 2018, the SAT issued the Announcement on Issues Relating to Beneficial Owners under Tax Treaties , or the SAT Announcement 9, which became effective from April 1, 2018 and supersedes the Notice on Interpretation and Determination of Beneficial Owners under Tax Treaties issued by the SAT on October 27, 2009 (or the Circular 601) and the Announcement Regarding Recognition of Beneficial Owners under Tax Treaties released by the SAT on June 29, 2012 (or the Announcement 30). Pursuant to Announcement 9, applicants who intend to prove their status of the “beneficial owner” shall submit the relevant documents to the relevant tax bureau according to the Announcement on Issuing the Measures for the Administration of Non-Resident Taxpayers’ Enjoyment of the Treatment under Tax Agreements and the SAT Announcement 9. “Beneficial Owners” are residents who have ownership and the right to dispose of the income or the rights and properties giving rise to the income. These rules also set forth certain adverse factors against the recognition of a “Beneficial Owner”, such as not carrying out substantive business activities. Whether a non-resident enterprise may obtain tax benefits under the relevant tax treaty will be subject to approval of the relevant PRC tax authority and will be determined by the PRC tax authority on a case-by-case basis. SAT Announcement 9 further provides that a comprehensive analysis should be made when determining the beneficial owner status based on various factors supported by documents including the articles of association, financial statements, records of cash movements, board meeting minutes, board resolutions, staffing and materials, relevant expenditures, functions and risk assumption as well as relevant contracts and other information. In August 2015, the SAT promulgated the Administrative Measures for Non-Resident Taxpayers to Enjoy Treatments under Tax Treaties, or SAT Circular 60, which became effective on November 1, 2015. SAT Circular 60 provides that non-resident enterprises are not required to obtain pre-approval from the relevant tax authority in order to enjoy the reduced withholding tax rate. Instead, non-resident enterprises may, if they determine by self-assessment that the prescribed criteria to enjoy the tax treaty benefits are met, directly apply for the reduced withholding tax rate, and file necessary forms and supporting documents when performing tax filings, which will be subject to post-filing examinations by the relevant tax authorities.

 

As a result, although our PRC subsidiary, Borqs Beijing, is currently wholly owned by Borqs Hong Kong, we cannot assure you that we would be entitled to the tax treaty benefits and enjoy the favorable 5.0% rate applicable under the Hong Kong Tax on dividends. If Borqs Hong Kong cannot be recognized as the beneficial owner of the dividends to be paid by our PRC subsidiaries to us, such dividends will be subject to a normal withholding tax of 10% as provided by the EIT Law.

 

Restrictions on foreign currency may limit our ability to receive and use our revenue effectively.

 

The PRC government imposes controls on the conversion of the Renminbi into foreign currencies and, in certain cases, the remittance of foreign currency out of China. We receive part of our revenue in Renminbi. Under our current corporate structure, our British Virgin Islands holding company primarily relies on dividend payments from our PRC and Hong Kong subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements we may have. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval of SAFE, by complying with certain procedural requirements. Specifically, under the existing exchange restrictions, without prior approval of SAFE, accumulated after-tax profits generated from the operations of Borqs Beijing in China may be used to pay dividends to us. However, approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities is required where Renminbi is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. As a result, we need to obtain approval from SAFE to use cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries to pay off any debt in a currency other than Renminbi owed to entities outside China, or to make other capital expenditure payments outside China in a currency other than Renminbi. The PRC government may at our discretion restrict access to foreign currencies for current account transactions in the future. If the foreign exchange control system prevents us from obtaining sufficient foreign currencies to satisfy our foreign currency demands, we may not be able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders.

 

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Fluctuations in the value of the RMB may have a material adverse effect on your investment.

 

The value of China’s Renminbi (“RMB”) against the U.S. Dollar and other currencies is affected by, among other things, changes in China’s political and economic conditions and China’s foreign exchange policies. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government changed its policy of pegging the value of the Renminbi to the U.S. Dollar, and the RMB appreciated more than 20.0% against the U.S. Dollar over the following three years. However, the People’s Bank of China regularly intervenes in the foreign exchange market to limit fluctuations in Renminbi exchange rates and achieve policy goals. During the period between July 2008 and June 2010, the exchange rate between the RMB and the U.S. Dollar had been stable and traded within a narrow band. However, the Renminbi fluctuated significantly during that period against other freely traded currencies, in tandem with the U.S. Dollar. Since June 2010, the Renminbi has fluctuated against the U.S. Dollar, at times significantly and unpredictably, and in recent months the RMB has depreciated significantly against the U.S. Dollar. It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between the RMB and the U.S. Dollar in the future.

 

Approximately half of our revenues and costs are denominated in RMB. Any significant revaluation of RMB may materially and adversely affect our cash flows, revenues, earnings and financial position, and the value of, and any dividends payable on, our ordinary shares in U.S. dollars. For example, an appreciation of RMB against the U.S. dollar would make any new RMB denominated investments or expenditures more costly to us, to the extent that it needs to convert U.S. dollars into RMB for such purposes. An appreciation of RMB against the U.S. dollar would also result in foreign currency translation losses for financial reporting purposes when we translate our U.S. dollar denominated financial assets into RMB, as RMB is our reporting currency. Conversely, a significant depreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar may significantly reduce the U.S. dollar equivalent of our earnings, which in turn could adversely affect the price of our ordinary shares. Furthermore, a significant depreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar may have a material adverse impact on our cash flow in the event we need to convert our RMB into U.S. dollars to repay our U.S. dollar denominated payment obligations.

 

PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore holding companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiaries to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us, or may otherwise adversely affect us.

 

The SAFE issued the Notice on Issues Relating to the Administration of Foreign Exchange in Fund-Raising and Round-Trip Investment Activities of Domestic Residents Conducted via Offshore Special Purpose Companies on October 26, 2005, or Circular 75, requiring PRC residents, including PRC resident individuals and PRC companies, to register with the local SAFE branch before establishing or controlling any company outside of China for the purpose of capital financing with assets or equities of PRC companies owned by such PRC residents, referred to in the notice as an “offshore special purpose vehicle.” The PRC resident individuals include not only PRC citizens, but also foreign natural persons who habitually reside in China due to economic interests. SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents’ Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or Circular 37, on July 4, 2014, which replaced the Circular 75. Circular 37 requires PRC residents to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, referred to in Circular 37 as a “special purpose vehicle.” Under Circular 37, a PRC resident who is a foreign nature person is not required to complete the registration if he/she uses assets outside China or equity interests in offshore entities to special purpose vehicles. The term “control” under Circular 37 is broadly defined as the operation rights, beneficiary rights or decision-making rights acquired by the PRC residents in the offshore special purpose vehicles or PRC companies by such means as acquisition, trust, proxy, voting rights, repurchase, convertible bonds or other arrangements. Circular 37 further requires amendment to the registration in the event of any changes with respect to the basic information of the special purpose vehicle, such as changes in a PRC resident individual shareholder, name or operation period; or any significant changes with respect to the special purpose vehicle, such as increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. If the shareholders of the offshore holding company who are PRC residents do not complete their registration with the local SAFE branches, the PRC subsidiaries may be prohibited from distributing their profits and proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation to the offshore company, and the offshore company may be restricted in our ability to contribute additional capital to our PRC subsidiaries. Moreover, failure to comply with SAFE registration and amendment requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for evasion of applicable foreign exchange restrictions. On February 28, 2015, SAFE promulgated a Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Foreign Exchange Administration Policy on Direct Investment, or Circular 13, which became effective on June 1, 2015. In accordance with Circular 13, entities and individuals are required to apply for foreign exchange registration of foreign direct investment and overseas direct investment, including those required under the Circular 37, with qualified banks, instead of SAFE. The qualified banks, under the supervision of SAFE, directly examine the applications and conduct the registration.

 

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We requested all of our current shareholders and/or beneficial owners to disclose whether they or their shareholders or beneficial owners fall within the ambit of Circular 37 and Circular 13 and to register with the local SAFE branch as required under Circular 37 and Circular 13 as applicable. As of the date of this Annual Report, we are aware that a few of our natural person shareholders who are not PRC citizens may otherwise be deemed as PRC residents pursuant to the definitions under the SAFE regulations, but we are not aware that any of them uses assets inside China or equity interest in PRC companies to invest in the Company. Before the issuance of Circular 37, we had attempted to submit applications to the Beijing branch of SAFE for such individual shareholders in accordance with Circular 75, but those applications were not accepted by the Beijing branch of SAFE because those individuals are not PRC citizens. After Circular 37 became effective, we understand these individuals are not required to conduct the registrations since they do not use assets within China or equity interests in PRC companies to invest in the Company. We cannot assure you, however, that the SAFE’s opinion will be the same as our opinion and all of these individuals can successfully complete required filings or updates on a timely manner, or at all in the event these individuals required to conduct the filings. Besides, we have also issued certain shares to PRC citizens and requested them to register with the local SAFE branch as required under Circular 37 and Circular 13. We cannot assure you, however, that the all of these individuals can successfully complete required filings or updates on a timely manner, or at all. Furthermore, as there is uncertainty concerning the reconciliation of the new regulations with other approval requirements, it is unclear how these regulations, and any further regulation concerning offshore or cross-border transactions, will be interpreted, amended and implemented by the relevant government authorities. We can provide no assurance that we currently are, and we will in the future continue to be, fully informed of identities of all our shareholders or beneficial owners who are PRC residents, and we cannot provide any assurance that all of our shareholders and beneficial owners who are PRC residents will comply with our request to make, obtain or update any applicable registrations or comply with other requirements required by Circular 37 and Circular 13 or other related rules in a timely manner. Any failure or inability by any of our shareholders or beneficial owners who are PRC residents to comply with SAFE regulations may subject them to fines or other legal sanctions, such as potential liability for our PRC subsidiaries and, in some instances, for their legal representatives and other liable individuals, as well as restrictions on our ability to contribute additional capital into our PRC subsidiaries or our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends to, or obtain foreign-exchange-denominated loans from our offshore holding companies. As a result, our business operations and our ability to make distributions to you could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee stock incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

 

In December 2006, the People’s Bank of China promulgated the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which set forth the respective requirements for foreign exchange transactions by individuals (both PRC or non-PRC citizens) under either the current account or the capital account. In January 2007, SAFE issued implementing rules for the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which, among other things, specified approval requirements for certain capital account transactions such as a PRC citizen’s participation in the employee stock ownership plans or stock option plans of an overseas publicly-listed company. In February 2012, SAFE promulgated the Notices on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies, or the Stock Option Rules, which replaced the Application Procedures of Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Employee Stock Ownership Plans or Stock Option Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies issued by SAFE in March 2007. Under these rules, PRC residents who participate in stock incentive plans in an overseas publicly-listed company are required to register with SAFE or our local branches and complete certain other procedures. Participants of a stock incentive plan who are PRC residents must retain a qualified PRC agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas publicly-listed company or another qualified institution selected by such PRC subsidiary, to conduct the SAFE registration and other procedures with respect to the stock incentive plan on behalf of our participants. Such participants must also retain an overseas entrusted institution to handle matters in connection with their exercise of stock options, the purchase and sale of corresponding stocks or interests and fund transfers. In addition, the PRC agent is required to amend the SAFE registration with respect to the stock incentive plan if there is any material change to the stock incentive plan, the PRC agent or the overseas entrusted institution or other material changes.

 

We and our PRC resident employees who participate in our employee stock incentive plans are subject to these regulations. If we or our PRC option grantees fail to comply with these regulations, we or our PRC option grantees may be subject to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions. We plan to process the SAFE application for our ESOP within the year 2018.

 

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PRC regulations establish complex procedures for some acquisitions conducted by foreign investors, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions in China.

 

The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, adopted by six PRC regulatory agencies in August 2006 and amended in June 2009, among other things, established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. In addition, the Implementing Rules Concerning Security Review on the Mergers and Acquisitions by Foreign Investors of Domestic Enterprises, issued by the Ministry of Commerce in August 2011, specify that mergers and acquisitions by foreign investors involved in “an industry related to national security” are subject to strict review by the Ministry of Commerce, and prohibit any activities attempting to bypass such security review, including by structuring the transaction through a proxy or contractual control arrangement. We believe that our business is not in an industry related to national security, but it cannot preclude the possibility that the Ministry of Commerce or other government agencies may publish explanations contrary to our understanding or broaden the scope of such security reviews in the future, in which case our future acquisitions in the PRC, including those by way of entering into contractual control arrangements with target entities, may be closely scrutinized or prohibited. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Law requires that the Ministry of Commerce be notified in advance of any concentration of undertaking if certain filing thresholds are triggered. We may grow our business in part by directly acquiring complementary businesses in China. Complying with the requirements of the laws and regulations mentioned above and other PRC regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval from the Ministry of Commerce, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect our ability to expand our business or maintain our market share. Our ability to expand our business or maintain or expand our market share through future acquisitions would as such be materially and adversely affected.

 

Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation of draft PRC Foreign Investment Law and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

 

The Ministry of Commerce published a discussion draft of the proposed Foreign Investment Law in January 2015 aiming to, upon its enactment, replace the trio of existing laws regulating foreign investment in China, namely, the Sino-foreign Equity Joint Venture Enterprise Law, the Sino-foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Enterprise Law and the Wholly Foreign-invested Enterprise Law, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations. The draft Foreign Investment Law embodies an expected PRC regulatory trend to rationalize its foreign investment regulatory regime in line with prevailing international practice and the legislative efforts to unify the corporate legal requirements for both foreign and domestic investments. The Ministry of Commerce is currently soliciting comments on this draft and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to its enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation. The draft Foreign Investment Law, if enacted as proposed, may materially impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations in many aspects.

 

Among other things, the draft Foreign Investment Law expands the definition of foreign investment and introduces the principle of “actual control” in determining whether a company should be treated as a foreign-invested enterprise, or an FIE. According to the definition set forth in the draft Foreign Investment Law, FIEs refer to enterprises established in China pursuant to PRC law that are solely or partially invested by foreign investors. The draft Foreign Investment Law specifically provides that entities established in China (without direct foreign equity ownership) but “controlled” by foreign investors, through contract or trust for example, will be treated as FIEs. Once an entity falls within the definition of FIE, it may be subject to foreign investment “restrictions” or “prohibitions” set forth in a “negative list” to be separately issued by the State Council later. If an FIE proposes to conduct business in an industry subject to foreign investment “restrictions” in the “negative list,” the FIE must go through a market entry clearance by the Ministry of Commerce before being established. An FIE is prohibited from conducting business in an industry subject to foreign investment “prohibitions” in the “negative list”. However, an FIE, during the market entry clearance process, may apply in writing to be treated as a PRC domestic enterprise if its foreign investor(s) is/are ultimately “controlled” by PRC government authorities and its affiliates and/or PRC citizens. In this connection, “control” is broadly defined in the draft law to cover the following summarized categories: (i) holding 50% or more of the voting rights of the subject entity; (ii) holding less than 50% of the voting rights of the subject entity but having the power to secure at least 50% of the seats on the board or other equivalent decision making bodies, or having the voting power to exert material influence on the board, the shareholders’ meeting or other equivalent decision making bodies; or (iii) having the power to exert decisive influence, via contractual or trust arrangements, over the subject entity’s operations, financial matters or other key aspects of business operations.

 

The “variable interest entity” structure, or VIE structure, has been adopted by many PRC-based companies, including us, to obtain necessary licenses and permits in the industries that are currently subject to foreign investment restrictions in China. Under the draft Foreign Investment Law, variable interest entities that are controlled via contractual arrangement would also be deemed as FIEs, if they are ultimately “controlled” by foreign investors. Therefore, for any companies with a VIE structure in an industry category that is included in the “negative list” as restricted industry, the VIE structure may be deemed legitimate only if the ultimate controlling person(s) is/are of PRC nationality (either PRC government authorities and its affiliates or PRC citizens). Conversely, if the actual controlling person(s) is/are of foreign nationalities, then the variable interest entities will be treated as FIEs and any operation in the industry category on the “negative list” without market entry clearance may be considered as illegal.

 

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The draft Foreign Investment Law has not taken a position on what actions shall be taken with respect to the existing companies with a VIE structure, whether or not these companies are controlled by Chinese parties, while it is soliciting comments from the public on this point. Moreover, it is uncertain whether the telecommunication business, in which our variable interest entity operates, will be subject to the foreign investment restrictions or prohibitions set forth in the “negative list” to be issued. If the enacted version of the Foreign Investment Law and the final “negative list” mandate further actions, such as Ministry of Commerce market entry clearance, to be completed by companies with existing VIE structure like us, we face uncertainties as to whether such clearance can be timely obtained, or at all.

 

The draft Foreign Investment Law, if enacted as proposed, may also materially impact our corporate governance practice and increase our compliance costs. For instance, the draft Foreign Investment Law imposes stringent ad hoc and periodic information reporting requirements on foreign investors and the applicable FIEs.

 

Aside from investment implementation report and investment amendment report that are required at each investment and alteration of investment specifics, an annual report is mandatory, and large foreign investors meeting certain criteria are required to report on a quarterly basis. Any company found to be non-compliant with these information reporting obligations may potentially be subject to fines and/or administrative or criminal liabilities, and the persons directly responsible may be subject to criminal liabilities.

 

The enforcement of the labor laws and other labor-related regulations in the PRC may adversely affect our results of operations.

 

On June 29, 2007, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China enacted the Labor Contract Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008 and was revised on December 28, 2012. The Labor Contract Law introduces specific provisions related to fixed-term employment contracts, part-time employment, probation, consultation with labor union and employee assemblies, employment without a written contract, dismissal of employees, severance, and collective bargaining, which together represent enhanced enforcement of labor laws and regulations. According to the Labor Contract Law, an employer is obliged to sign an unlimited-term labor contract with any employee who has worked for the employer for ten consecutive years. Further, if an employee requests or agrees to renew a fixed-term labor contract that has already been entered into twice consecutively, the resulting contract must have an unlimited term, with certain exceptions. The employer must pay severance to an employee where a labor contract is terminated or expires, with certain exceptions. In addition, the government has continued to introduce various new labor-related regulations after the effectiveness of the Labor Contract Law. Among other things, it is required that that annual leave ranging from five to 15 days be made available to employees and that the employee be compensated for any untaken annual leave days in the amount of three times of the employee’s daily salary, subject to certain exceptions. As a result of these regulations designed to enhance labor protection and increasing labor costs in China, our labor costs have increased. In addition, as the interpretation and implementation of these new regulations are still evolving, we cannot assure you that our employment practice will at all times be deemed in compliance with the new regulations. If we are subject to severe penalties or incur significant liabilities in connection with labor disputes or investigations, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

Our failure to make adequate contributions to various employee benefit plans as required by PRC regulations may subject us to penalties.

 

Companies operating in China are required to participate in various government sponsored employee benefit plans, including certain social insurance, housing funds and other welfare-oriented payment obligations. Our failure to make contributions to various employee benefit plans and to comply with applicable PRC labor-related laws may subject us to late payment penalties. If we are subject to such penalties in relation to the underpaid employee benefits, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

If the custodians or authorized users of our controlling non-tangible assets, including corporate chops and seals, fail to fulfill their responsibilities or misappropriate or misuse those assets, our business and operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

In China, a company chop or seal serves as the legal representation of the company towards third parties even when unaccompanied by a signature. Under PRC law, legal documents for corporate transactions, including contracts and leases that our business relies upon, are executed using “corporate chops,” which are instruments that contain either the official seal of the signing entity or the signature of a legal representative whose designation is registered and filed with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or SAIC.

 

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Our PRC subsidiaries generally execute legal documents with corporate chops. One or more of our corporate chops may be used to, among other things, execute commercial sales or purchase contracts, procurement contracts and office leases, open bank accounts, issue checks and to issue invoices. We believe that it has sufficient controls in place over access to and use of the chops. Our chops, or chops, including the chops at headquarters level and of each PRC subsidiary, are kept securely at our legal department under the direction of the executive officers at vice president level or higher. Use of chops requires proper approvals in accordance with our internal control procedures. The custodian at our legal department also maintains a log to keep a detailed record or each use of the chops.

 

However, we cannot assure you that unauthorized access to or use of those chops can be prevented. Our designated employees who hold the corporate chops could abuse their authority by, for example, binding us to contracts against our interests or intentions, which could result in economic harm, disruption or our operations or other damages to them as a result of any contractual obligations, or resulting disputes, that might arise. If the party contracting with us asserted that we did not act in good faith under such circumstances, then we could incur costs to nullify such contracts. Such corporate or legal action could involve significant time and resources, while distracting management from our operations. In addition, we may not be able to recover corporate assets that are sold or transferred out of our control in the event of such a misappropriation if a transferee relies on the apparent authority of the representative and acts in good faith.

 

If a designated employee uses a chop in an effort to obtain control over one or more of our PRC subsidiaries, we would need to take legal action to seek the return of the applicable chop(s), apply for a new chop(s) with the relevant authorities or otherwise seek legal redress for the violation of their duties. During any period where we lose effective control of the corporate activities of one or more of our PRC subsidiaries as a result of such misuse or misappropriation, the business activities of the affected entity could be disrupted and we could lose the economic benefits of that aspect of our business. To the extent those chops are stolen or are used by unauthorized persons or for unauthorized purposes, the corporate governance of these entities could be severely and adversely compromised and the operations of those entities could be significantly and adversely impacted.

 

The financial statements included in this Annual Report are audited by an auditor who is not inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you are deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

 

Our independent registered public accounting firm, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the PCAOB, is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess our compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards. Because our auditors are located in the PRC, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the Chinese authorities, our auditors are not currently inspected by the PCAOB. In May 2013, PCAOB announced that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Enforcement Cooperation with the CSRC and the Ministry of Finance, which establishes a cooperative framework between the parties for the production and exchange of audit documents relevant to investigations undertaken by PCAOB, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, or the Ministry of Finance in the United States and the PRC, respectively. PCAOB continues to be in discussions with the CSRC and the Ministry of Finance to permit joint inspections in the PRC of audit firms that are registered with PCAOB and audit Chinese companies that trade on U.S. exchanges.

 

Inspections of other firms that the PCAOB has conducted outside China have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. This lack of PCAOB inspections in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating our auditor’s audits and our quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

 

The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of auditors in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our auditor’s audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements.

 

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If additional remedial measures are imposed on China-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, in administrative proceedings brought by the SEC alleging those firms’ failure to meet specific criteria with respect to requests for the production of documents, we could be unable to timely file our future financial statements in compliance with the requirements of U.S. securities law.

 

In December 2012, the SEC instituted proceedings against five China-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, alleging that these firms had violated U.S. securities laws and the SEC’s rules and regulations thereunder by failing to provide to the SEC the firms’ work papers related to their audits of China-based companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. The SEC has the authority to deny to any person, temporarily or permanently, the ability to practice before the SEC who is found by to have willfully violated any such laws or rules and regulations. On January 22, 2014, an initial administrative law decision was issued, censuring these accounting firms and suspending four of the five firms from practicing before the SEC for a period of six months. Four of these China-based accounting firms appealed to the SEC against this decision and, on February 6, 2015, each of the four China-based accounting firms agreed to a censure and to pay a fine to the SEC to settle the dispute and avoid suspension of their ability to practice before the SEC. These firms’ ability to continue to serve all their respective clients is not affected by the settlement. The settlement requires the firms to follow detailed procedures to seek to provide the SEC with access to the firms’ audit documents via the China Securities Regulatory Commission. If the firms do not follow these procedures, the SEC could impose penalties such as suspensions, or it could restart the administrative proceedings. The settlement did not require the firms to admit to any violation of law and preserves the firms’ legal defenses in the event the administrative proceeding is restarted

 

In the event that the SEC restarts the administrative proceedings, depending upon the final outcome, companies listed in the U.S. with major Chinese operations may find it difficult or impossible to retain auditors in respect of their operations in China, which could result in financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), including possible delisting. Moreover, any negative news about any such future proceedings against these audit firms may cause investor uncertainty regarding China-based, U.S.-listed companies and the market price of our ordinary shares may be adversely affected.

 

If our independent registered public accounting firm was denied, even temporarily, the ability to practice before the SEC and we were unable to timely find another registered public accounting firm to audit and issue an opinion on our financial statements, our financial statements could be determined not to be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act. Such a determination could ultimately lead to the delay or abandonment of this offering, delisting of our ordinary shares from The Nasdaq Stock Market or deregistration from the SEC, which would substantially reduce or effectively terminate the trading of our ordinary shares in the U.S.

 

Our contractual arrangements may not be as effective in providing control over the variable interest entity as direct ownership.

 

We rely on contractual arrangements with our variable interest entity to operate part of our businesses in China and other businesses in which foreign investment is restricted or prohibited. These contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our variable interest entity and our subsidiaries. If we had direct ownership of the variable interest entity, we would be able to exercise our rights as an equity holder directly to effect changes in the board of directors of the variable interest entity, which could effect changes at the management and operational level. Under our contractual arrangements, we may not be able to directly change the members of the board of directors of the variable interest entity and would have to rely on the variable interest entity and the variable interest entity equity holders to perform their obligations in order to exercise control over the variable interest entity. The variable interest entity equity holders may have conflicts of interest with us or our shareholders, and they may not act in the best interests of us or may not perform their obligations under these contracts. For example, our variable interest entity and our respective equity holders could breach their contractual arrangements with them by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations, including maintaining our websites and using our domain names and trademarks which the variable interest entity has exclusive rights to use, in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests. Pursuant to the call option, we may replace the equity holders of the variable interest entity at any time pursuant to the contractual arrangements. However, if any equity holder is uncooperative and any dispute relating to these contracts or the replacement of the equity holders remains unresolved, we will have to enforce our rights under the contractual arrangements through the operations of PRC law and arbitral or judicial agencies, which may be costly and time-consuming and will be subject to uncertainties in the PRC legal system.

 

Any failure by our variable interest entity or our equity holders to perform their obligations under the contractual arrangements would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If our variable interest entity or our equity holders fail to perform their respective obligations under the contractual arrangements, we may have to incur substantial costs and expend additional resources to enforce such arrangements. Although we have entered into exclusive option agreements in relation to the variable interest entity, which provide that we may exercise an option to acquire, or nominate a person to acquire, ownership of the equity in that entity to the extent permitted by applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations, the exercise of these call options is subject to the review and approval of the relevant PRC governmental authorities. We have also entered into share pledge agreements with respect to the variable interest entity to secure certain obligations of the variable interest entity or our equity holders to us under the contractual arrangements. However, the enforcement of such agreements through arbitral or judicial agencies may be costly and time-consuming and will be subject to uncertainties in the PRC legal system. Moreover, our remedies under the share pledge agreements are primarily intended to help it collect debts owed to us by the variable interest entity or the variable interest entity equity holders under the contractual arrangements and may not help us in acquiring the assets or equity of the variable interest entity.

 

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In addition, although the terms of the contractual arrangements provide that they will be binding on the successors of the variable interest entity equity holders, as those successors are not a party to the agreements, it is uncertain whether the successors in case of the death, bankruptcy or divorce of a variable interest entity equity holder will be subject to or will be willing to honor the obligations of such variable interest entity equity holder under the contractual arrangements. If the variable interest entity or our equity holder (or our successor), as applicable, fails to transfer the shares of the variable interest entity according to the respective exclusive option agreement or share pledge agreement, we would need to enforce our rights under the exclusive option agreement or share pledge agreement, which may be costly and time-consuming and may not be successful. The contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration or court proceedings in China. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC law and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. The legal system in the PRC is not as developed as in some other jurisdictions, such as the United States. Moreover, there are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a variable interest entity should be interpreted or enforced under PRC law, and as a result it may be difficult to predict how an arbitration panel or court would view such contractual arrangements. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce the contractual arrangements. Under PRC law, if the losing parties fail to carry out the arbitration awards or court judgments within a prescribed time limit, the prevailing parties may only enforce the arbitration awards or court judgments in PRC courts, which would require additional expense and delay. In the event we are unable to enforce the contractual arrangements, we may not be able to exert effective control over the variable interest entity and our subsidiaries, and our ability to conduct our business, as well as our financial condition and results of operations, may be materially and adversely affected.

 

We may lose the ability to use, or otherwise benefit from, the licenses, approvals and assets held by our variable interest entity, which could severely disrupt our business, render us unable to conduct some or all of our business operations and constrain our growth.

 

Although the significant majority of our revenues are generated, and the significant majority of our operational assets are held, by our wholly-foreign owned enterprises, which are our subsidiaries, our variable interest entity hold licenses and approvals and assets that are necessary for our business operations, as well as equity interests in a series of our portfolio companies, to which foreign investments are typically restricted or prohibited under applicable PRC law. The contractual arrangements contain terms that specifically obligate variable interest entity equity holders to ensure the valid existence of the variable interest entity and restrict the disposal of material assets of the variable interest entity. However, in the event the variable interest entity equity holders breach the terms of these contractual arrangements and voluntarily liquidate the variable interest entity or any of our subsidiary, or any of these entities declares bankruptcy and all or part of our assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, or are otherwise disposed of without our consent, we may be unable to conduct some or all of our business operations or otherwise benefit from the assets held by the variable interest entity or our subsidiaries, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, if our variable interest entity undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, our equity holders or unrelated third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of the assets of such variable interest entity, thereby hindering our ability to operate our business as well as constrain our growth.

 

The equity holders, directors and executive officers of the variable interest entity, as well as our employees who execute other strategic initiatives may have potential conflicts of interest with us.

 

PRC laws provide that a director and an executive officer owes a fiduciary duty to the company he or she directs or manages. The directors and executive officers of the variable interest entity must act in good faith and in the best interests of the variable interest entity and must not use their respective positions for personal gain. We control our variable interest entity through contractual arrangements and the business and operations of our variable interest entity are closely integrated with the business and operations of our subsidiaries. Nonetheless, conflicts of interests for these individuals may arise due to dual roles both as directors and executive officers of the variable interest entity and as our directors or employees, and may also arise due to dual roles both as variable interest entity equity holders and as our directors or employees. We cannot assure you that these individuals will always act in our best interests should any conflicts of interest arise, or that any conflicts of interest will always be resolved in our favor. Moreover, we also cannot assure you that these individuals will ensure that the variable interest entity will not breach the existing contractual arrangements. If we cannot resolve any such conflicts of interest or any related disputes, we would have to rely on legal proceedings to resolve these disputes and/or take enforcement action under the contractual arrangements. There is substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

 

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The contractual arrangements with our variable interest entity may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities. Any adjustment of related party transaction pricing could lead to additional taxes, and therefore substantially reduce our consolidated net income and the value of your investment.

 

The tax regime in China is rapidly evolving and there is significant uncertainty for taxpayers in China as PRC tax laws may be interpreted in significantly different ways. The PRC tax authorities may assert that we or our subsidiaries or the variable interest entity or their equity holders owe and/or are required to pay additional taxes on previous or future revenue or income. In particular, under applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties, such as the contractual arrangements with our variable interest entity, may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities. If the PRC tax authorities determine that any contractual arrangements were not entered into on an arm’s length basis and therefore constitute a favorable transfer pricing, the PRC tax liabilities of the relevant subsidiaries and/or variable interest entity and/or variable interest entity equity holders could be increased, which could increase our overall tax liabilities. In addition, the PRC tax authorities may impose late payment interest. Our net income may be materially reduced if our tax liabilities increase.

 

Any of these factors could result in a significant or material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. Additional risk factors not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business or results of operations.

 

Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 2.     Properties

 

The Company leases facilities for its Beijing headquarters totaling 3,600 square meters for approximately $94,500 per month, and the lease ends on May 31, 2020. The Company also leases facilities for its R&D center in Bangalore, India totaling 4,400 square meters for approximately $55,600 per month, the lease end on December 9, 2020.

 

Item 3.     Legal Proceedings

 

We are from time to time, a party to various litigation, administrative, judicial or other proceedings involving law enforcement and other regulatory agencies, and customer disputes incidental to the conduct of our business. At the present time, we believe that none of these matters are material.

 

Item 4.     Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

 

Item 5.     Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Market Information for our Ordinary Shares

 

From October 15, 2015 to August 18, 2017, our units were traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “PAACU”, and from October 29, 2015 to August 18, 2017, our ordinary shares, rights and warrants were each traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbols “PAAC,” “PAACR” and “PAACW,” respectively.

 

On August 18, 2017, we completed the acquisition of Borqs International in an all-stock transaction (the “Merger”). From August 21, 2017, our ordinary shares and warrants have been traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “BRQS” and “BRQSW”, respectively. On February 27, 2018, The Nasdaq Stock Market filed a notification of removal from listing on Form 25 to delist our warrants.

 

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low intra-day sales prices of our ordinary shares and warrants reported on The Nasdaq Stock Market.

 

    Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017     Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2016  
   

Fourth

Quarter

   

Third

Quarter

   

Second

Quarter

   

First

Quarter

   

Fourth

Quarter

   

Third

Quarter

   

Second

Quarter

   

First

Quarter

 
Ordinary Shares                                                
High   $ 6.018     $ 10.50     $ 10.50     $ 10.40     $ 13.00     $ 11.20     $ 10.43     $ 10.02  
Low   $ 4.00     $ 5.10     $ 10.25     $ 10.25     $ 10.20     $ 10.06     $ 10.00     $ 9.86  
Warrants                                                                
High   $ 0.2967     $ 0.597       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A  
Low   $ 0.0111     $ 0.25       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A  

 

Stockholders

 

As of March 27, 2018 there were 31,307,522 ordinary shares outstanding held by 270 holders of record, including Cede & Co. as nominee for each of the respective public shareholders, and 6,281,875 of our warrants outstanding held by two holders of record.

 

Dividends

 

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our shares, and we do not currently intend to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. We expect to retain future earnings, if any, to fund the development and growth of our business. Any future determination to pay dividends on our ordinary shares will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon, among other factors, our financial condition, operating results, current and anticipated cash needs, plans for expansion and other factors that our board may deem relevant.

 

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

 

The Company did not repurchase any of its outstanding ordinary shares or warrants in 2017.

 

On January 10, 2018, the Company entered into a stock repurchase agreement (“Stock Repurchase Agreement”) with Zhengqi International Holding Limited (“Zhengqi”), pursuant to which we agreed to repurchase 966,136 of our ordinary shares that were originally issued and sold to Zhengqi on August 18, 2017, at an aggregate purchase price of approximately $10 million, or $10.40 per share. In addition, Zhengqi agreed to forfeit all of its rights to 1,278,776 shares that had been held in escrow and which will instead be treated as part of the merger consideration shares under the merger agreement pursuant to which the Company acquired Borqs International. The Stock Repurchase Agreement provides that those shares will be treated in the following manner: 51,151 shares (4% of the total) became additional shares placed in an indemnity escrow account; and 1,227,625 shares will be distributed to the former Borqs International shareholders based on their respective proportionate interests in the merger consideration. The funds used to repurchase the shares from Zhengqi were the same amount of funds Zhengqi provided to the Company when the shares were sold to Zhengqi on August 18, 2017 under the Backstop and Subscription Agreement between the Company, Zhengqi and EarlyBirdCapital, described below. The repurchase transaction is not yet completed, though funds have been transferred to Zhengqi in anticipation of satisfaction of closing conditions and the 966,136 repurchase shares currently remain outstanding.

 

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Pursuant to the Stock Repurchase Agreement, the Company and Zhengqi also agreed to use their best efforts to amend the Company’s charter to provide that until August 18, 2018, if any Board member not appointed by Zhengqi is absent from a meeting, then an equal number of Board members appointed by Zhengqi shall also be absent or otherwise not participate in or influence voting of our Board in such meeting.

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities and Use of Proceeds

 

Share Issuance to Zhengqi and EarlyBirdCapital

 

Pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement, as amended on May 10, 2017 and June 29, 2017, and in consideration of entering into the Backstop and Subscription Agreement described below, Zhengqi and its assignees were entitled to receive 2,352,285 ordinary shares if Company performance targets were not achieved; if those targets were achieved, those shares (to the extent earned) would be delivered to the former shareholders of Borqs International. These shares were issued on August 18, 2017 in the name of Zhengqi and deposited in escrow, with Zhengqi entitled to all voting rights and dividend rights (other than equity securities paid as dividends). Any portion of these shares that are earned by the former shareholders of Borqs International will be forfeited by Zhengqi and the Company will issue new equivalent shares to the former shareholders of Borqs International, with 4% of these shares deposited in escrow to support indemnification obligations under the Merger Agreement. In connection with our acquisition of Borqs International by way of merger, we amended our charter amended to require, for future acquisitions by the Company prior to September 30, 2018 having a value in excess of $60 million, the approval of at least two-thirds of the members of our then-serving board of directors, to grant Zhengqi information rights relating to such acquisitions, and, if requested by Zhengqi, to provide a fairness opinion in respect of such acquisitions.

 

On May 11, 2017, Pacific and Zhengqi entered into a Backstop and Subscription Agreement, pursuant to which Zhengqi agreed to purchase up to $24.0 million of our ordinary shares through (i) open market or privately negotiated transactions with third parties, (ii) a private placement at a price of $10.40 per share with consummation to occur concurrently with that of our acquisition of Borqs International by way of merger or (iii) a combination thereof, in order to ensure that there was at least $24.0 million in the trust account together with proceeds from any private placement to be conducted prior to the closing of our acquisition of Borqs International by way of merger. Zhengqi was entitled, at its sole election, to purchase additional ordinary shares in excess of such $24.0 million requirement, up to a total of $24.0 million purchased in total in connection with the Backstop and Subscription Agreement. On August 16, 2017, $750,000 of the obligations of Zhengqi to purchase Pacific ordinary shares in the private placement under the Backstop and Subscription Agreement were assigned to EarlyBirdCapital. In connection with our merger with Borqs International and as consideration for the Backstop and Subscription Agreement, Pacific sold 1,038,251 ordinary shares for an aggregate consideration of approximately $10.8 million. On January 10, 2018 we repurchased 966,136 of these ordinary shares, as described under “—Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers.”

 

Share Issuance to Crave and Colmei Selling Shareholders

 

On January 18, 2018, we entered into an agreement with Crave and Colmei, along with the shareholders of Crave and Colmei (“Selling Shareholders”), pursuant to which the Selling Shareholders agreed to sell to the Company and the Company agreed to acquire 13.8% of the outstanding shares of Crave and 13.8% of the outstanding shares of Colmei from the Selling Shareholders which will not result in the Company’s significant influence in either Colmei or Crave. Under the agreement, on March 22, 2018, the Company issued 473,717 ordinary shares issued to the order of the Selling Shareholders and agreed to pay $10.0 million cash to the Selling Shareholders over a period of 36 months. If approved by the Company’s board of directors, the Company will also issue additional shares to the Selling Shareholders if the aggregate value of the Company shares initially issued to the Selling Shareholders under this agreement is less than $3.0 million on August 18, 2018.

 

Our major customer Reliance of India placed significant orders with the Company due to the fact that the Company serves as a contract manufacturer of the products for Reliance, using Crave to source necessary components. Due to Crave’s large manufacturing volume, it is able to negotiate favorable component pricing. Colmei and Crave are controlled by common owners, and we own approximately 13.8% of each. In addition, Colmei has the ability to obtain favorable financing for the Company to procure large projects. Our investments in Colmei and Crave provide us with access to acceptable financing terms, competitive component pricing and prioritized production capacity.

 

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Share Purchase by Employees of our Subsidiary in India

 

In effort to gain compliance with Nasdaq’s listing requirement that the Company have at least 300 round lot shareholders by April 10, 2018, we implemented a restricted ordinary shares purchase program with eligible employees of our wholly-owned subsidiary in India, Borqs Software Solutions Private Ltd. Eligible employees were allowed to voluntarily participate in the program, pursuant to which 222 individuals purchased an aggregate of 29,170 ordinary shares, consisting of between 100 and 250 restricted ordinary shares per individual. The purchase price for the shares was set at $9.40 per share, which was the closing price of the Company’s ordinary shares on Nasdaq on March 19, 2018, the day immediately prior to the transaction date. Program participants paid for their purchases by having the purchase amounts deducted from their regular compensation on March 23, 2018.

 

Performance Graph

 

The following performance graph shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference by means of any general statement incorporating by reference this Annual Report on Form 10-K into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate this information by reference, and shall not otherwise be deemed filed under those acts.

 

The graph compares the cumulative total return of our ordinary shares from August 18, 2017 through December 29, 2017, the last trading day in 2017, with the performance of the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Nasdaq Computer Index over those periods. The graph assumes that (i) $100 was invested in our ordinary shares at the closing price on August 18, 2017, (ii) $100 was invested in each of the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Nasdaq Computer Index at the closing price of the respective indices on that date. To date, no cash dividends have been declared or paid on our ordinary shares. The stock price performance of the following graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

 

 

    8/18/2017     12/29/2017  
Borqs Technologies, Inc.   $ 100     $ 73.15  
Nasdaq Composite Index   $ 100     $ 111.05  
Nasdaq Computer Index   $ 100     $ 112.71  

 

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Item 6.     Selected Financial Data

 

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with the Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2017, and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements that have been included in this Annual Report. The selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements that have not been included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

    Fiscal Years Ended December 31,  
Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income Data:   2015     2016     2017  
    ($ in thousands)  
Net revenues     75,072       120,586       154,307  
Gross profit     17,067       25,150       27,166  
Operating expenses*     (19,448 )     (21,670 )     (35,348 )
Other operating income     3,094       1,760       272  
Operating income (loss)     713       5,240       (7,910 )
Profit (loss) before income taxes     1,646       5,255       (10,040 )
Income tax expense     (851 )     (2,659 )     (2,319 )
Net income (loss) before deduction of noncontrolling interests     795       2,596       (12,359 )

  

(* Operating expenses in 2017 included $14.5 million in non-cash merger related expenses.)

 

    Fiscal Years Ended
December 31,
 
Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:   2016     2017  
    ($ in thousands)  
Cash and cash equivalents     3,610       13,060  
Accounts receivable     28,257       65,720  
Inventories     12,682       17,031  
Property, plant and equipment, net     1,488       1,362  
Total assets     78,030       148,732  
Total liabilities     64,519       101,727  
Total shareholders’ deficit equity     (55,351 )     47,005  

  

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Item 7.     Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

References in this Annual Report to “we,” “us” or the “Company” refer to Borqs Technologies, Inc. References to our “management” or our “management team” refer to our officers and directors. The following discussion and analysis of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and the notes thereto contained elsewhere in this Annual Report. Certain information contained in the discussion and analysis set forth below includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.

 

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

This Annual Report includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are not historical facts, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected and projected. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this Annual Report including, without limitation, statements in this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” regarding the Company’s financial position, business strategy and the plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “seek” and variations and similar words and expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance, but reflect management’s current beliefs, based on information currently available. A number of factors could cause actual events, performance or results to differ materially from the events, performance and results discussed in the forward-looking statements. For information identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors section of this Annual Report. The Company’s securities filings can be accessed on the EDGAR section of the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov . Except as expressly required by applicable securities law, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Overview

 

Borqs Technologies, Inc. (“we”, “the Company” or “Borqs”) are a company focused on software, development services and products providing customizable, differentiated and scalable Android-based smart connected devices and cloud service solutions. We are a leading provider of commercial grade Android platform software for mobile chipset manufacturers, mobile device OEMs and mobile operators, as well as complete product solutions of mobile connected devices for enterprise and consumer applications. In recent years, we have been awarded significant business contracts from Intel and Qualcomm, leading global chipset manufacturers.

 

Pursuant to the Company’s acquisition of Borqs International Holding Corp (“Borqs International”) by way of merger, which completed on August 18, 2017, Borqs International became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, with the Company adopting the business of Borqs International and its consolidated subsidiaries going forward and reporting the historical consolidated financial statements of Borqs International on future SEC filings as those of the Company, which was renamed Borqs Technologies, Inc.

 

Our Connected Solutions business unit works closely with chipset partners to develop new connected devices. Borqs developed the reference Android software platform and hardware platform for Intel and Qualcomm phones and tablets. We provide Connected Solutions customers with customized, integrated, commercial grade Android platform software and service solutions to address vertical market segment needs through the targeted BorqsWare software platform solutions. The BorqsWare software platform consists of BorqsWare Client Software and BorqsWare Server Software. The BorqsWare Client Software platform has been used in Android phones, tablets, watches and various Internet-of-things (“IoT”) devices. The BorqsWare Server Software platform consists of back-end server software that allows customers to develop their own mobile end-to-end services for their devices.

 

Our MVNO business unit provides a full range 2G/3G/4G voice and data services for general consumer usage and IoT devices, as well as traditional telecom services such as voice conferencing, and acts as a sales and promotion channel for the products developed by the Connected Solutions BU.

 

The Connected Solutions business unit represented 73.4%, 70.9% and 79.2% of our net revenues in the year ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. In the year ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Borqs generated 85%, 93% and 86% of its net revenues from customers headquartered outside of China and 15%, 7% and 14% of its net revenues from customers headquartered within China. As of December 31, 2017, Borqs had collaborated with six mobile chipset manufacturers and 29 mobile device OEMs to commercially launch Android based connected devices in 11 countries, and sales of connected devices with the BorqsWare software platform solutions are embedded in more than 12.3 million units worldwide.

 

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We have dedicated significant resources to research and development, and has research and development centers in Beijing, China and Bangalore, India. As of December 31, 2017, 352 of our 612 employees were technical professionals dedicated to platform research and development and product specific customization.

 

On January 8, 2018, we entered into a letter of intent to acquire a 60% equity interest in Shanghai KADI Machinery Technology Co., Ltd (“KADI”), a Chinese company that develops software and hardware solutions for electric vehicle control modules, such as charging, battery management and vehicle controls. We are currently negotiating a definitive agreement to acquire such equity interest for an aggregate of $11.7 million in cash to be paid to KADI and ordinary shares with an agreed-upon value of $3.3 million to be issued to selling shareholders of KADI. KADI is not a customer or a supplier of Borqs. In accordance with the letter of intent, we have made three of four scheduled cash advances to KADI due of $150,000, with the fourth payment due in April 2018. These advances will be deducted from our initial cash payments to KADI under the definitive agreement to be negotiated. If this transaction is not consummated within nine months after signing of the letter of intent, the advance payments will be converted into shares representing five percent of the outstanding capital stokc of KADI. There are no termination fees or penalties under the letter of intent.

 

We have achieved significant growth since inception in 2007. Net revenues increased from $75.1 million in 2015 to $120.6 million in 2016 and $154.3 million to 2017. We recorded net income of $0.8 million and $2.6 million in the years 2015 and 2016, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we had a net loss of $12.4 million, which included non-cash merger related costs of $14.5 million.

 

Key Factors Affecting Results of Operations

 

The Connected Solutions business unit represented 73.4%, 70.9% and 79.2% of our net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, we generated 85%, 93% and 86% of our net revenues from customers headquartered outside of China and 15%, 7% and 14% of our net revenues from customers headquartered within China. As of December 31, 2017, we had collaborated with six mobile chipset manufacturers and 29 mobile device OEMs to commercially launch Android based connected devices in 11 countries, and sales of connected devices with the BorqsWare software platform solutions are embedded in more than 12 million units worldwide.

 

Revenue mix impacts our overall gross profit and gross margin. In particular:

 

Connected Solutions BU . Revenue from product sales is the largest component of Connected Solutions BU revenue. Product sales gross margin is primarily affected by competition cost of components and intellectual property royalties. Gross margin for engineering design fees and software royalties tends to be higher because the associated cost of revenues is less and pricing is less subject to competitive pressure. In addition, because product sales and software royalties are generally calculated on a per-unit basis, our revenue will vary depending upon the volume of product sales. Engineering design fees are generally not related to volume of product sales.

 

Connected Solutions BU net revenues and gross profits are affected by general factors in the highly competitive mobile industry, such as shifts in consumer preferences and customer demands, technological innovations, competing mobile operating systems, and pricing trends. Results are also affected by developments in the Android platform and software market specifically, such as Google’s continued support of the Android platform, continued availability of a free and open source software license for that platform, continued deployment of the Android platform, and continued outsourcing of software development to third party providers. Unfavorable changes in any of these factors could affect market demand for our solutions and materially adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.

 

Revenues and gross profit in the Connected Solutions BU are also affected by Company-specific factors, including:

 

We rely on a limited number of customers for a significant portion of our net revenues, particularly our relationship with a customer that is a prominent mobile chipset manufacturer. We also rely on this mobile chipset manufacturer from a strategic viewpoint, since products that we develop for this customer may also be scaled to other mobile device OEM customers. We devote a significant portion of our research and development resources to this effort. Our results of operations would be significantly harmed if our collaboration with this customer was to decline or its Android-related product development efforts were not successful.

 

Our ability to grow our net revenues depends on our ability to expand our customer base, both in terms of number of customers and geographic concentration, and increase the number of projects we undertake for existing and new customers. Our ability to do so depends on the success of our products and services and those of our customers, and on our marketing and sales performance.

 

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Our ability to maintain our position as one of the largest independent Android platform software company will require us to continue to strengthen our technology expertise and capabilities by focusing our research and development to maintain technology leadership and offer advanced Android platform software and service solutions on our customers’ demanding timelines. In addition, our ability to grow our revenues will largely depend on how quickly we and our customers can roll out new products and services.

 

Competing successfully in the Android platform and software market requires us to maintain a competitive pricing structure, including labor costs and operating expenses. Competition for software engineers is intense, particularly in mainland China and in India.

 

MVNO BU . Gross margin of the MVNO BU is affected by the wholesale rates t obtained from the incumbent operator, as well as the competition in the market. Over time, we expect wholesale rates generally decline due to competition and newer technologies (e.g. 4G, 4.5G, and 4.75G).

 

MVNO BU revenues and gross profit are affected by general factors in the mobile telecom industry in China, such as the voice/data pricing trends offered by other MVNOs and incumbent operators. We enter into profit sharing arrangements with franchisees, under which franchisees receive a percentage of profits on sales of bundled services as they are used by the consumers. Profit sharing amounts are recognized as selling expenses, and limited discounts provided by franchisees to consumers are recognized as reductions of revenue in accordance with ASC 605-50. Competitive factors in voice/data pricing could affect the demand for our MVNO services and affect our mobile subscriber growth, which could materially and adversely affect our revenues and result of operations. MVNO BU revenues and gross profit are also directly affected by Company-specific factors, including:

 

The bulk wholesale rates for voice and data service. We rely on China Unicom, the incumbent operator, to provide us with attractive and competitive bulk wholesale rates of voice-per-minute and MB-of-data to compete with our competitors.

 

The Chinese government policy on MVNO services. We rely on China’s government to continue to grant us a license to operate the MVNO services.

 

The aggregate amount of cash and cash equivalent and restricted cash are not materially affected by currency fluctuations because the majority of our revenues are denominated in U.S. Dollars based on contracts made in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands. Financings from sales of equity and working capital loans are denominated in U.S. Dollars and executed in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands, and repayments have been made in U.S. Dollars outside of China, thus not requiring approval from the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange. The MVNO business, and small amounts of Connected Solutions BU activities within China, generate revenue in Renminbi. Personnel and personnel-related expenses are primarily paid in Renminbi, and costs of components used in Connected Solutions BU hardware revenues are primarily paid in U.S. Dollars. As of December 31, 2017, we held $12 million outside of China and our entities held RMB3.6 million and $0.5 million in China, totaling $13 million on a consolidated basis.

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table sets forth a summary of the Company’s consolidated results of operations for the periods indicated. This information should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report. The operating results in any period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for any future period.

 

Comparisons of Fiscal Years Ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017

    Fiscal Years Ended December 31,  
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:   2015     2016     2017  
    ($ in thousands)  
Net revenues     75,072       120,586       154,307  
Cost of revenues     (58,005 )     (95,436 )     (127,141 )
Gross profit     17,067       25,150       27,166  
                         
Operating expenses     (19,448 )     (21,670 )     (35,348 )
Other operating income     3,094       1,760       272  
Operating income (loss)     713       5,240       (7,910 )
                         
Other income (expense)     933       15       (2,130 )
Profit (loss) before income taxes     1,646       5,255       (10,040 )
                         
Income tax expense     (851 )     (2,659 )     (2,319 )
Net income (loss)     795       2,596       (12,359 )
                         
Less: net (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interests     (1,316 )     (632 )     210  
Net income (loss) attributable to Borqs Technologies, Inc.     2,111       3,228       (12,569 )

   

We experienced a net profit of $0.8 million in 2015 and a net profit of $2.6 million in 2016. For 2017, we had a net loss of $12.4 million before deduction for noncontrolling interests, which included non-cash merger related costs of $14.5 million.

 

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Net Revenues

 

Our net revenues represent our gross revenues, less business taxes and other deductions. Connected Solutions BU net revenues consist of engineering design fees, software royalties and product sales. MVNO BU net revenues consist primarily of monthly recurring revenue.

 

For 2015, Connected Solutions BU net revenues was $55.1 million and MVNO BU net revenues was $19.9 million.

 

For 2016, Connected Solutions BU net revenues was $85.4 million and MVNO BU net revenues was $35.1 million, compared to $55.1 million and $20.0 million in 2015, respectively. Connected Solutions BU net revenues increased 55.0% from 2015 to 2016. MVNO BU net revenue increased 76.1% from 2015 to 2016.

 

For 2017, Connected Solutions BU net revenues was $122.2 million, an increase of 43.0% over 2016, and MVNO BU net revenues was $32.1 million, a decrease of 8.7% from 2016.

 

The following table presents the percentage of total net revenues from Connected Solutions BU and the MVNO BU, respectively, for the years indicated.

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
Connected Solutions BU     55,115       73.4 %     85,448       70.9 %     122,233       79.2 %
MVNO BU     19,957       26.6 %     35,138       29.1 %     32,074       20.8 %
Net revenues     75,072       100.0 %     120,586       100.0 %     154,307       100.0 %

 

Net Revenues — Connected Solutions BU

 

Connected Solutions BU net revenues consist of engineering design fees, software royalties and product sales. MVNO BU net revenues consist primarily of monthly recurring revenue.

 

BorqsWare software platform solutions are based on the Company’s core proprietary software and include base chipset software supporting various radio network chipsets and application processors, commercial grade software to differentiate the Android platform for our customers and mobile operator required services. BorqsWare software platform solutions are embedded directly into connected devices. We generate revenues from our BorqsWare software platform solutions by charging our customers a product fee for project-based design contracts and/or a service fee for research and development services on a time and material basis, depending upon the nature of the contracts we entered into with our customers. In addition, we charge usage-based royalties in a majority of our project-based software contracts, which royalties are determined based on the customer’s volume of sales of products in which a mobile chipset or connected device with BorqsWare software platform solutions embedded.

 

As discussed more fully under “— Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates — Revenue Recognition — Project-Based Software Contracts,” the Company’s project-based software contracts include post-contract support, or PCS, where the customer has the right to receive unspecified upgrades/enhancements on a when-and-if available basis. Since we are unable to establish vendor-specific objective evidence of fair value of post contract services, or PCS, revenues from project-based software contracts are recognized on a straight-line basis over the longest expected delivery period of undelivered elements of the arrangement, which is typically the PCS period. Project-based software contracts that include PCS, which have a typical PCS period of 12 months, range from six to 36 months. As a result of this revenue recognition method, some portion of the net revenues we report in each period is recognition of deferred revenues from contracts entered into in prior periods and for which the research and development and engineering work has already been completed. In addition, a majority of the project-based software contracts provide for usage-based royalties. We recognize royalties upon the receipt of quarterly usage reports provided by customers.

 

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The following table sets forth our net revenues, as well as the components of such revenues, for the periods indicated, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of total net revenues:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
Software     22,468       40.8 %     14,912       17.5 %     11,212       9.2 %
Hardware     32,647       59.2 %     70,536       82.5 %     111,021       90.8 %
Connected Solutions BU net revenues     55,115       100.0 %     85,448       100.0 %     122,233       100 %

 

Software

 

Software net revenues were $22.5 million, $14.9 million and $11.2 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, representing 40.8%, 17.5% and 9.2% of Connected Solutions BU net revenues. The $7.6 million decrease in 2016 over 2015 mainly reflected decreases in software engineering activities completed for customers in 2015 as well as the recognition of PCS delivered during 2016 for projects completed in 2015. We account for software engineering contracts applying the completed contract method, recognizing the entire software project fixed fees ratably over the PCS service periods. PCS service periods are generally 12 months, with ranges from six months to three years, and commences upon completion of customer acceptance of the completed software projects. The $3.7 million decline in software net revenues in 2017 from 2016 was mainly attributable to an overall decrease in software engineering project sales.

 

Hardware

 

Hardware net revenues were $32.6 million, $70.5 million and $111.0 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, representing 59.2%, 82.5% and 90.8% of Connected Solutions BU net revenues. The $37.9 million increase in 2016 and the $40.5 million increase in 2017 reflected the increased volume of sales of products in those periods, particularly in tablets, ruggedized handsets, and high speed data smartphones and home entertainment remote controls.

 

All hardware sales were contracted and made to order, and our sales were final without taking returns. Small percentages of replacement units and parts were provided to customers and those costs were included in cost of revenues. We provide engineering design work as specified by our customers, and production begins after the customer accepts the design. We are responsible for procurement of all components, materials and tooling, and for selection of third-party factories for product assembly. Revenue is recognized when products are shipped to the customer. We are not engaged in the marketing and distribution of the hardware products.

 

Customer Concentration

 

We were initially focused on research and development efforts for providing BorqsWare software platform solutions to mobile device OEMs. We have since leveraged our deep technology expertise to provide BorqsWare software platform solutions to mobile chipset manufacturers and mobile operators. The following table sets forth net revenues by type of customer, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of net revenues for the periods presented:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
Mobile device OEMs     38,622       70.1 %     70,536       82.5 %     111,021       90.8 %
Mobile Chipset Vendors     14,491       26.3 %     14,912       17.5 %     11,212       9.2 %
Mobile Operators     2,002       3.6 %     -       0.0 %     -       0.0 %
Connected Solutions BU Net Revenues     55,115       100.0 %     85,448       100.0 %     122,233       100 %

 

We expect our net revenues from mobile device OEMs to continue to grow as we develop more connected devices, especially IoT products.

 

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Geographic Concentration

 

The following table sets forth our net revenues from customers based on location of the customer’s headquarters, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of net revenues. These figures do not take into account the geographic location of end-users of customer products:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
China     8,485       15.4 %     6,076       7.1 %     17,687       14.5 %
India     7,949       14.4 %     25,126       29.4 %     70,421       57.6 %
United States     14,978       27.2 %     34,526       40.4 %     23,312       19.1 %
Rest of the world     23,703       43.0 %     19,720       23.1 %     10,813       8.8 %
Net revenues     55,115       100.0 %     85,448       100.0 %     122,233       100.0 %

 

The Company net revenues from customers with headquarters in the United States are attributed to its ongoing collaboration with a prominent mobile chipset vendor and other mobile device OEMs. From 2015 to 2017, revenues from customers with headquarters in China declined slightly, and we engaged a significant new customer in India during the second half of 2016 and this customer continued to place orders with us in 2017.

 

Net Revenues — MVNO BU

 

The MVNO BU provides a full range of 2G/3G/4G mobile communication services to consumers, as well as some traditional commercial telephony services. In 2014, the MVNO BU entered into a business agreement with China Unicom, the incumbent mainland China mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates in 2014. The MVNO BU has its own brand in mainland China, “YuanTel.” MVNO BU net revenues, consisting of “MVNO” and “Other” revenues are entirely from mainland China. “Other” revenues are primarily related to traditional commercial telephony services, such as conference call services.

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
MVNO     16,007       80.2 %     29,309       83.4 %     30,118       93.9 %
Other     3,950       19.8 %     5,829       16.6 %     1,956       6.1 %
MVNO BU net revenues     19,957       100.0 %     35,138       100.0 %     32,074       100 %

 

We started the MVNO services in late 2014 and experienced significant growth in our MVNO BU net revenues from 2015 to 2016, reflecting increasing sales of bundled services, the minor decrease of net revenue in 2017 as we expect sales of MVNO services to growth at a slower rate in future periods while traditional commercial services revenues will remain stable.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Cost of Connected Solutions BU revenues primarily consists of personnel and personnel-related costs associated with engineering projects paid for by customers, and costs of hardware components used to manufacture products. Cost of MVNO BU revenues primarily consists of wholesale traffic fees, paid to the incumbent operator, based on traffic consumed by subscribers to the MVNO network. The incumbent operator also charges us a minimum wholesale tariff based on the number of mobile phone numbers issued to the Company.

 

The following table sets forth cost of revenues, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of total cost of revenues, for Connected Solutions BU revenue and MVNO BU revenue:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    ($ in thousands)  
Connected Solutions BU     38,800       66.9 %     64,943       68.0 %     103,494       81.4 %
MVNO BU     19,205       33.1 %     30,493       32.0 %     23,647       18.6 %
Total cost of revenues     58,005       100.0 %     95,436       100.0 %     127,141       100.0 %

 

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Connected Solutions BU cost of revenues increased from $38.8 million in 2015 to $64.9 million in 2016 and $103.5 million in 2017. These increases were attributable to the similar trend of increases in our volume of hardware connected products sales during these years.

 

Cost of MVNO BU revenues increased from $19.2 million in 2015 to $30.5 million in 2016 and decrease to $23.6 million in 2017, generally in line with the expansion of the MVNO BU over that period from the initiation of the MVNO BU in the second half of 2014. As MVNO BU revenue increases, the cost of revenue of the MVNO BU generally increases as well. MVNO BU revenue decreased to $23.6 million in 2017 due to increased security requirements at the point of sales of signing up new mobile customers as stipulated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) of China.

 

Gross Profit and Gross Margin

 

Gross profit represents net revenues less cost of revenues. Gross margin represents gross profit as a percentage of revenues.

 

Our gross profits were $17.1 million in 2015, $25.2 million in 2016 and $27.2 million in 2017, with the breakdown between the Connected Solutions BU and MVNO BU as follows:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    (Gross Profit in thousands, Gross Margin in %)  
Connected Solutions BU     16,315       29.6 %     20,505       24.0 %     18,739       15.3 %
MVNO BU     752       3.8 %     4,645       13.2 %     8,427       26.3 %
Total     17,067       22.7 %     25,150       20.9 %     27,166       17.6 %

 

Connected Solutions BU gross margin was 29.6%, 24.0% and 15.3% for 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, while MVNO BU gross margin was 3.8%, 13.2% and 26.3% for 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. MVNO BU gross margin was on an upward trend through 2017 as the MVNO business gradually gained economic scale after its launch in late 2014.

 

Connected Solutions BU gross profits include gross profits from software projects and gross profits from hardware projects. As shown in the following table, software gross profits remained relatively stable from 2015 through 2017, while hardware gross profits increased as customers increasingly demanded a comprehensive solution including software design through final commercial product.

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     %     $     %     $     %  
    (Gross Profit in thousands, Gross Margin in %)  
Software     9,769       43.5 %     7,421       49.8 %     3,965       35.4 %
Hardware     6,546       20.1 %     13,084       18.5 %     14,774       13.3 %
Total     16,315       29.7 %     20,505       24.0 %     18,739       15.3 %

 

Software projects are further categorized as design, royalty and service projects, reflecting the nature of the work:

 

Design projects consist primarily of non-recurring engineering fees for which we provide customized work according to our clients’ required functionalities and needs;

 

Royalty projects consist of per unit royalties based on customer usage of our previously completed software products; and

 

Service projects where our engineers perform engineering services following the instructions of the customers, charging them hourly fees on full time equivalent basis.

 

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Operating Expenses

 

Our operating expenses principally consist of research and development expenses, selling and marketing expenses, and general and administrative expenses. The following table sets forth operating expenses for the periods indicated, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of net revenues:

 

    For the year ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    $     As % of Revenue     $     As % of Revenue     $     As % of Revenue  
    ($ in thousands)  
Research and development expenses     (7,206 )     9.6 %     (5,742 )     4.8 %     (6,443 )     4.2 %
Sales and marketing expenses     (7,359 )     9.8 %     (5,874 )     4.9 %     (7,952 )     5.2 %
General and administrative expenses     (4,883 )     6.5 %     (10,042 )     8.3 %     (20,753 )     13.4 %
Changes in fair value of warrant     -       0.0 %     (12 )     0.0 %     (200 )     0.1 %
Total     (19,448 )     25.9 %     (21,670 )     18.0 %     (35,348 )     22.9 %

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

Research and development expenses include payroll, employee benefits and other headcount-related expenses associated with the development of the BorqsWare software platform, as well as outsourcing and third party service expenses. Research and development expenses also include rent, depreciation and other expenses for platform development and other projects that are not customer-specific.

 

Selling and Marketing Expenses

 

Selling and marketing expenses include payroll, employee benefits and other expenses relating to our sales and marketing personnel, travel, rent and other expenses relating to our marketing activities, including entertainment and advertising. For the MVNO BU, we pay our franchisees commission to sell products, which are recognized as selling and marketing expenses.

 

Selling and marketing expenses decreased from 2015 to 2016 mainly because of the franchisees commission of the MVNO BU. In 2016 and 2017, selling and marketing expenses increased from 4.9% to 5.2% of net revenues due to higher revenue from hardware customers. We expect our selling and marketing expenses to increase in absolute terms as we expand our sales and marketing efforts.

 

General and Administrative Expenses

 

Our general and administrative expenses include payroll, employee benefits, professional fees, rent, travel and other administrative costs.

 

General and administrative expenses increased from 2015 to 2016 due to expenses to support the huge growth in MVNO BU. In 2016 and 2017, general and administrative expenses slightly decreased due to expenses associated with decreased headcount to support the MVNO BU, and professional fees. From 2016 to 2017, these expenses increased from 8.3% to 13.4% of net revenues. We expect our general and administrative expenses to increase in absolute terms now that we are a public company and as we continue to grow, but to decrease over time as a percentage of net revenues as net revenues increase.

 

Other Operating Income

 

We received subsidies from local government authorities as financial support for certain technology development projects. These subsidies are classified as “Other operating income”. We recognized $3.1 million, $1.8 million, and $0.3 million of other operating income in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

 

Subsidies are recorded as a liability when received and recognized as other operating income when the related projects are completed and the subsidies are not subject to future return. Under the requirements of the government subsidies, we are obligated to make progress on the related technology development projects, based on the timetable established by the government authorities, and to appropriately allocate the government subsidies for various purposes. We expect to continue to recognize additional government subsidies in 2018 due to its involvement in on-going government subsidized technology projects.

 

Income Tax Expense

 

Our effective tax rate was 52%, 51% and 32% for 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. The fluctuation from 2016 to 2017 was primarily due to the fact that the loss experienced by certain of our subsidiaries in 2015 and 2016 could not be used to offset gains in other subsidiaries within the same jurisdiction.

 

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Transaction-related Expenses

 

Advisory, financing, integration and other transaction costs directly related to our acquisition of Borqs International by way of merger totaled $15.3 million, including $8.8 million in share-based compensation expense related to ordinary shares issued to the financial advisors. Share-based compensation charges related to the Borqs International stock option plan were also reported in the three months ended September 30, 2017 because that plan did not allow for exercising of options until Borqs International became a public traded entity. When our acquisition of Borqs International by way of merger was completed, all vested options under the Borqs International stock option plan were valued and expensed at the closing price per share of our ordinary shares on The Nasdaq Stock Market on the day of the merger.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Cash used in operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $15.0 million and primarily consisted of net loss of $12.4 million but adding back non-cash items including non-recurring share-based compensation due to historical option charges and merger related share-based expenses of $14.7 million and amortization of intangible assets of $3.9 million, together with depreciation of property and equipment of $0.7 million. Cash used in operating assets and liabilities included cash used by increase in restricted cash of $2.3 million, increase in accounts receivable of $37.5 million, increase in prepaid expenses of $12.1 million, decrease in deferred revenue of $5.1 million, and increase in inventory of $4.3 million. Cash was provided by the increase in accounts payable of $27.0 million, increase of $5.2 million in accrued expenses, increase in advance from customers of $3.6 million, and increase in deferred income tax benefit of $0.9 million.

 

Cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $8.1 million, which included $7.2 million used in software engineering costs that were capitalized.

 

Cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $31.9 million, which included short-term borrowings of $10.5 million, less repayment of short-term borrowings of $4.8 million, increase in long-term borrowings of $2.0 million, less repayment of long-term borrowings of $2.6 million, plus the issuance of Series E convertible redeemable preferred shares and Series E-1 convertible preferred shares of $9.0 million and cash received from the merger with Pacific Special Acquisition Corp. of $18.0 million.

 

We believe that our current cash level and anticipated cash flows from operations may not be sufficient to meet anticipated cash needs for at least the next 12 months. We plan to raise funds in the coming months by way of a public offering of shares for which we have filed a registration statement on Form S-1 on February 14, 2018. In recent periods, our accounts receivable balances have generally fallen in the range of 60 to 90 days.

 

Cash transfers from our subsidiaries inside China to our subsidiaries outside of China are subject to PRC government control of foreign exchange. Restrictions on the availability of foreign currency may affect the ability of our subsidiaries inside China to remit sufficient foreign currency to pay dividends or other payments to us, or otherwise satisfy their obligations. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Our subsidiaries in China are subject to restrictions on making dividends and other payments to it or any other affiliated company” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China —Restrictions on foreign currency may limit our ability to receive and use our revenue effectively.”

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

The Company prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which requires it to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the end of each fiscal period and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during each fiscal period. The Company continually evaluates these judgments and estimates based on its own historical experience, knowledge and assessment of current business and other conditions, and expectations regarding the future based on available information and assumptions that it believes to be reasonable, which together form the basis for making judgments that are not readily apparent from other sources. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from those estimates. Some of the Company’s accounting policies require a higher degree of judgment than others in their application.

 

The selection of critical accounting policies, the judgments and other uncertainties affecting application of those policies and the sensitivity of reported results to changes in conditions and assumptions are factors that should be considered when reviewing the Company’s financial statements. The Company believes the following accounting policies involve the most significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of its financial statements.

 

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Revenue Recognition

 

The Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, as evidenced by signed contracts, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable and collection is reasonably assured.

 

Project-based Contracts

 

The Company accounts for revenue from project-based software contracts as “Software” revenue. The Company’s project-based contracts are generally considered multiple element arrangements since they include perpetual software licenses, development services, such as customization, modification, implementation and integration, and post-contract support where customers have the right to receive unspecified upgrades and enhancements on a when-and-if-available basis. Pursuant to ACS 985-605, Revenue Recognition: Software (“ASC 985-605”) , given the project-based software contracts require significant customization that are generally completed within one year from the contract dates, the Company accounts for the contracts in conformity with the relevant guidance in ASC 605-35, Revenue Recognition: Contract Accounting , applying the complete contract method.

 

The Company is unable to establish vendor specific objective evidence of the fair value of post-contract support, and support is the only undelivered element upon completion of software projects, so revenue is recognized ratably over the longest expected delivery period of undelivered elements of the arrangement, which is typically the support term, which ranges from six to 36 months but is generally 12 months, beginning at the completion of final acceptance test. Costs incurred to complete the software projects are deferred to match revenue recognition.

 

When the Company is entitled to receive on-going usage-based royalties determined based on sales of chips or mobile devices, the royalties are recognized according to the customers’ usage reports, generally on a quarterly basis.

 

Service Contracts

 

The Company provides research and development services to certain customer to develop software where fees are charged on a time and material basis and the Company is not responsible for the outcome of such development projects. The revenue is recognized as the “Software” revenue as the services are delivered.

 

Connected Devices Sales Contracts

 

The Company accounts for revenue from sales of connected devices as “Hardware” revenue. Revenue is recognized when sale of each final hardware product to the customers are delivered.

 

Warranty is provided to all connected device customers as an integral part of the product sales. The Company has determined that the likelihood of claims arising from warranties is remote, based on historical experience. The basis for the warranty accrual is reviewed periodically based on actual experience.

 

MVNO Subscriber Usage Payment

 

The Company’s MVNO subscribers pay a fee based on the actual minutes of voice call made, megabytes of data consumed, number of SMS/MMS sent and supplementary services (e.g. caller-ID display) subscribed. These are considered as “MVNO” revenue. The Company is the principal in providing the bundled voice and data services to Chinese consumers, thus revenue is recognized on a gross basis. Revenue is recognized when the services are actually used.

 

Traditional Telecom Services

 

The Company provides traditional telecom services such as voice conferencing services and 400 toll free services. These are considered as “Others” revenue and are recognized based on the actual consumption by customers.

 

Income Taxes

 

In preparing its consolidated financial statements, the Company must estimate its income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which it operates. The Company estimates actual tax exposure and assess temporary differences resulting from different treatment of items for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which is included in the consolidated balance sheet. The Company must then assess the likelihood that it will recover its deferred tax assets from future taxable income. If the Company believes that recovery is not likely, it must establish a valuation allowance. To the extent it establishes a valuation allowance or increases this allowance, the Company must include an expense within the tax provision in its consolidated statement of operations. If actual results differ from these estimates or the Company adjusts these estimates in future periods, it may need to establish an additional valuation allowance, which could materially impact its financial position and results of operations.

 

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U.S. GAAP requires that an entity recognize the impact of an uncertain income tax position on the income tax return at the largest amount that is more likely than not to be sustained upon audit by the relevant tax authority. If the Company ultimately determines that payment of these liabilities will be unnecessary, it will reverse the liability and recognize a tax benefit during that period. Conversely, the Company records additional tax charges in a period in which it determines that a recorded tax liability is less than the expected ultimate assessment. The Company did not recognize any significant unrecognized tax benefits during the periods presented in this Annual Report.

 

Uncertainties exist with respect to the application of the EIT Law and its implementation rules to the Company’s operations, specifically with respect to tax residency status. The EIT Law specifies that legal entities organized outside of the PRC will be considered residents for PRC income tax purposes if their “de facto management bodies” are located within the PRC. The EIT Law’s implementation rules define the term “de facto management bodies” as establishments that carry out substantial and overall management and control over the manufacturing and business operations, personnel, accounting, properties, etc. of an enterprise. On April 22, 2009, the Notice Regarding the Determination of Chinese-Controlled Offshore Incorporated Enterprises as PRC Tax Resident Enterprises on the Basis of De Facto Management Bodies, or Circular 82, was issued. Circular 82 provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the “de facto management body” of a Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise is located in China. Further the Administrative Measures of Enterprise Income Tax of Chinese controlled Offshore Incorporated Resident Enterprises (Trial), or Bulletin No. 45, took effect on September 1, 2011, and provides more guidance on the implementation of Circular 82.

 

According to Circular 82, a Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise will be regarded as a PRC tax resident by virtue of having a “de facto management body” in China and will be subject to PRC enterprise income tax on its worldwide income only if all of the following conditions set forth in Circular 82 are met: (i) the primary location of the day-to-day operational management is in the PRC; (ii) decisions relating to the enterprise’s financial and human resource matters are made or are subject to approval by organizations or personnel in the PRC; (iii) the enterprise’s primary assets, accounting books and records, company seals and board and shareholder resolutions are located or maintained in the PRC; and (iv) at least 50.0% of voting board members or senior executives habitually reside in the PRC. In addition, Bulletin No. 45 provides clarification in resident status determination, post-determination administration and competent tax authorities. It also specifies that when provided with a copy of Chinese tax resident determination certificate from a resident Chinese-controlled offshore- incorporated enterprise, the payer should not withhold 10% income tax when paying certain Chinese-sourced income, such as dividends, interest and royalties to the Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise.

 

Although both the circular and the bulletin only apply to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises and not those by PRC or foreign individuals, the determination criteria set forth in the circular and administration clarification made in the bulletin may reflect the SAT’s general position on how the “de facto management body” test should be applied in determining the tax residency status of offshore enterprises and the administration measures should be implemented, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC individuals.

 

Despite the uncertainties resulting from limited PRC tax guidance on the issue, the Company does not believe that its legal entities organized outside of the PRC are tax residents under the EIT Law. If one or more of its legal entities organized outside of the PRC were characterized as PRC tax residents, the Company’s results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

Refer to Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies - Recent accounting pronouncements, of the notes to our consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report for information regarding the effect of newly adopted accounting pronouncements on our financial statements.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

With the exception of items discussed under “Contractual Obligations and Commitments” above we do not have any off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have a current or future effect on our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or capital resources that are material to investors.

 

  48  

 

 

Related Party Transactions

 

(a) Related parties

 

Names of related parties   Relationship
Intel Capital Corporation (“Intel”) and its affiliates   Intel was a shareholder *
Qualcomm Global Trading PTE. Ltd (“Qualcomm”) and its affiliates   Qualcomm was a shareholder *

 

(b) Other than disclosed elsewhere, The Group had the following significant related party transactions for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017:

 

    For the years ended December 31,  
    2015     2016     2017  
    US$     US$     US$  
Software services provided to:                        
Intel Corporation     6,204       271       *
Intel (China) Co., Ltd.     5       9       *  
Intel Asia-Pacific Research and Development Ltd.     328       119       *  
Intel (China) Research Center Co., Ltd.     -       57       *  
                         
Hardware sold to:                        
Intel Corporation     55       -       *  

 

(c) The Group had the following related party balances as of December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017:

 

    As of December 31,  
    2016     2017  
    US$     US$  
Accounts receivable from related parties:                
Current:                
Intel Corporation     481       *
Intel (China) Co., Ltd.     -       *  
Intel Asia-Pacific Research and Development Ltd.     9       *  

 

All balances with the related parties as of December 31, 2016 and 2017 were unsecured, interest-free and have no fixed terms of repayment.

  

  Upon the consummation of the Merger, both entities ceased to be shareholders of the Group.

 

 

  49  

 

 

Item 7A.     Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

Credit Risk

 

The Company is subject to the risk of loss arising from the credit risk related to the possible inability of its customers to pay for the products and services that it sells to them. The Company attempts to limit its credit risk by monitoring the creditworthiness of the Company’s customers to whom it extends credit and establishing credit limits in accordance with its credit policy. The Company performs credit evaluations on substantially all customers requesting credit and will not extend credit to customers for whom it has substantial concerns and will deal with those customers on a cash basis. The Company offers billing terms that allow certain customers to remit payment during a period of time ranging from 60 days to 3 months.

 

The Company typically has limited risk from a concentration of credit risk as no individual customer represents greater than 20% of the outstanding accounts receivable balance.

 

Our accounts receivable with the following customer accounted for greater than 20% of our total outstanding accounts receivable for the years indicated:

 

  2017 Reliance Retail Limited  47%

 

Liquidity Risk

 

The Company is also exposed to liquidity risk, which is risk that it is unable to provide sufficient capital resources and liquidity to meet its commitments and business needs. Liquidity risk is controlled by the application of financial position analysis and monitoring procedures. When necessary, the Company will turn to other financial institutions and the owners to obtain short-term funding to meet the liquidity shortage.

 

Interest Rate Risk

 

The Company does not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes and have not used any derivative financial instruments to manage our interest rate risk exposure. The Company has not been exposed nor does it anticipate being exposed to material risks due to changes in interest rates. A hypothetical 10% change in interest rates during any of the periods presented would not have had a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

Foreign Currency Risk

 

Approximately half of our revenues and costs are denominated in Renminbi, which is not freely convertible into foreign currencies. All foreign exchange transactions take place either through the People’s Bank of China (“PBOC”) or other authorized financial institutions at exchange rates quoted by PBOC. Approval of foreign currency payments by the PBOC or other regulatory institutions requires submitting a payment application form together with suppliers’ invoices and signed contracts. The value of Renminbi is subject to changes in central government policies and to international economic and political developments affecting supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets.

 

A hypothetical 10% change in foreign exchange rates during any of the preceding periods presented would have had an insignificant effect on our consolidated financial statements.

 

  50  

 

 

Item 8.     Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

 

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

  Page
   
Consolidated Financial Statements for the Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2017  
   
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm 52
   
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2016 and 2017 53-54
   
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 57
   
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) for the Years Ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 58
   
Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ (Deficit) Equity for the Years Ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 5 9-61
   
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2015,  2016 and 2017 62-63
   
Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements 64-107

 

  51  

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of

Borqs Technologies, Inc. (Formerly known as Pacific Special Acquisition Corp.):

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Borqs Technologies, Inc. (Formerly known as Pacific Special Acquisition Corp.) (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, the related consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss), shareholders’ (deficit) equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2017 and 2016, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

The Company’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern

 

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company has suffered recurring losses from operations, has a working capital deficiency, and has stated that substantial doubt exists about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s evaluation of the events and conditions and management’s plans regarding these matters are also described in Note 2. The consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2016.

 

Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China

 

April 2, 2018

 

  52  

 

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”))

 

        As of December 31,  
    Note   2016     2017  
        US$     US$  
ASSETS                
Current assets:                    
Cash and cash equivalents         3,610       13,060  
Restricted cash         1,153       3,459  
Accounts receivable         28,257       65,720  
Accounts receivable from related parties   (17)     490       -  
Receivable from Mobile Virtual Network Operator (“MVNO”) franchisees         4,319       3,514  
Inventories   (5)     12,682       17,031  
Deferred cost of revenues         969       507  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   (6)     6,599       16,240  
                     
Total current assets         58,079       119,531  
                     
Non-current assets:                    
Property and equipment, net   (7)     1,488       1,362  
Intangible assets, net   (8)     15,498       20,004  
Goodwill   (9)     693       736  
Deferred tax assets   (16)     1,054       1,463  
Deferred cost of revenues         689       2,642  
Other non-current assets         529       2,994  
                     
Total non-current assets         19,951       29,201  
                     
Total assets         78,030       148,732  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

  53  

 

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (CONTINUED)

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”), except for number of shares and per share data)

 

        As of December 31,  
    Note   2016     2017  
        US$     US$  
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ (DEFICIT) EQUITY                    
Current liabilities:                    
Accounts payable (including accounts payable of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of US$4,598 and US$4,143 as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)         22,691       49,690  
Accrued expenses and other payables (including accrued expenses and other payables of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of US$2,778 and US$4,038 as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (11)     7,634       12,163  
Advances from customers (including advances from customers of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)         -       3,623  
Deferred revenue (including deferred revenue of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of US$9,134 and US$5,904 as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)         11,995       7,960  
Income tax payable (including income tax payable of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)         216       1,232  
Short-term bank and other borrowings (including short-term bank   borrowings of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of US$721 and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (10)     6,306       12,648  
Long-term bank borrowings - current portion (including long-term bank borrowings - current portion of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (10)     1,381       5,432  
Deferred government grants (including deferred government grants of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (12)     264       -  
                     
Total current liabilities         50,487       92,748  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

  54  

 

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (CONTINUED)

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”), except for number of shares and per share data)

 

        As of December 31,  
    Note   2016     2017  
        US$     US$  
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ (DEFICIT) EQUITY                    
Non-current liabilities:                    
Unrecognized tax benefits (including unrecognized tax benefits of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (16)     1,755       2,121  
Warrant liabilities (including warrant liabilities grants of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (10)     1,344       -  
Deferred tax liabilities (including deferred tax liabilities of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of US$1,539 and US$1,550 as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (16)     2,170       3,555  
Deferred revenue (including deferred revenue of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)         2,428       1,346  
Long-term bank borrowings (including long-term bank borrowings of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (10)     4,491       -  
Deferred government grants (including deferred government grants of the Consolidated VIEs without recourse to the primary beneficiary of nil and nil as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (12)     1,844       1,957  
                     
Total non-current liabilities         14,032       8,979  
                     
Total liabilities         64,519       101,727  
                     
Commitments and contingencies   (22)                

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (CONTINUED)

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”), except for number of shares and per share data)

 

        As of December 31,  
    Note   2016     2017  
        US$     US$  
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ (DEFICIT) EQUITY                    
Mezzanine equity:                    
Series A convertible redeemable preferred shares (US$0.001 par value; 39,900,000 and nil shares authorized; 39,900,000 and nil issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (19)     11,970       -  
Series B convertible redeemable preferred shares (US$0.001 par value; 82,857,143 and nil shares authorized; 82,857,143 and nil issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (19)     26,126       -  
Series C convertible redeemable preferred shares (US$0.001 par value; 50,909,089 and nil shares authorized; 50,909,089 and nil issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (19)     21,069       -  
Series D convertible redeemable preferred shares (US$0.001 par value; 23,721,443 and nil shares authorized; 23,721,443 and nil issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (19)     9,697       -  
Series E convertible redeemable preferred shares (US$0.001 par value; nil and 13,275,162 shares authorized; nil and nil issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)   (19)     -       -  
                     
Total mezzanine equity         68,862       -  
                     
Shareholders’ (deficit) equity :                    
Ordinary shares (no par value; unlimited shares authorized; 4,224,725 shares and 30,804,635 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively)         -       -  
Additional paid-in capital         1,178       120,642  
Statutory reserve         1,898       1,898  
Accumulated deficit         (54,706 )     (74,231 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (13)     (2,626 )     (507 )
                     
Total Borqs Technologies, Inc. shareholders’ (deficit) equity         (54,256 )     47,802  
                     
Noncontrolling interest         (1,095 )     (797 )
                     
Total shareholders’ (deficit) equity         (55,351 )     47,005  
                     
Total liabilities, mezzanine equity, noncontrolling interest and shareholders’ (deficit) equity         78,030       148,732  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

  56  

 

 

BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”), except for number of shares and per share data)

 

        For the years ended December 31,  
    Note   2015     2016     2017  
        US$     US$     US$  
Net Revenues:                            
Software         22,468       14,912       11,212  
Hardware         32,647       70,536       111,021  
MVNO         16,007       29,309       30,118  
Others         3,950       5,829       1,956  
                             
Total net revenues         75,072       120,586       154,307  
                             
Software         (12,699 )     (7,491 )     (7,247 )
Hardware         (26,101 )     (57,452 )     (96,247 )
MVNO         (16,225 )     (28,784 )     (22,836 )
Others         (2,980 )     (1,709 )     (811 )
                             
Total cost of revenues         (58,005 )     (95,436 )     (127,141 )
                             
Total gross profit         17,067       25,150       27,166  
                             
Operating expenses:                            
Sales and marketing expenses         (7,359 )     (5,874 )     (7,952 )
General and administrative expenses         (4,883 )     (10,042 )     (20,753 )
Research and development expenses         (7,206 )     (5,742 )     (6,443 )
Changes in the fair value of warrant liabilities         -       (12 )     (200 )
                             
Total operating expenses         (19,448 )     (21,670 )     (35,348 )
                             
Other operating income         3,094       1,760       272  
                             
Operating income (loss)         713       5,240       (7,910 )
                             
Interest income         61       65       14  
Interest expense         (156 )     (797 )     (1,877 )
Other income         208       114       633  
Other expense         (35 )     (59 )     (121 )
Foreign exchange gain (loss)         855       692       (779 )
                             
Profit (loss) before income taxes         1,646       5,255       (10,040 )
Income tax expense   (16)     (851 )     (2,659 )     (2,319 )
                             
Net income (loss)         795       2,596       (12,359 )
                             
Less: net (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interests         (1,316 )     (632 )     210  
                             
Net income (loss) attributable to Borqs Technologies, Inc.         2,111       3,228       (12,569 )
Add:                            
Accretion to redemption value of Convertible Redeemable Preferred Shares         (2,417 )     (976 )     (6,956 )
Allocation to holders of Convertible Redeemable Preferred Shares         -       (2,252 )     -  
                             
Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders         (306 )     -       (19,525 )
                             
Loss per share:                            
Basic         (0.07 )     0.00       (1.52 )
Diluted         (0.07 )     0.00       (1.52 )
Number of ordinary shares used in loss per share computation:                            
Basic         4,224,090       4,224,725       12,842,671  
Diluted         4,224,090       4,224,725       12,842,671  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”))

  

        For the years ended December 31,  
    Note   2015     2016     2017  
        US$     US$     US$  
Net income (loss)         795       2,596       (12,359 )
Other comprehensive (loss) income, net of tax of nil:                            
Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax of nil         (1,491 )     (1,575 )     2,207  
Other comprehensive (loss) income, net of tax of nil   (13)     (1,491 )     (1,575 )     2,207  
Comprehensive (loss) income         (696 )     1,021       (10,152 )
Less: comprehensive (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interest         (1,519 )     (730 )     298  
Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to Borqs Technologies, Inc.         823       1,751       (10,450 )

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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BORQS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS’ (DEFICIT) EQUITY

(Amounts in thousands of US dollars (“US$”), except for number of shares)

 

    Note   Number of ordinary shares     Ordinary shares     Additional paid-in capital     Accumulated statutory reserves     Accumulated other comprehensive loss     Accumulated deficit     Total Borqs Technologies, Inc. shareholders’ deficit     Noncontrolling interest    

Total shareholders’

deficit

 
                                                           
Balance as of January 1, 2015       4,222,120       -       1,174       860       139       (55,614 )     (53,441 )     1,154       (52,287 )
Consolidated net income                 -       -       -       -       2,111       2,111       (1,316 )     795  
Appropriation of statutory reserves                 -       -       410       -       (410 )     -       -       -  
Foreign exchange difference                 -       -       -       (1,288 )     -       (1,288 )     (203 )     (1,491 )
Accretion to redemption value of convertible redeemable preferred shares                 -       -       -       -       (2,417 )