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Five Questions for Understanding Didi, Mobike, and China’s New Micro-Rentals (Pt 2).

In Part 1, I argued that there is no new Chinese “sharing economy” – which is why new Chinese businesses like Didi, Mobike, and micro-rentals for basketballs, batteries and umbrellas are kind of confusing. What is really happening is something much more interesting: the emergence of new digital disruptors in access and convenience. The key […]

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There Is No New Chinese “Sharing Economy”. Didi, Mobike, and Others Are Classic Disruptors (Pt 1).

In the past month, there has been a lot of talk about China’s new “sharing economy”. Articles in the New York Times, Fortune, Bloomberg, and the South China Morning Post have all cited ride-sharing (Didi), bicycle rentals (ofo, Mobike), and the new micro-rental services for batteries, basketballs, and umbrellas as part of a new China […]

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Why Didi Is Raising So Much Cash

Chinese ride service Didi Chuxing raised $5.5 billion in May, adding to more than $10 billion it raised last year. Assuming it is no longer burning through $1 billion a year as it did during its fight for Chinese market share with Uber, Didi now has a staggering cash balance for a startup, perhaps as […]

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Pacific Prime CEO Neil Raymond on What’s Next for Health Insurance in China / Asia

Pacific Prime is one of Asia’s top brokers of international health insurance products, especially for expatriates. Founded by Neil Raymond in 2000 and based in Hong Kong, they have a particularly good view into the current changes in health (and other) insurance in China and Asia. And as I am someone who has been working […]

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My Favorite China Articles for April 2017

Hello from Peking University, It has been a whirlwind of meetings and travel this month. I now call visiting three countries in a week a “triple”. There have been some interesting China business events recently, especially the United Airlines incident. Below are my comments on that – and my favorite China articles and books for […]

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What to Do When You Fail in China (Pt 1): Danone vs. Carlsberg Beer

The Chinese market is difficult and failure is common. This is true for both domestic and foreign companies. But the country is also huge and there is almost always another opportunity available. The brutality of the Chinese market is compensated for by its breadth. French food company Danone and Danish brewer Carlsberg Group provide good […]

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Do 30M Chinese Really Live in Caves?

A “30M Chinese live in caves” statistic keeps getting repeated. And from relatively reputable sources – including the LA Times, the NY Daily News and. Business Insider. Some even claim up to 70M people live in caves in China. Certainly many people in Shaanxi have cave houses. As shown in the Shaanxi picture above. There […]

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2 Big Questions for the Yum! China Spin-Off (i.e., KFC, Pizza Hut) Going Forward

So Yum! China has been spun-off. A reasonable move that gave them increased focus. It also gave some activist hedge funds a nice return. But there are now some important challenges going forward. Personally, I have three questions for the spun-off company: #1 – Who is the new Sam Su? Yum’s success in China was […]

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Why China’s Drug and Vaccine Scandals Will Dwarf the Food Scandals

It was the 2008 melamine baby powder scandal that finally made food safety a national priority in China. And the 2016 vaccine scandal may be what similarly finally wakes Chinese consumers up to the issue of drug safety. Unfortunately, sick newborns may again be the mobilizing image. Drug scandals have been happening in China for […]

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How China’s “Puff Daddies” Became the World’s Biggest Smokers (Probably)

What do you get when you put the 650M Chinese men who are the world’s biggest smokers in the China’s most polluted cities? And then wait for +20 years? You get approximately 20M super-smoking men. A group that has likely inhaled more carcinogens than any other human beings alive. I call this group of men […]