Photo Mar 01, 2 20 01 PM

Can China’s Bike-Sharing Boom Last?

Bike-sharing has taken off in China far faster than in any other market where it’s been offered. The unexpected and shocking popularity of the service has attracted lots of investment capital and media coverage. The attention has also raised questions about potentially razor-thin margins, wide-spread bike vandalism and theft, and looming government regulation. Hype, scrutiny […]

Disney’s Beauty & the Beast Saga is About China & Malaysia – But Also About Emerging LGBT Asia

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast indefinite delay in Malaysia, due to its “exclusively gay moment”, has been lifted. Disney refused to release the movie in the country without it and Malaysia caved. Meanwhile, the movie has opened huge in China, with 100,000 reported screenings on its opening night. This constituted 43% of China’s screenings that […]

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My Favorite China Articles for March 2017

Greetings from Peking University in Beijing. It has been an amazing month. Lots of big developments in US-China business. And, in a crazy bit of luck, I ended up talking with Warren Buffett for a couple of hours over lunch – which I have written up in the articles below. Cheers, Jeff – Articles – Grocery […]

How Alibaba Pictures is Disrupting Chinese Entertainment

Two years into Alibaba’s push into entertainment, its movie arm, Alibaba Pictures, has a growing pipeline of produced and acquired content. It is regularly doing domestic and Hollywood deals for film production, financing and distribution. And it is making unconventional moves in cinema software, online videos, ticketing apps and film crowdfunding. Putting it together, the […]

How Hype and Greed Are Ruining Chinese Bike-Sharing (i.e., Mobike and Ofo)

During the 2007 financial crisis, former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince famously said: “When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance.” Looking at the bike-sharing business in China today, you see a lot of such dancing. You […]

I Took 20 Chinese Students to Meet Warren Buffett. Here’s What Happened (Pt. 4 of 4)

In February 2017, I chaperoned 20 business students from Peking University to meet Warren Buffett in Omaha. It turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, an investment pilgrimage of sorts. In 4 articles, I document what happened and what we learned. I have included a lot of detail, especially on the Berkshire companies we visited […]

My Visit to Oriental DreamWorks – And Why Animation is Booming in China

Of the 19 million students in Chinese universities in 2009, over 1 million were studying art and design. Think about that number for a moment. One million students studying painting, design and other creative arts. That is larger than the student populations studying chemistry, law, or economics. Fast forward to today, these students have entered the workforce and […]

My 5 Predictions for Chinese Consumers in 2017

In the past 2 years, Chinese consumers have arrived as a global economic force. And this is really just the beginning. We are going to see an increasing impact by these consumers on business going-forward. So here are 5 predictions for Chinese consumers for the coming year: 1. Chinese consumers (particularly millennials) will “hyper-adopt” mobile and O2O […]

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My Favorite China Articles for January 2017

Greetings from Peking University in Beijing. I send out a monthly reading list with the best China articles (and books) I have come across. If you would like to be on this list, you can sign up at www.jeffreytowson.com. Also, if you come across any really great articles, please send them to me. Here’s my […]

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The New Ownership of McDonalds China Should Scare KFC China (i.e., Yum!)

So McDonalds China has been 80% sold (franchised really) to the Carlyle Group, Citic Capital and Citic Group. This sale has been compared with the spin-off of Yum! China (i.e., KFC and Pizza Hut). But there is a big difference in ownership between the two. And my take is this should scare Yum! China. Here’s […]