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How New Retail is Colliding With Bike-Sharing in China​ (Pt 3 of 4)

In Part 1 and Part 2, I argued there is something new and powerful happening at Mobike, Ofo and bike-sharing in China. These companies and their presence in consumers’ lives have grown too fast. We are witnessing something new and important. My explanation for this is “assets in the wild”. That bike-sharing companies have shown […]

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My Favorite Map for Understanding Modern China

The “cluster” map shown above (and below) is originally by McKinsey & Co. I think it really illustrates three important points about modern China. Point 1: China today is a series of clusters, not a continent. China today is not yet an integrated continental economy. You don’t see infrastructure seamlessly connecting each part of the […]

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How Tsingtao, CR Snow and the Other Beer SOEs Won Big in China (Pt 1 of 2)

The Chinese beer market looks similar to beer markets in the rest of the world – mostly regional markets mostly dominated by a few giant beer companies. But take a look at the below chart from 2013. You’ll note that China evolved with one big difference with the rest of the world: The dominating beer […]

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2 Charts Show How Carlsberg Beer Failed – And Then Won Big in China

Carlsberg beer in China is one of those business stories that everyone should know. Take a look at the below picture. It is of Carlsberg China circa 2002. This was after +15 years of business in the PRC. They had some imports but were still a tiny China operation overall. And they were facing increasingly […]

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How Tsingtao, CR Snow and the Other Beer SOEs Won Big in China (Pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1, I asked how Chinese State-owned beer companies won in a business with no real government interests. That’s an unusual outcome and I wanted to figure out how it happened. My explanation is that Chinese beer SOEs won mostly by being early to market and by being better at acquiring small, legacy State-owned […]

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The Biggest Problems for Yum! China (KFC, Pizza Hut) Going Forward

Yum! China has now been spun off. And being a separate company should naturally fix many of its problems. But going forward, there are three things that still really concern me. #1 – There is no free lunch in the China restaurant business. How well you did in the past just doesn’t count for that […]

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Senior Housing, Public Hospitals and Other China Businesses to Avoid

If something hasn’t happened yet in China, there are probably good reasons why. Here are four China businesses that are frequently cited in the news as big opportunities. But I think they all fall into the category of “well, if it’s so great then why hasn’t it happened yet?”. Thus, I think they should be […]

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Get Ready for Beijing, the +100M Person Mega-City

The population of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster (also called “Jing-Jin-Ji”) will be +100M people. That’s pretty fascinating. Some thoughts on where we are and what’s coming next. The economics of Beijing as a mega-city are already fantastic. The economic output is already over 10% of China’s GDP. So this mega-city is already a big deal in […]

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Why Chinese Moms Are Probably the World’s Most Important Consumers

The big China consumer stories of the past years have included a vaccine scandal, food contamination scares, surging overseas home buying, and continued rising consumption by urban families. These stories, in reality, are mostly about Chinese women as an ascending consumer class. More specifically, they are about Chinese moms, who are quickly becoming the most […]

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Do 30M Chinese Really Live in Caves?

The “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 reports even claim up to 70M people live in caves in China. Certainly many people in Shaanxi do have cave houses, as shown in the Shaanxi picture […]