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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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What Airbnb Should Do Differently Than Uber in China

In the previous article (you can read here), I laid out some basic theory for how platform businesses compete. Based on this thinking, I think Airbnb should do 6 things differently than Uber in China.: #1: Airbnb will need to crack the code for Chinese home-sharing. Unlike in ride-sharing and taxi-hailing, the right services and […]

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Three Forces Will Determine Disney’s Fate in China

One of the big stories of 2016 was the opening of Shanghai Disneyland, which went off without a hitch (well, except for the rain). Looking back, I mark the opening as the firing of the starter’s pistol in the race to become the “Disney of China”. In many other industries, this type of winner in […]

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

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

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My Favorite China Articles and Books for August 2016

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

The big China consumer stories of the past year 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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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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One Chart Shows Why Chinese Beer Profits Are Still Really Small

China is now the world’s biggest beer market. This is a frequently cited fact. So is the fact that Snow (drunk mostly in China) is now the world’s most popular beer by volume. In fact, three of the world’s top 10 beers are now Chinese (Snow, Tsingtao, and Yanjing). All very impressive. But it is […]

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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. This is Carlsberg in China circa 2002. After +15 years, they still had a tiny China operation and were facing increasingly dominant SOE brewers like Tsingtao and Beijing Yanjing. Management had basically given up […]

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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 pointed out how Chinese State-owned beer companies have 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, […]