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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 […]

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What To Do When You Fail in China (Pt 2): Ford vs. Fiat

In Part 1 (article here), I wrote about how both Carlsberg and Danone encountered setbacks in China. And then how Carlsberg, in particular, came back and succeeded. In this article, I have two more examples of “what to do when things go wrong in China”. This time in automotive. I think the story of Ford […]

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How Investment Bankers Can Save Chinese Hospitals

Hospitals are the great exception to the China success story. The private ones are mostly small and appropriately distrusted. The public ones are usually like time traveling back to 1980. While more trusted in terms of actual care, they are operational chaos. And despite lots of recent hype and hope, neither appear to be going […]

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3 Ways Young Chinese Consumers (i.e. Millennials) Are Really Different

There are approximately 200M Chinese between 15 and 24 years of age. They are about 15% of the population and have, by and large, been raised in abundance. Unlike previous generations, most have no memory of hunger or extreme hardship. They have mostly grown up in modern apartments with modern conveniences. They are a very […]

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United Airlines Just Got Dragged Down the Aisle by Chinese Consumers

The video of bloodied David Dao being dragged down the aisle of a United Airlines flight went global on late Sunday. It became news everywhere but it was the reaction in China that was probably the most surprising for United Airlines. There are lots of opinions as to why the Chinese reaction was so strong […]

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Will Alibaba, Tencent, or Wanda Win in Chinese Entertainment? (Pt 1 of 2)

Alibaba Pictures and Tencent Pictures are two companies I keep a close eye on. They appear very well positioned to win big in Chinese entertainment. And they are making unconventional moves in an industry that is both emerging and being disrupted at the same time. I recently spoke with a colleague at Alibaba Pictures. It […]

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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 […]

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3 Ways President Xi and King Salman Can Move China and Saudi Arabia Beyond Oil

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Saudi Arabia is now aggressively seeking foreign investment to diversify its economy away from oil. So this meeting in China was arguably the most important of the King’s month long Asia trip. The Xi-Salman meeting produced […]