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 […]

3 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 owner/management focus. It also gave some activist hedge funds a nice return. And the new spun-off Yum! China entity has released its first 10-Q, which was some interesting reading. But there are now some important challenges going forward. These are widely discussed […]

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 […]

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

Question: What do you get when you put the world’s biggest smokers in the world’s most polluted cities – and then wait for +20 years? Answer: You get approximately 20M super-smoking Chinese men. A unique population that has likely inhaled more carcinogens than any other human beings alive. And as they are almost all men, […]

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 […]

An Argument for Creating “Super Hospital SOEs” in China

Hospitals are an exception to the China success story. The private ones are still mostly small and frequently distrusted. The public ones are more trusted but can often be like time traveling back to 1990. While more trusted in terms of actual care, they are operationally frustrating for patients and financially difficult for doctors and […]

The Ruthless But Entertaining Fight to Become the “Fedex of China” (Part 2)

In the past year, SF Express, STO, YTO, and the other China express delivery giants have all hit the accelerator. Faced with mounting competitive threats, express delivery in the PRC has morphed into an arms race in capabilities and capital. In Part 1, I explained what I think is behind the recent acceleration. In this […]

Real China SOE Reform? AB-InBev and the Crazy Brazilians Could Have Run Snow Beer.

AB-InBev has closed their $104B mega-acquisition of SABMiller. As part of this, they agreed to sell SAB’s 49% stake in Snow beer . This was a preemptive move to get Chinese regulatory approval. As a result, quasi-SOE CR Snow will now become 100% state-owned (by China Resources Enterprise). This is a real shame. Because lost […]

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

There are approximately 200M Chinese between 15 and 24 years of age. These are the millennials everyone is talking about. They are about 15% of the population and they are changing pretty much everything in consumer China. Probably the defining aspect of this group is that they have, by and large, been raised in abundance. […]

5 More Life Lessons from Lunch with Warren Buffett

I have written a lot about my first trip with 20 Peking University students to meet Warren Buffett in Omaha. A couple of Buffett’s comments from that Omaha meeting have really stuck with me. They have been rattling around in my head and have made me question how I am living. In this article, I […]