I’ve been thinking about Luckin Coffee, which was a big story a few years ago in China. It was a digital upstart taking on giant Starbucks. It was Jack Ma’s “new retail” applied to retail coffee. It was a digital innovator. Blah, blah, blah. It was mostly a lot of hype. And the company crashed […]
In 2009, Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded WhatsApp to ride the wave of mobile apps kicked off by the launch of the iPhone. The original purpose of WhatsApp was to put a status notification next to your name, to let people know “what’s up”. But the small team noticed three important things that would launch their […]
Take-Away 1: Hello bike-sharing is a marginally profitable, small services business. Its recent shift to ebikes (and subscriptions) is increasing its revenue and making it more defendable. But it is also changing the economics. Take-Away 2: Hello is trying to build a platform business model on its large user base. A marketplace for mobility (like […]
In this podcast, Jeffrey Towson discusses Huawei’s financial performance in 2019, as well as the recent fraud scandal at Luckin Coffee. He argues that Huawei’s strong financial performance is a sign of its resilience, and that the Luckin Coffee scandal is a reminder of the risks of investing in Chinese tech stocks. For example, he notes that Huawei’s revenue grew by 19% in 2019, despite the US government’s restrictions on its business.
Jeffrey Towson argues that Chinese startups like Luckin Coffee, Mobike, Didi Chuxing, and WeWork are facing increasing challenges. He says that these companies are facing more competition, regulatory scrutiny, and rising costs. As a result, it is unclear if these companies will be able to achieve profitability in the long run.
Jeffrey Towson discusses what Starbucks China could have done to respond to the rise of Luckin Coffee. He argues that Starbucks should have focused on its strengths, such as its brand and its loyalty program, and that it should have been more aggressive in expanding its store network. He also notes that Starbucks could have learned from Luckin’s innovative marketing and pricing strategies.