I’ve written quite a few articles on companies that have struggled in China. However, in many cases, they later came back and won, often spectacularly. It’s a fun subject. For example: In Part 1, I detailed how Carlsberg beer and Danone both initially struggled in China. But Carlsberg later came back with an impressive success […]
Category Archives: Money Wars
Don’t Be Fooled by Rapid Growth, Money Wars, Blitzscaling and Other Tactics (Tech Strategy – Daily Article)
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 […]
“Digital Speed” is Mostly About Tactics. But True Operating Performance is a Marathon. (Tech Strategy – Daily Lesson / Update)
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 […]
Can Hello Bike Become a Mini Didi? A Mini Meituan? (Asia Tech Strategy – Daily Update)
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 […]
My Interview With Huawei About Their 2019 Financials. Plus Fraud at Luckin Coffee. (Tech Strategy – Podcast 24)
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.
Why Did Ofo Fail? What Should They Have Done? (Tech Strategy – Podcast 8)
Jeffrey Towson discusses what Ofo could have done to avoid its downfall. He argues that Ofo made a number of strategic mistakes, including burning through too much cash, expanding too quickly, and failing to innovate. Towson believes that if Ofo had taken a more conservative approach, it might still be in business today.
Will Luckin, Mobike, Didi or WeWork Ever Be Profitable? (Tech Strategy – Podcast 6)
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.
What Should Starbucks China Have Done About Luckin Coffee? (Tech Strategy – Podcast 3)
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.
While Luckin Fights Starbucks, HeyTea Has Lines Out the Door in China (pt 2 of 2)
In Part 1, I argued that Starbucks China most interesting competitor is not Luckin Coffee. It is HeyTea, an upscale Starbucks-type business focused on tea (something Chinese consumers really, really like). And to their credit, HeyTea appears to be mostly focusing not on digital (or financial engineering) but on product development and continually thrilling their […]