From Didi to Mobike to Luckin: How Money and Hype Are Distorting Digital China

Digital China has arrived. It has unicorns, huge market opportunities and a pervasive cultural impact. Everything is now at world-class scale. Unfortunately, the distorting impact of hot money and hype has also scaled up. And this appears to be increasing. Ride-sharing was the first big escalation in venture-type behavior. In 2015-16, in both China and […]

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 […]

Forget Luckin. Starbucks’ Most Interesting China Competitor is HeyTea (pt 1 of 2)

So Luckin Coffee has gone public and there are big questions about their revenue growth vs. operating losses. They are building an F&B business fast and aggressively against still unclear demand. But HeyTea is the Starbucks challenger I am keeping an eye on. They have long been referred to as the “Starbucks of tea”. And […]

7 Things Everyone Is Getting Wrong About the Luckin IPO (Pt 2 of 2)

The Luckin Coffee SEC filing is out. So we can finally see their numbers. This is Part 2 of what I think is being misunderstood about Luckin. Part 1 is here. #5: Luckin is not really about increasing mass-market coffee consumption in China. Luckin is engaged in a Herculean effort to get Chinese to drink […]

7 Things Everyone Is Getting Wrong About the Luckin IPO (Pt 1 of 2)

So Luckin has filed for an IPO and we finally got to see their numbers. And yes, there are red flags all over the place. Big operating losses, funky corporate structures, speculative revenue growth and so on. And this is not uncommon in a tech / internet ipo. But I don’t recall ever seeing this […]

The One Number That Matters for Luckin Coffee vs. Starbucks in China (And Maybe Tim Hortons)

The Luckin vs. Starbucks fight is accelerating, both in terms of stores opened and hype. Luckin has IPO’d. And Tim Horton’s is jumping into the China coffee biz. What is going on? Why is there so much activity in the previously sleepy business of Chinese retail coffee? Recall, a similar thing happened in bike-sharing in […]

The 4 Superpowers Of China’s Digital Giants (Pt 2 of 3)

In Part 1 (here), I laid out how Alibaba has evolved in China. It was for a retail marketplace, but you can see a similar pattern in many of China’s digital giants. The next phase in this evolution is “new retail”, and it is changing this pattern in a big way (coming in Part 3). […]

Meituan vs. Alibaba vs. Didi vs. Ctrip: Why China’s Internet Giants Are Colliding In Local Services (Pt 3 of 4)

This is Part 3 on my visit to the Meituan-Dianping headquarters in Beijing. Part 1 was my main take-aways. Part 2 was what I think people are getting wrong about Meituan. “Local services” has been a hot topic this year. And we have seen big local services moves by many of China’s digital giants. Tencent-backed […]

“星巴克联手阿里巴巴”意味着瑞幸咖啡需要尽快与京东或腾讯合作

星巴克已经与阿里巴巴建立起一种“新零售”形式的战略伙伴关系。通过此种方式他们已经快速进入了数字中国和消费中国的前沿,为人称道,令人赞叹。然而,这对于瑞幸咖啡而言却真的是个坏消息。

Luckin Coffee Doesn’t Need to Beat Starbucks to Win Big in China (Video)

Some thoughts on Starbucks vs. Luckin Coffee in China. Plus stuff around Beijing and Shanghai. Although the outlet number (I said 650) has been increasing rapidly. Link is here. ——— I write and speak about digital China and Asia’s latest tech trends. Music by Tobu, Wholm and Blume! http://tobumusic.com http://www.youtube.com/tobuofficial http://www.facebook.com/tobuofficial http://www.soundcloud.com/7obu.