HeyTea Becomes a Tech Co? Demand for Luckin vs. Mobike (Daily Update – Jeff’s Asia Tech Class)

A couple of topics for today. About how all business begins and ends with the customer. HeyTea and Why You Have to Thrill Your Customers. There was an interesting article last week about retail tea company HeyTea – and their rumored funding round at a price of 16B RMB ($280M). HeyTea is a popular and […]

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Jeff’s Asia Tech Class: Daily Update 10.30.19

This is one of the daily updates for my Asia Tech class. It builds off podcast / lecture 2 about what Starbucks China should have done about Luckin Coffee (located here). Two main points for today: Luckin Coffee traded defensibility for scalability Are WeWork and Luckin blitzscaling? Or are they just in money wars? 1. […]

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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 […]

Jeffrey Towson – The Race for Assets in New Retail (Video)

From one of my standard talks in 2018 (since retired). This is about bike-sharing, mobility and super-apps. See below. Youtube link is here. Other parts of talk are below: Part 1: What is the Engine of Chinese Bike-Sharing? Part 2: Give Consumers Exactly What They Want Part 3: In Digital China, Re-Imagine Operations ASAP Part […]

New Retail Is a Competitive Fortress – and 4 Other Take-Aways from Alibaba Singles’ Day 2018

I had an awesome 2 days behind the scenes with Alibaba at Singles’ Day 2018. I got to attend the gala, visit companies and talk with management – all in the midst of the world’s biggest spending frenzy. Plus I got to meet some other “global influencers”, most of whom I had been reading for […]