Why Didn’t China Attend the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway Meeting? (Pt 1 of 3)

The 2019 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha was awesome. As always. But there was a very conspicuous absence of visitors from China this year. The decrease from last year was unmistakable. So what happened? In 2018, the Berkshire event was likely the most popular “China event” in the USA.. It was crazy. Of the […]

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 […]

How Intersport and Alibaba Are Digitizing Sports Apparel Retail in China (Pt 2 of 3)

There are a couple perks to having a decent-sized following as a writer (currently closing in on 3M followers). You get to fly around the world a bit to give talks, which I love. People tend to send swag and books. Always fun. And every now and then, a company reaches out with an invitation […]

What’s Next in New Retail: My Visit to the Tmall – Intersport Store in China (Pt 1 of 3)

Will China’s “new retail” change sports apparel? It turns out it’s a really interesting question. Sports apparel retail is people buying running shoes, Nike gear, yoga pants, sweatshirts and so on. At first glance it looks like pretty standard retail. Lots of stores, inventory management and marketing. So lots of opportunities for digitizing operations. But […]

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 is rapidly positioning for an IPO. 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 […]

Jeffrey Towson – The Race for Assets in New Retail

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 […]

Facebook Copying WeChat Could Result in Stunning Growth (pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1, I argued that Mark Zuckerberg’s memo on “privacy-focused messaging and social networking” is actually an aggressive and potentially stunning growth path for the company. I called it the ultimate gangster move. Their move to consolidate their messaging services creates a big global tool. And it looks a lot like the foundation of […]

Facebook Copying WeChat is the Ultimate Gangster Move (pt 1 of 2)

Mark Zuckerberg’s memo on “privacy-focused messaging and social networking” has some really big implications. It is focused on private messaging and the WeChat-type operating system. To me, it looks like the first move in a strategy to turn Facebook into a much larger and more powerful company. That such a big power play is dressed […]