How Intime and Alibaba Are Pioneering a New Digital Lifestyle in China

I recently visited the Intime department store in Hangzhou. And it struck me that department stores and shopping malls may be the most compelling version of new retail – the frontier of an increasingly dynamic, digital lifestyle for Chinese consumers. From New Retail to a New Digital Lifestyle The online world is surprisingly rich and […]

How Alibaba Singles’ Day Is Changing E-Commerce Everywhere

It’s Singles’ Day 2019! Woooohooooo!!! I am doing a little dance here in my hotel in Hangzhou. I look ridiculous. Singles’ Day launched at midnight last night and I was at the media center in Hangzhou for the opening (see above photo). And I spent yesterday with the Alibaba team getting a bit of a […]

7 Questions for Alibaba on Singles’ Day (pt 2 of 2)

This is Part 2 of my questions for Alibaba on Singles’ Day 2019. I’m on my way to Hangzhou shortly and am gonna try and figure these out. Part 1 is located here. Question 5: What is the next wave of hard-to-replicate physical assets? Alibaba is a competitive fortress. This comes from multiple factors like […]

7 Questions for Alibaba on Singles’ Day (pt 1 of 2)

Singles’ Day 2019 is almost here. Gonna be awesome. I’m currently packing up to head to Hangzhou. This will be my third year with the Alibaba “global influencers” group, which is just a great time behind the scenes with management. And it’s a nice reminder that I am no longer the obscure professor / failed […]

How Tsingtao, CR Snow and the Other Beer SOEs Won Big in China (Pt 1 of 2)

The Chinese beer market looks similar to beer markets in the rest of the world – mostly regional markets mostly dominated by a few giant beer companies. But take a look at the below chart from 2013. You’ll note that China evolved with one big difference with the rest of the world: The dominating beer […]

How Tsingtao, CR Snow and the Other Beer SOEs Won Big in China (Pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1, I asked how Chinese State-owned beer companies won in a business with no real government interests. That’s an unusual outcome and I wanted to figure out how it happened. My explanation is that Chinese beer SOEs won mostly by being early to market and by being better at acquiring small, legacy State-owned […]

Hold On To Your Hat. Alibaba.com is Building a Massive New E-Commerce Platform (Pt 1 of 2)

At the CES conference in Las Vegas this year, it was the exhibit by Alibaba that really blew my mind. Yes, all the robots and drones were cool. But what Alibaba.com, their B2B business, is doing really sent my mind reeling. Unless I am mistaken, they are building what could be their biggest initiative yet. […]

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 […]