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 […]

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 […]

Alibaba and Intersport: Why New Retail Is a Big Deal in Sports Apparel in China (Pt 3 of 3)

In Part 1 and Part 2, I gave some background on sports apparel in China and detailed my visit to the new Tmall – Intersport store in Beijing. It was pretty great. With lots of new digital initiatives like the magic mirrors. Note: the above picture is what happens when you change the gender setting […]

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 […]