The Rise of Alibaba and China’s Super-Platforms in 7 Slides (Pt 1 of 3)

Alibaba is confusing. The company just keeps getting bigger and more complicated. There is really nothing like it in other countries. For example, most e-commerce sites don’t own movie studios and soccer clubs. And now we are seeing the emergence of new retail, which is a dramatic change in Alibaba (and other Chinese e-commerce platforms). […]

Jeffrey Towson – Behind The Scenes at Alibaba Singles’ Day 2018 (part 1) – Video

I was part of the “global influencers” group that was behind the scenes at Alibaba Singles’ Day 2018. It was pretty great. And I got to learn a ton about some of their latest initiatives. I vlogged the day. Here is part 1 (of 2). Part 2 is here. Video on Youtube here. And on […]

Taco Bell China Is Great – Better Than In The West. But That May Not Be Enough.

So Taco Bell has officially returned in China, re-opening in Shanghai approximately nine years after they closed their last China branch in 2008. Their outlet in Liujiazui is humming along. And as a long time Taco Bell fanboy, I went for a visit. My assessment is the following. Point 1: It’s really great – better […]

The Awesome Story of David Stern and the NBA in China (Pt 1 of 3)

The following is an excerpt from our book, the One Hour China Consumer Book. It is our best explanation for how the NBA has been so hugely successful in China. “This story begins in 1978-9 with two events. First, Abe Pollin, owner of the then champion Washington Bullets, received an invitation from Deng Xiaoping to […]



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 the Chinese consumers and digital China. Music by Tobu, Wholm and Blume!

My Recommended China Reading – August 2018

Greetings from Peking University. I am hiding out in Thailand for a week, one of my standard writing spots. Any suggestions for fun places to visit would be appreciated. It’s been a pretty great summer for digital China. Pinduoduo has launched upwards, catching the world’s attention. Meituan and Xiaomi are going public (so lots of […]

“Starbucks Plus Alibaba” Means Luckin Coffee Needs to Partner With JD or Tencent ASAP.

So Starbucks has launched a “new retail” strategic partnership with Alibaba. And in doing so they are leapfrogging to the front of digital and consumer China. Kudos. That’s impressive. And it’s pretty bad news for Luckin Coffee. The Alibaba-Starbucks deal, as announced, has three components: 1) A tie-in with for delivery. The statement from […]