From Didi to Mobike to Luckin: How Money and Hype Are Distorting Digital China

Digital China has arrived. It has unicorns, huge market opportunities and a pervasive cultural impact. Everything is now at world-class scale. Unfortunately, the distorting impact of hot money and hype has also scaled up. And this appears to be increasing. Ride-sharing was the first big escalation in venture-type behavior. In 2015-16, in both China and […]

How Alibaba.com Is Turning SMEs into Multinationals (Pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1, I argued that Alibaba.com is attempting to both digitize and democratize global trade – and to dramatically expand it from large companies to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). That’s a pretty big idea. And in Part 1, I laid out a bit of the theory behind this. But let me get back […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]