Why the #1 Business Solution to Coronavirus in China Is Live Streaming, Especially Taobao Live (Pt 1 of 2)

Three big things are happening in digital China right now. The coronavirus is radically altering the behavior of hundreds of millions of consumers (and businesses), resulting in what is being called the quarantine economy. Everyone is trying to move from in-person to digital interactions. This shift to digital interactions is supercharging and rapidly evolving China’s […]

How WeChat, TikTok and Chinese Consumers Are Disrupting and Personalizing Luxury

In my online Asia Tech Class, I talk a lot about digital superpowers, which are digital tools that upend established business. And one of these superpowers a dramatically improved user experience, such that the traditional offering is now unacceptable to users. And this sort of dramatically improved user experience is what is happening in luxury […]

Situations Where JD’s E-Space Is a Game Changer for Consumers and Brands (2 of 2)

In Part 1, I detailed my visit to JD’s new E-Space store in Chongqing. And I ended by posing the following question: Can “experiential” retail dramatically improve the user experience such that traditionally run department stores are at a competitive disadvantage? And my answer to that is yes in basically 6 situations and product types. […]

4 Take-Aways from My Visit to JD’s New E-Space (1 of 2)

I’m on a flight home from a visit to JD’s new E-Space in Chongqing. It was quite cool and I’ve been mulling over its implications – for new retail, for ecommerce and for online-merge-offline in China. Here is my current thinking. But first…consider joining my executive education course Jeff’s Asia Tech Class for deeper insights […]

6 Questions About JD’s New E-Space (Pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1, I laid out why I think JD’s e-space is a pretty bold move – and opens a new frontier in OMO retail. My argument was that as you move from retail about buying products in the supermarket to visiting shopping malls and department malls, you start to really merge products, services and […]

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 […]

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 […]