Data Sheet—How Chinese Competitors Slipped Past Starbucks and Amazon

The China operations of two iconic Seattle companies have been in the headlines lately. Amazon announced last week that it will close its floundering domestic e-commerce business in China, ending a fifteen-year struggle for market share. And on Monday, Luckin Coffee, the scrappy Beijing-based startup that is on the verge of overtaking Starbucks as China’s largest coffee chain, filed to list shares on the NASDAQ.

The common thread to both stories (other than their Seattle connection) is that they demonstrate that in the world’s largest consumer market even the most powerful Western firms face formidable competition from nimble homegrown upstarts.

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