Sino-File

Coffee on the go
Coffee on the go
Oct 5, 2018 (WiC 427)
“I think we’ll overtake them [Starbucks] in store numbers”

Luckin Coffee co-founder Guo Jinyi tells the Financial Times that the app-focused coffee chain will have 2,000 stores by year-end (Starbucks has 3,300) and that it is still in the stage of “fast development” where “we are not thinking about profits much”. For our first article on Luckin see WiC406.

Going cold on trade ties
Going cold on trade ties
Sep 28, 2018 (WiC 426)
“This latest tariff round represents something much more dangerous and lasting – the beginning of something more like a cold war than a trade war”

Financial Times’ columnist Rana Foroohar says the row centres on American concerns that China’s tech prowess makes it “a long-term strategic rival, and that as a result, US trade policy and national security policy should no longer be separated”.

Badgering the competition
Badgering the competition
Sep 21, 2018 (WiC 425)
“A chip is small like the honey badger and we hope that such a small thing will produce great power”

Jeff Zhang, Alibaba’s chief technology officer, discusses the animal that the internet conglomerate’s new semiconductor subsidiary is named after. The honey badger, known as Pingtou Ge in China, is a small, fearless animal that is native to Africa, Southwest Asia and the Indian subcontinent, and can kill cobras, says the South China Morning Post. We first reported on Alibaba’s push into AI chips in May (see WiC407) via its acquisition of C-SKY Microsystems.

Taipei reveals tariff tactics
Taipei reveals tariff tactics
Sep 14, 2018 (WiC 424)
“If companies decide to come back to Taiwan to produce more products, we know we need to help them”

John Deng, Taiwanese trade negotiator and minister without portfolio, tells the Financial Times that plans are being drawn up to encourage Taiwanese companies with factories on the mainland to return to the island. Tax breaks and a relaxation of land regulations will be among the incentives. The move follows Apple’s warning of price rises due to US tariffs on its mainland China-made hardware.