Localisation vs Adaptation


Here, I am nursing a 46RMB = US$7 latte at Starbucks Reserve in Shanghai. I’ve been visiting China since 1985, and seen its changes over the years.

At the Reserve, an entire 2nd floor is devoted to tea. Afterall China is the birthplace of tea.


Starbucks which is 100% wholly owned by the American company in Shanghai, is packed everyday. Our Chinese friend drinks a Starbucks cappuccino everyday, a grande cost 32RMB.

The Reserve is AI enabled, and with an app powered by Alibaba, you can follow the origin and roasting process of coffee beans.

Today, to succeed in luxury China, programming and experiential economy coupled with instagrammable moments is necessary to succeed in China. Millennials collect photographs as mementos.

A look around the space, customers are mainly locals and Asian tourists. Perhaps it being Christmas and western expats are home for the season, the place hums along nicely. China is increasingly relying on its local tourists to make up consumption.

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