World’s biggest Starbucks opened in Shanghai, Jack Ma: I don’t like coffee, but I like Starbucks

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The world’s largest Starbucks just opened up on Nanjing Road, Shanghai, the largest and most developed city in China. This location is said to be “digital” and “interactive”, with the help from Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group.

The Roastery includes Starbucks’ first-ever in-store augmented reality (AR) experience (read more), built in partnership with Alibaba. Using a custom Roastery smartphone app, customers can walk around the store and point at different features with their smartphone to learn more information. The app incorporates a digital menu and also lets customers unlock virtual badges.

Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma also spoke a chain of compliments about Starbucks chain in the presence of Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, highlighting how a coffee chain like Starbucks can succeed in a place with no coffee culture.

Speaking in English, Mr Ma said “people always ask me one question: Why so many American companies are not so successful in China?

“They (Starbucks) care for the people, respect people, respect market, great team and adaptations

“You guys are transferring China, a country drinking tea, you make so many people love coffee.

“I don’t like coffee, but I like Starbucks,” he said, making attendees burst out laughing.

“Interesting, Alibaba this year is also (celebrating) 18th anniversary. We’re both eighteens.

“Starbucks is a great company. It’s the company we Alibaba respect a lot.

“Today is not the celebration of this rostery. It’s a celebration of coffee and tea can work together in China,” Mr Ma said passionately.

A press release describes the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai as the company’s “most ambitious project ever” and as offering the “first fully immersive coffee experience in Asia.”

The two-storey roastery takes up a whopping 30,000 square feet of space, making it about 15 times the size of your average Starbucks outlet and twice as big as the company’s first roastery, opened in Seattle in 2014.

China is Starbucks’ fastest-growing market, according to the company, noting it currently has 3,000 stores in 136 cities—600 in Shanghai alone. The new Shanghai Roastery officially opens on Dec. 6.

 

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13 comments

  1. If FB & Google were allowed in PRC, Sina, Tencent, Wechat wld have been wiped out long ago.
    American co cannot make it in PRC becoz CCP govt impose trade barriers & reqd tech transfer; eg. their High Speed Rail is essentially a stolen copy of Shinkansen.

  2. Billy Tsy says:

    China first steal job from Americans. Next they steal knowledge and technologies. Then they further develope and brand what they acquired. And after they just protect themselves from outsiders. Not just America.

  3. I think he meant TRANSFORMING China and not TRANSFERRING China.

    Starbucks sells coffee and they sell a lifestyle too. Chinese from developing China wants a lifestyle plus they love everything imported. So its a good combination.

  4. Edwin Kwan says:

    Another stupid article ! What Chinese consumer companies are successful globally ? I am not against China. But the article written really lack depth. If you want to popularise Jack Ma, okay. But put another article to examine why Wa Ha Ha cannot beat Coke, why Geely cannot beat Nissan, why Chinese dumpling shop cannot go global like burger. Need more lateral and synthesis thinking.

  5. Jasen Lee says:

    He is a very very stupid but lucky guy that’s all.
    Many people look up upon him and others because they succeeded.
    His answers or things he does are pure stupidity.
    His company started 10 over to nearly 20 years.
    He started by asking companies to be Alibaba Member for a fee of US$200 per annum.
    How many companies or people were using Alibaba to cheat.
    They have no commitment between sellers and buyers.
    A few of my friends got cheated using Alibaba.
    When something is “hot”, everyone goes for it.
    Can an imitation goods be better than the original? Quote and Unquote.

  6. The whole news is not abt coffee. Jack said is as branding players are more important in today China change of culture.

    Indirectly telling Chinese able to adaptation. Mix Chinese Tea and Coffee adapter. Not the other way round in the west. They don’t appreciate Chinese Tea.
    Culture different lah.
    Hum hahaha ohm

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