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Friday, January 04, 2019, 10:29
Coffee startup Luckin aims to beat Starbucks in China in 2019
By Xinhua
Friday, January 04, 2019, 10:29 By Xinhua

In this photo taken on Aug 2, 2018, a deliveryman carrying bags of coffee walks out a Luckin Coffee in Beijing. (WANG ZHAO / AFP)

The expansion plan underpins the company's new year ambition to surpass Starbucks to become China's largest coffee chain brand in terms of number of outlets and cups of coffee sold.

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has long dominated China's coffee landscape, with over 3,600 outlets in the country.

Luckin Coffee started trial operation in January last year, selling coffee at brick-and-mortar stores while also delivering online orders.

It posted a meteoric expansion thanks to its discounts and convenient services, opening 2,073 chain stores in 22 cities across the country by the end of 2018, with nearly 90 million cups of coffee sold.

ALSO READ: Luckin Coffee raises US$200m to better tap market

The start-up has completed its Series B round of financing worth 200 million US dollars late last year, lifting its valuation to about 2.2 billion US dollars.

Qian is upbeat on the growth prospects of China's coffee market, citing figures that people in neighbouring Asian countries like Japan and South Korea drank about 200 cups of coffee on average in 2017, while for China it was a paltry four cups.

The company will continue to offer subsidies to expand its market share and nurture a coffee-drinking culture in China, once a major consumer of tea, Qian said.

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