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[Luckin Coffee: Juggernaut of the Red Dragon]
The coffee company trying to topple Starbucks in China is planning to storm other big markets.
Luckin Coffee will partner with Kuwait-based company The Americana Group to set up a coffee retail business in the Middle East and India.
Americana runs 1,900 franchises across the Middle East for several fast food brands, including KFC, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Krispy Kreme and even Starbucks’ UK rival Costa Coffee.
Luckin and Americana signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing on Monday and will run the new coffee business as a joint venture, the Chinese firm said.
This collaboration represents Luckin Coffee’s first step toward bringing its leading products from China to the world,” CEO Jenny Qian Zhiya said in a statement.
Luckin is fighting Starbucks in China by opening thousands of stores in the past two years and relying on technology for orders, deliveries and payments to give it an edge. It currently has around 3,000 stores across 40 Chinese cities, which it plans to increase to 4,500 by the end of this year.
That would make it China’s biggest coffee chain (Starbucks currently has a little under 3,800 stores in the country).
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