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CHINA BRIEF| Starbucks teams up with Sequoia Capital China to co-invest in beverage startups

Amid competition from Luckin, Starbucks hopes to digitalize its services in the country.

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Starbucks China and Sequoia Capital China have formed a strategic cooperation to co-invest in emerging startups in the beverage and dining sector, as well as the retail technology sector, according to a post on Sequoia Capital China’s official WeChat account on Monday.

Starbucks hopes to leverage this partnership to team up with creative entrepreneurs in China to push innovation in China’s retail sector and speed up its own digitalization in the country, according to Wang Jingying, chairman and CEO of Starbucks China, which now operates more than 4,200 bricks-and-mortar coffee shops in the country.

To fend off competition from Luckin Coffee, the US coffee chain operator launched mobile ordering and pick-up options in its Chinese app in May 2019Starbucks China has also partnered with Ele.me, Alibaba’s food delivery unit, to buoy online sales since the second half of 2018.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.