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Luckin Coffee hatches Luckin Tea, for China's smaller cities

Cash-burning company to cut costs via partner model in new franchise

NEW YORK -- Nasdaq-listed Luckin Coffee is giving its teas their own branded stores, with a focus on smaller Chinese cities, as the rapidly expanding chain seeks new avenues of growth.

The company, which introduced its Luckin Tea drinks in April, will initially open independently branded stores under that name in such leisure settings as shopping malls in second- through fourth-tier cities. The Starbucks rival's coffee shops will continue their strategic focus on office locations in big cities.

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