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Luckin Coffee zooms past Starbucks in China store count

New openings reflect homegrown chain's shift in focus to remote areas

NEW YORK -- Nasdaq-listed Luckin Coffee entered 2020 with a new title: the largest coffee chain in China by number of outlets, surpassing Starbucks.

The Xiamen-headquartered startup had 4,500 domestic locations opening by the end of 2019, outstripping the American competitor's 4,300, according to Thinknum Alternative Data. The surge owes to a growth-first model, with heavy spending on marketing and promotions backed by investors including BlackRock.

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