This coffee company thinks it can beat Starbucks in China

Hong Kong (CNN Business)After barely a year in business, Luckin Coffee is challenging Starbucks in one of the US coffee giant’s top markets. While both serve coffee, the similarities largely end there. Unlike Starbucks’ trademark coffee shops, most of Luckin’s outlets are tiny booths in out of the way spots…

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Tencent-backed homework app jumps to $3B valuation after raising $300M

Academic exams are a big deal in China, as they determine the kind of universities, high schools and elementary schools that students get into and, to some degree, the future that awaits them. Parents are thus willing to invest generously to help their children get ahead in school. One startup…

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How America’s ‘most reckless’ billionaire created the fracking boom

The long read: The wild tale of Americas energy revolution, and the cowboy who made and lost billions on shale Between 2006 and 2015, the energy world was turned upside-down by an epic development in the oil industry few had foreseen. From the low point, in 2006, when it imported…

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Dessert Wine Is the New Scotch

Banking on the upswell of interest in digestifs such as amaro and sherry, a growing number of sommeliers in the U.S.—both in fine-dining and more casual restaurants—are hoping to tap into today’s taste for after-dinner drinks with dessert wines.  Looking beyond port, Madeira, and Sauternes, forward-thinking sommeliers are presenting a wider…

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How Ikea Caters to Local Tastes Around the World

Ikea’s blue-and-yellow stores are instantly recognizable: iconic, monolithic and now, as India's first store throws open its doors to the masses, operating in more than 400 stores in some 50 countries. But while every branch of the world's largest furniture retailer has that most unmistakable whiff of flat-pack conformity, regional differences…

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Disney Looks Past Canceled Films Toward Brighter Future With Fox

Source: Company reports Disney is in the process of acquiring Fox’s entertainment assets in a $71 billion deal — seeking movie and TV properties that it can turn into megahits like its Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar films. The company has launched the ESPN streaming service and plans a second,…

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Observe.AI raises $8M to use artificial intelligence to improve call centers

Being stuck on the phone with call centers is painful. We all know this. Observe.AI is one company that wants to make the experience more bearable, and it’s raised $8 million to develop an artificial intelligence system that it believes will do just that. The funding round was led by Nexus Venture Partners,…

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Trump, Juncker Tout Deal Pulling Back From U.S.-EU Trade War

President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to suspend new tariffs while negotiating over trade, pulling the U.S. and Europe back from the edge of a transatlantic trade war. The leaders pledged to expand European imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas and soybeans and both vowed to…

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Putins Soccer Ball for Trump Had Transmitter Chip, Logo Indicates

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s gift of a soccer ball to U.S. President tweeted, “I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.” It turns out they weren’t entirely wrong. Markings on the ball indicate that it contained a chip with a tiny antenna…

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