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In China, Starbucks tries to avoid a price war, but is drawn into discounting

As Starbucks faces stiff competition for its brews in China from fast-growing, low-cost rivals that have captured its market share, the coffee chain is increasingly drawn into a price war it says it wants to avoid.

The stakes are high for Starbucks, which has come under increasing pressure from investors lately due to weaker sales in its two largest markets – the United States and China.

While the Seattle-based company has been making inroads in the world’s second-largest economy, where its rival Luckin Coffee took it to the top spot in annual revenue for the first time in 2023, management is confident it won’t be in a race to the bottom of the prices.

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