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By Shen Xinyue and Tang Ziyi / Jul 22, 2019 06:59 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Upstart Chinese coffee brand Luckin said Monday that it plans to launch a joint venture with Kuwait-based food company Americana Group.

The move aims to expand Luckin’s retail business to the Greater Middle East and India, according to the company’s statement. Luckin did not offer further details about the venture.

Touted as a domestic challenger to market leader Starbucks, Beijing-based Luckin has been rapidly expanding its model of minimalist stores and heavily discounted beverages. Since its establishment in 2017, it has opened over 3,000 cafes in China and plans to roll out another 1,500 by the end of this year, the company said in the statement.

That number would top Starbucks, which has said it aims to have 4,200 locations in China by then.

Americana Group mainly engages in food manufacturing and distribution, according to its website. It currently operates 1,900 restaurants in 13 countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com)

Related: Three Things to Know About China’s Starbucks Challenger

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