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Compounding Curiosity

Oct 14, 2021

My guest today is Michael Norris (@briefnorris). Michael is a China-based analyst and is currently AgencyChina's Research & Strategy Manager. Michael provides primary research and consulting services to nutrition, petcare, skincare, and luxury brands who want to grow in China. He’s previously partnered with Nestle, Constellation Brands, Johnson & Johnson, Richemont, and LEGO to deliver breakthrough insight and winning strategies. Outside of his consumer research work, Michael has written in-depth analyses, warnings and predictions about fast-growing Chinese companies. This includes a (now infamous) three-part series on Luckin Coffee's shonky corporate governance - a full year before the company admitted to sales fraud.


In this conversation, we cover the China Tech scene and the future of their platforms, Chinese consumers, and his life in China.


I hope you enjoy my conversation with Michael Norris.


For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page on 




Show Notes:

[00:00:31] - [First question] - Intro and how Michael ended up in China

[00:01:59] - Why Michael chose to study Chinese

[00:03:32] - Life as an Aussie in China

[00:04:46] - What’s Michael’s role look like day-to-day

[00:05:50] - What does his fieldwork involve?

[00:08:06] - Favourite stories in the field?

[00:09:24] - How much has the concept of Tier Cities changed?

[00:13:39] - Misconceptions or misunderstandings around Chinese consumers?

[00:18:48] - China Tech Scene, where are we at now

[00:21:34] - Tech Scene Themes

[00:23:00] - What companies are best positioned currently?

[00:27:39] - Follow on effects of Alibaba and Tencent opening up their platforms?

[00:30:05] - Tencent

[00:33:28] - Misconceptions or misunderstandings in the China Tech scene

[00:41:55] - Michael’s future plans?

[00:45:34] - Advice for those just starting out in sharing content

[00:50:45] - Most undervalued life experience?

[00:52:52] - What experience shaped Michael’s worldview?




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AgencyChina’s Website: 




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