Chinese start-up Luckin Coffee said Wednesday that it had opened new stores in 14 more Chinese cities, as it sets to compete with coffee giant Starbucks in the Chinese market.
The new expansion into cities like Hefei, Foshan, Shenyang and Kunming brings the total number of cities with Luckin outlets to 36, according to a company statement.
The company will further expand in several other cities by the end of the month, it said.
In January, the startup announced plans to open 2,500 new stores in 2019, with total stores topping 4,500 by the end of this year.
The expansion plan underpins the company's new year ambition to surpass Starbucks to become China's largest coffee chain brand in terms of the number of outlets and cups of coffee sold.
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has long dominated China's coffee landscape, with over 3,600 outlets in the country.
Luckin Coffee, based in east China's Xiamen, started trial operation in January last year, selling coffee at brick-and-mortar stores while also delivering online orders.
It posted a meteoric expansion thanks to its discounts and convenient services, opening 2,073 chain stores in 22 cities across the country by the end of 2018, with nearly 90 million cups of coffee sold.
The start-up completed its Series B round of financing worth 200 million U.S. dollars late last year, lifting its valuation to about 2.2 billion U.S. dollars.