Belinda Wong oversees Starbucks business in the Chinese mainland, focused on driving performance through the lens of humanity by executing its purpose driven China growth agenda. Beyond reimagining the third-place (store) experience and pioneering transformational digital innovations, she is responsible for leveraging Starbucks scale for good to enable thriving communities, as well as sharing Starbucks passion for coffee by helping to cultivate coffee culture and building a leading specialty coffee industry in China. Belinda is a member of Starbucks global executive leadership team, contributing more than 20 years of rich field knowledge and leadership in China and the Asia Pacific region to the company’s global decision making.
Since 2011, Belinda and her leadership team have led Starbucks China to achieve unprecedented growth and transformation, earning the reputation as one of the most successful multinational brands in the market. From fewer than 500 stores, China grew to become one of two lead markets for Starbucks and a vital engine fueling its global business growth and performance. Today, over 60,000 passionate partners (employees) wear the green apron proudly across more than 6,000 stores in over 230 Chinese cities. The company will open a new store every nine hours to reach 9,000 stores in 300 cities by 2025, creating over 10,000 new jobs a year.
Starbucks has been at the forefront of retail innovation in China. It redefined the retail and coffee experience with the opening of the first international Starbucks Reserve® Roastery in Shanghai in 2017, and is evolving the Starbucks Experience beyond the four walls of its stores through an omni-channel approach that has fueled mobile ordering to make up almost half of company sales just four years after launch. Customer engagement has been elevated with the creation of Starbucks Rewards, one of the most successful loyalty programs in Starbucks history, with membership growing exponentially in recent years to nearly 100 million, including close to 20 million 90-day active members. The company is also investing US$220 million from 2023-2025 in a China Digital and Technology Innovation Center to further accelerate digital transformation.
Under Belinda’s leadership, Starbucks scaled its culture and values by pioneering People Positive innovations that have resonated deeply with partners and their families, as well as local communities. Belinda has cultivated an inclusive and tightly-knitted Starbucks China ‘family’ culture through groundbreaking programs such as partner family forums, and the provision of critical illness insurance not just for partners, but also their parents. She also drove the establishment of the Beijing Starbucks Foundation in China in 2020, deepening Starbucks commitment to uplift local communities.
In addition, Belinda has advanced Starbucks Planet Positive agenda in China across the coffee ecosystem. Since 2012, Starbucks has been operating a Farmer Support Center in Yunnan that offers free agronomy expertise and resources to help coffee farmers adopt more sustainable practices while improving crop yield. In 2019, Starbucks announced a US$156 million investment in the Starbucks China Coffee Innovation Park, its largest manufacturing investment outside the U.S., which will set a new benchmark for sustainable manufacturing and smart supply chain innovation when operational in 2023. The company also plans to operate 2,500 Greener Stores in the Chinese mainland by 2025.
Belinda serves on the Faculty Advisory Board for her alma mater University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, and is an INED for Hysan Development Company (0014.HK), Television Broadcasts Limited (00511.HK) and Canada Goose Holdings Inc (GOOS.TO). In 2020, she was among only 10 recipients to be presented the “Magnolia Gold Award” by the Shanghai Municipal Government, in recognition of her continued outstanding contributions towards Shanghai’s economic and social development. Belinda also appears regularly on lists of most powerful businesswomen by Forbes and Fortune, both in China and internationally.