Starbucks shuttered its store in Beijing’s Forbidden City yesterday, ending months of controversy over the American chain’s presence at the former imperial palace. The 600-year-old complex, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, is now a museum where the caffeine titan opened its doors in 2000, the Seattle Times reports.
A Chinese TV personality had waged a campaign against the Forbidden City Starbucks, arguing that the store trampled on Chinese culture. Apparently unwilling to imperil its chances of expanding in a potentially huge market, Starbucks, which currently has 250 locations in China, bowed out without a fuss. A company exec tells the AP the move was a "very congenial decision."