Starbucks has closed its outlet in Beijing's Forbidden City after seven years of controversy. The coffee shop had become a symbol for the intrusion of foreign culture in China's heritage, culminating in protests and government intervention. "It was a very congenial decision," a Starbucks official said. "We respect what they are doing."
Starbucks was offered, but elected not to accept, the opportunity to become part of a combined beverage outlet under the Forbidden City's brand. Still, the loss of the outlet is not expected to slow appreciably Starbucks' growth in China where the company already has 250 stores.