China Puts Lid on Macchiatos, Controversy

Beijing—respectfully—forbids Starbucks in Forbidden City
By News Dude,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2007 11:50 AM CDT
China Puts Lid on Macchiatos, Controversy
A tourist walks past the windows to an outlet of Starbucks at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, in this Jan. 18, 2007 file photo. China's imperial palace has closed its Starbucks outlet following protests led by a state TV personality against the coffeehouse's presence at the major Chinese cultural...   (Associated Press)

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. (More Starbucks stories.)

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