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In Spite of Trade War Tensions, U.S. Restaurant Chains Plot Development in China

McDonald’s and Popeyes are among the brands looking to tap into China’s growing foodservice economy.

According to CNBC, trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continue to intensify as President Trump proposed approximately $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports and exports. Although the trade war has caused Chinese economic growth to dip to its lowest rate in 27 years, American restaurant giants are still eyeing Chinese markets as areas for future development. Among these brands are McDonald’s, Starbucks and Popeyes. 

By the end of 2019, McDonald’s has plans to open over 400 stores in China. McDonald’s CO Steve Easterbrook is optimistic about the brand’s presence in China. “The emerging middle class, the greater affordability of the mass population there is heading towards Western [quick-service restaurant] type of average checks and affordability,” said Easterbrook. Restaurant Group International—owner of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen—also recently struck a franchising deal to open over 1,500 stores over the next 10 years. Global coffee chain Starbucks is aiming to open 6,000 stores in China by 2022. 

Whether these restaurants will be heavily impacted by the trade war has yet to be seen. Read the full story here.