Friday, November 25, 2011

Is there really a Starbucks in Tiananmen Square in China?

There was a Starbucks in the Forbidden City, which is very close to Tiananmen Square, but it closed in 2007. The Forbidden City decided that it wants to operate all stores inside the former imperial palace.  The chain opened its Forbidden City store in 2000 at the invitation of managers at the Forbidden City. However Chinese TV personality Rui Chenggang began a crusade against the store, saying:

 “The Forbidden City is a symbol of China's cultural heritage. Starbucks is a symbol of lower middle class culture in the west. We need to embrace the world, but we also need to preserve our cultural identity. There is a fine line between globalization and contamination... but please don't interpret this as an act of nationalism. It is just about we Chinese people respecting ourselves. I actually like drinking Starbucks coffee. I am just against having one in the Forbidden City." 

According to local media, half a million people signed his online petition

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