Starbucks sees a silver lining in the cloud in China
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hey say that he is the most traveled US CEO to China. Chief Executive Howard Schultz, on a visit to China this week, announced the Seattle-based coffee giant’s plan to open 500 new stores in the country every year for the next five years, more than doubling the current count of about 2,000 Starbucks outlets across 100 Chinese cities.
Starbucks offers a nice place to relax between Home and Work and the young and upcoming (YUPPY) Chinese Middle Class is just lapping (sipping?!) it up. In these days of 24×7 connectivity, it does not hurt that Starbucks offers Free Wi-Fi in most of their stores. It also accepts Starbucks card in most of the stores around the world, which helps the international traveler to not having to dive for local currency.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the analysts at Euromonitor forecast Chinese coffee consumption rising 18 percent annually until 2019 — far outpacing anticipated U.S. growth of just less than 1 percent.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]ut before we get too ahead of ourselves and declare that China has found its bottom, there is sobering news that China is looking into the head of the country’s statistics agency over what it called “serious violations” over computing China’s Economic data. For many China watchers, this is an open secret because there is no independent way to confirm the numbers China’s Government puts out.
It is unclear whether the investigation into the agency’s head, Wang Baoan, who became the director of the National Bureau of Statistics of China last April, is related to his current role or to his previous one as vice minister of finance. The commission did not release any further details about the inquiry. Maybe finally China has decided to come clean and start putting the real numbers out there.
And that is a good thing for the world.
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