Starbucks in the Forbidden City: The End

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A variety of reports (including this from the Seattle Times , which presumably ought to know as Starbucks is headquartered there) bring the news that, after six years serving expensive, frothy coffee to tourists in the Forbidden City, the Starbucks branch will close. Having written about this a couple of times before here (including this reprinting an evidently inaccurate reassurance from the head of the Cultural Relics Bureau that they had no intention of closing the branch), I thought I ought to mark the end of this seriously overblown controversy. (Storm in a …..no, I won’t go there). I guess we’ll never know whether the authorities succumbed to the pressure raised originally by television broadcaster Rui Chenggang (my take) back in January. Interestingly, the Chinese managers of the Forbidden City dealing with all this neatly avoided looking as though they were booting out Charbucks by saying that they wanted to have a multi-beverage station. Starbucks of course won’t share space with others, so more or less booted itself out.

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