McDonald's Corp is counting on China legalizing franchise outlets next year, hoping the business strategy that made it the world's largest hamburger chain will help it dominate the country's US$48 billion fast-food market. \n"Franchising will be a big part of who we will be in China," chief executive James Cantalupo said in an interview. "The Chinese are great entrepreneurs, and so they will make great franchisees." \nAbout three out of four of McDonald's 30,000 outlets worldwide are franchised. The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company opened 130 of its 560 Chinese outlets last year, and expects to add "about 100" more this year, Cantalupo said. He declined to say how many franchises the company plans next year. \nOffering franchises may help McDonald's catch up in China with Yum! Brands Inc's KFC and Pizza Hut. Yum spent 1.3 billion yuan (US$157 million) opening 850 KFC fried-chicken outlets in China since it entered the country in 1987, the company said in a statement last week. McDonald's was the second foreign fast-food chain to enter China, after Yum. \nYum has restaurants in more than 200 cities in China and in all of the country's 32 provinces except Tibet, while McDonald's has outlets in 19. \nThe Chinese government is likely to allow franchisees to start operating in the country "early next year," said Peter Tan, head of McDonald's operations in China. McDonald's helped the government draft the franchise rules, he said. \n"The franchising system lends itself extremely well to the development of the more remote areas in China" because they would allow management to have better relations with local authorities, Tan said. \nExcept for a pilot franchise, located in Tianjin, about 100km southeast of Beijing, all McDonald's outlets in China are wholly owned or jointly owned with Shanghai-based Hualian Group Co or Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co. McDonald's owns outlets jointly with Hualian in markets in and around Guangzhou, in southern China, and in Shanghai. It owns outlets in Beijing with Sanyuan. \nMcDonald's plans to focus more on markets along China's east coast, where incomes are higher, as it opens more outlets, Tan said. The company also plans to expand in western China, in places such as Sichuan Province and Chongqing municipality, and is aiming to open its first outlet in Inner Mongolia Province, which borders Mongolia and Russia, "soon," he said. \nChina, the world's most populous nation, has a patchy record with Western fast-food, in a fast-food industry estimated by AC Nielsen Co to be worth 400 billion yuan (US$48 billion) in annual sales. \nAllied Domecq Plc closed all seven of its Dunkin Donut outlets in Beijing in March 2000, because it found that Chinese consumers did not develop a taste for the sweet American pastry. \nStarbucks Corp is thriving in China, opening 38 stores in the country in two years. The coffee chain even owns an outlet in the Beijing Forbidden City, the former imperial palace of Chinese emperors. \nYum's KFC outlets now offer menus that include chicken rolls in the style of Beijing's famous roast duck, and rice porridge, to cater to the Chinese palate. \nMcDonald's has followed the move. Its outlets now sell spicy chicken wings to cater for consumers who like spicy food from the southwestern Sichuan province.
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
HELPING HAND: Vaccine eligibility can likely be widened to cover pregnant women now that the nation has more vaccine doses than it planned for, Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan yesterday received a shipment of 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the US, obtaining its largest single batch of vaccines since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. A cargo plane of Taiwanese national carrier China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) carrying the Moderna Inc vaccines landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 4:30pm, after leaving Memphis, Tennessee, early on Saturday, US time. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen were at the airport to welcome the plane. The vaccines were transported to a cold chain logistics center, where they would be inspected
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early
VULNERABLE: The CECC has been moving older infected people or those with underlying health conditions, who were in isolation, to hospitals for better health monitoring The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 75 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, the lowest daily count since the nationwide level 3 alert was issued last month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the 75 local infections are 35 males and 40 females, aged from under five to over 80, and they began experiencing symptoms between June 8 and Sunday. New Taipei City reported 38 cases, followed by Taipei with 22, Taoyuan with five, Miaoli County with three, Keelung and Taichung with two each, and Kaohsiung, Yunlin County and Changhua County with one each, CECC