McDonalds said on Monday it is selling over $5bn worth of items in China, including toys and coffee, to help it attract new customers in a market dominated by the likes of Amazon.
The move follows reports that the chain is looking to expand into the country.
McDonalds is expected to open a new outlet in the city of Tianjin, in the southern province of Guangdong, as part of a plan to expand its presence in the world’s second-largest economy.
Tianjin has been plagued by a string of recent cases of coronavirus, with the number of deaths nearly doubling to more than 5,000 in just a few weeks.
As China has become more populous and prosperous, its population has swelled to a total of nearly 3.2 billion people, a rise of almost two-thirds since the early 1990s.
“The growth in China is driven by a combination of economic growth and a desire for convenience, convenience and convenience,” McDonalds chairman and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.
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“It is the first time we’ve ever announced a franchise-wide move in China and we will do so as a matter of policy,” McDonald’s said.
It has already expanded into the United States, and plans to launch in Europe and the Middle East later this year.
However, the move is seen as a departure from the company’s previous policy of focusing on local sales.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman told the BBC that while it has always done well in China in the past, the company had not previously done so in a way that was focused on China and was “not aligned with the corporate culture in China”.
“In our decision to launch new markets, McDonalds took into account the need to offer more value to our global customers in the local markets we have opened in China,” the spokeswoman added. Reuters