McDonald’s China in massive expansion plan

McDonald’s China is set to be supersized as the US fast food giant pursues growth offshore.

The company’s Chicago-based CEO Steve Easterbrook has revealed more than 1500 new stores will be opened across China, Hong Kong and Korea over the next five years. About 1300 of those will be in Mainland China.

McDonald’s already operates some 2200 restaurants – its new target is 3500.

In a clear strategic shift the company says it is seeking “strategic partners who will add value and unlock growth potential in key markets” in Asia.

“This will allow McDonald’s to accelerate our growth and scale faster across diverse markets placing us closer to our customers and the communities we serve,” Easterbrook said in a statement.

“We’re in the midst of transforming our business and taking a strategic and thoughtful approach to enhance our ability to grow around the world. These actions build on our turnaround efforts and will advance local ownership, enable faster decision-making and achieve restaurant growth.”

Once the target is reached, China will become McDonald’s second largest global market after the US.

It is not clear how many new stores will open in Hong Kong, where the company already has 230 outlets, but in an email to the South China Morning Post, Easterbrook indicated opening more McCafes will be a priority in the territory.

The company is also actively seeking partners in Taiwan, and in Japan where it is midway through a major overhaul and repositioning of the brand after incurring massive losses.

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