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Popeyes takes aim at KFC’s hold on China

US-based chicken house Popeyes is looking to kick off a wide-scale expansion in China after launching its first store in the region last May.

According to a report in Bloomberg, parent company Restaurant Brands has said it wants to reach 1,500 stores in China within the next ten years in an effort to “provide an alternative [to] the biggest chicken player in the world.”

“Customers love chicken in that part of the world,” Restaurant Brands chief executive Jose Cil said.

“We think there’s a huge opportunity for us [in China].”

The business’ first store, which launched in Shanghai last year, drew a line of 2,000 people and caters to local tastes – using chicken thighs, rather than breasts, which is preferred in China.

The business is aiming at other locations as well, according to the report, with both the United Kingdom and Australia likely to see stores opened shortly, while a franchisee already confirmed hundreds of locations are to be launched in Mexico.

KFC has opened more than 7,000 locations across China since launching in the 1980s, and is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the region.

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