McDonald's details its China expansion

The company wants to double its number of restaurants in China in 3 years.

By Kim Peterson Dec 15, 2010 2:25PM
Big Mac © McDonald’sHow important is China to McDonald's (MCD)? The company is making expansion there a top priority.

McDonald's opened its first restaurant in China 20 years ago, in the town of Shenzhen, but it has lagged since then and has only about 1,000 outlets. So Yum Brands (YUM) jumped in to fill the void, opening about 3,700 Pizza Hut and KFC outlets in the country.

McDonald's now wants to compete. The company has opened 165 restaurants in China this year and wants to add as many as 200 next year, Reuters reports.

"It took us almost 19 years to reach 1,000 restaurants," McDonald's China CEO, Kenneth Chan, told reporters. "We will get our next 1,000 restaurants within three years." Post continues after video:
Did McDonald's drop the ball in China? A little. But there's plenty of room for catch-up in this rapidly growing economy. In addition to opening new restaurants, McDonald's is remodeling its existing ones there, with plans to upgrade 80% of its Chinese outlets by 2013.

About half of the new McDonald's planned will have drive-thru windows, Reuters reports, as China's population becomes increasingly mobile.
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