A & M 15 January 1995, International News


Big Hack

The Chinese Government has sent a rude shock to the world's biggest McDonald's outlet, opened in 1992 and located at perhaps the world's busiest crossing in downtown Beijing. The US hamburger market is still rubbing it's eyes, partly on account of disbelief and partly from the dust raised y the demolition of all that stood around the thriving fast food joint. Any minute now, the wrecking iron balls are poised to swing towards the famous golden arches (which forms the logo's M) at the entrance.
McDonald's, according to reports, has been unceremoniously evicted from the premises granted by the municipal authorities, to make way for a massive commercial-cum-residential building called Oriental Plaza to be built by Hong Kong billionaire (and former owner of STAR TV) li-Ka-shing.
The American company wails that the original agreement allows it use of the land for 10 years, but the authorities appear too cosily snuggled with Ka-shing's investment plans to get ruffled by the complaint. Relax, they console McDonald's, the upcoming building will give the burger outlet as much space as promised by the Government. It needs to move out only temporarily. That's three years.
Other big brands tumbling gleefully (all this while) into the Chinese market couldn't be very amused.

Back to Media Page