According to this China Daily article, the controversial Starbucks store in the forbidden city was finally closed.
This echos the recent “Chinese sign enforcement” event in Shanghai.
July 16, 2007 at 5:35 pm
I visited the Starbucks in The Forbidden City during April this year. At the time I was unaware of this issue, although I thought it curious when someone tried to take a photo inside, and the staff stopped them.
On the whole I tend to agree that a Starbucks, or any retail outlet is inappropriate within the Forbidden City. The store was located in a small corner of the ‘official’ gift shop. I don’t really feel that even this gift shop should be there.
Regarding the ‘Chinese’ signs debate, there are a huge number of english branded stores in Shanghai. This is a symptom of China’s economical development. However, as a (UK)westerner I feel that it is important not to dilute China’s identity, and the ‘english’ branding should be secondary (as a concession to the desire for Chinese to learn English).
My wife is Shanghainese, (and for the record she moved to the UK in 1999 and we met in 2003. see ‘Shanghainese girls marrying foreigners’03/20/2007) and she also takes the view that the national identity of China is being eroded, particularly in Shanghai, but throughout the country as a whole.
July 17, 2007 at 12:17 am
The administration and the management of the formal Imperial Palace is deporable.
I was there last summer and saw thick dust inside the palace and shrub grew from the roof tiles, it is clearly a neglect for a long time.
If you visit the eateries and the gift shops, it is very nicely decorated and with air-conditioning.
It is necessary for the management to change the ‘profit centre’ attitude otherwise the main palace can be converted into a seafood restaurant and the inner courts can become a hotel.
Starbuck in the forbidden City obviously is a misfit and nuisance, but it also shown the capitalization of this historic monument.
March 14, 2008 at 12:06 pm
It really doesnt matter who serves the coffee. It would be nice to have no stores inside, but it is so large that there needs to be refreshments in the Forbidden City.
I have a sneaking notion that the hotel idea will come to pass …
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