Two Chinese tourists eye a Starbucks coffee shop in the heart of Beijing's historic Forbidden City earlier this month.
SHANGHAI, China, Nov. 22 â€” Never mind that folks in these parts all drink tea. Starbucks Coffee wants them to wake up and smell the latte. To that end, the Seattle-based java giant is opening new shops in this vast region faster than your favorite barista can whip your mocha.
THIS MONTH, STARBUCKSâ€™ Asian invasion established beachheads in three key strongholds: Seoul, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The company chairman, Howard Schultz, led the assault personally, presiding at grand openings in all three cities.
Starbucks already has nine stores in Beijing, making the firm the envy of other American companies who want to open branches in China. Corporate America is lobbying Congress aggressively to get it to approve permanent normal trade relations with China in a vote scheduled for today.
Worldwide, Starbucks now operates about 3,000 outlets, but Schultz wants to push the number to 20,000, mainly...