McDonalds seeks more goldern arches in China

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Relations between the U.S. and China could be entering the realm of “interesting times,” but McDonald’s seems undaunted. The fast-food giant recently announced plans to nearly double the number of Golden Arches locations in that highly coveted market.

It comes as no surprise that American companies yearn for heated expansion in this populous nation. China has more than 1.3 billion people; one in five people on the planet live in China. That’s a lot of people who might want fries with that.

Meanwhile, informal dining out in China is currently a $300 billion opportunity, and it’s expected to increase by 10% this year as the middle class in that country grows.

An aggressive growth target for Chinese restaurants certainly looks like a good idea, given McDonald’s 2010 plans to grow global revenue by 3% to 5%, and profit by 7% to 9%. In fact, China is the company’s fastest-growing market in sales and income.

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