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Unformatted text preview: 1 Starbucks has been doing business in China since 1999, when they opened their fi rst coffee shop in Beijing. Today, hundreds of Starbucks stores sell coffee in the land of tea, including one at the Great Wall. It has be- come one of the most popular brands among the coun- try’s 20- to 40-year-old upwardly mobile Chinese, or “Chuppies,” as they’re called, but so far China accounts for only about 10 percent of Starbucks’ global sales. Nevertheless, Chairman Howard Schultz believes the country will someday be the company’s largest market outside North America. “The market response,” he says, “has exceeded our expectations.” This may seem surprising when you consider the fact that the majority of China’s one billion-plus population are tea drinkers who didn’t know what coffee was until Nestlé introduced a powdered version on store shelves in the 1980s. But Starbucks is betting that they can win the new generation over by marketing its signature prod- uct as an emblem of modern China’s new sophistica- tion. “Coffee represents the change,” says Wang Jinlong, president of Starbucks Greater China. “The disposable income is concentrated on the young people, and this is the place they want to come.” Success in China could depend on how well Starbucks markets itself to what...
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- Spring '08