Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, McDonald’s, in China

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Case Title:

McDonald’s in China

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Punithavathi Srikant, Doris Rajakumari John

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: MKS0002

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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McDonald's, the leading US fast food retailer, entered China in 1990 by opening its first restaurant in Shenzhen. As of March 2008, there were more than 800 McDonald's restaurants across China. Yum! Brands, the main competitor for McDonald’s had already established its presence in China before McDonald’s and was the leader in the Chinese fast food market. McDonald’s had launched several initiatives in China to adapt to local needs and tastes in order to overtake Yum Brands. It plans to open more than 1000 restaurants in China before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. It is also focusing on opening more drive-thru restaurants in China. As one of the top official sponsors for the 2008 Beijing XXVIX Olympics, McDonald’s is counting on a high-profile presence in Beijing to build its brands in the mainland and to win favor among the Chinese consumers. McDonald’s hopes that the Olympics will bring in new customers and will give it a competitive edge over Yum! Brands. How the fast food scenario in China will evolve, remains to be seen.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse the fast food industry in China
  • To analyse the market entry strategies of McDonald’s in China
  • To analyse the competitive advantage of Yum! Brands over McDonald’s in China
  • To analyse consolidation strategies adopted by McDonald’s to take on the leaders Yum! brands in China.

Keywords : McDonald’s; Market saturation; Yum! Brands; First drive-thru restaurant; China Petroleum &Chemical Corporation; Beijing Olympics; McDonald’s Champion Kids; Chinese Fast Food industry; Market Entry Strategies Case Studies; Franchising Model; long-term strategy


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  • McDonald's franchising model
  • McDonald's in china
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  • McDonald's has begun franchising in china

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