Update: A traditional Chinese cafe has now replaced the former Starbucks in the Forbidden City. It will served traditional Chinese tea, in addition to coffee. Via BBC.
Did you know that Starbucks has over 200 stores in China? One of which, opened seven years ago, is located right inside the Forbidden City in Beijing. Due to protests arguing that the Starbucks brand was trampling on Chinese culture by virtue of its location, Starbucks signage was removed from the store two years ago. A recent online campaign, which gathered over 500,000 signatures, supported the idea that if Starbucks wanted to stay inside the Forbidden City, it would have to sell other brands as well. I don't quite understand how this would ameliorate the issue of Chinese culture-trampling, but, oh well. Per Starbucks's vice-president for Greater China Eden Woon: "We decided at the end that it is not our custom
worldwide to have stores that have any other name, so therefore we
decided the choice would be to leave." Via BBC World.