Saturday, July 14, 2007

The weekend's good news: Starbucks closes store in Forbidden City

Starbucks, purveyors of unusually bitter coffee, were eventually made to close close their store in the Forbidden City in the PR of China. The Forbidden City was built in mid 1400 and was home to many of China's rulers, until 1911. Well, since the fall of the Chinese version of communism in the republic, just like in Russia, some kind of rampant, more or less unrestraint capitalism has taken hold in the country. The result has been that many historic sites were swamped with commercial outlets from McDonald's to Starbucks and similar outlets. Critics have argued, probably rightly so, that these outlets (well, too many of them in any case) destroy the nature of these sites and destroy much of the atmosphere with their bright neon signs, and such things. After a long campaign by some of China;s most high profile media personalities, about half a million signatures were collected, asking Starbucks to pack their coffee bags and get out. And that's what the company did.

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