McDonald's Selling Off China Business

By Bridget O'Donnell, January 10, 2017

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McDonald's will sell off most of its business in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, in a deal that is worth up to US$2.1 billion. 

Citic, a state-owned financial firm, will take a 52 percent majority stake in Mickey D's Chinese operations. The Carlyle Group, a US private equity firm, will also take a 28 percent stake in the investment. Meanwhile, McDonald's will continue to hold the remaining 20 percent of the business. The announcement was made yesterday.

According to the New York Times, the turnaround plan "involved making 95 percent of its restaurants franchises, including more than 1,750 in China and Hong Kong." 

Big changes at the golden arches have already been underway for the last few years, with American branches offering more gourmet menu items, higher quality ingredients, touch screens and more.

Similar changes have already made their way across the Pacific, as the company's China operations have started favoring fancy chefs and hi-tech gimmicks over Ronald McDonald. 

Take these recently launched "Michelin Star" burgers, for example:

McDonald's Michelin Star Burgers

Or these "Create Your Taste" burger machines:

Create Your Taste Burger Machine

Create Your Taste McDonald's

The partners announced that they plan on opening another 1,500 restaurants in Greater China over the next five years, with the goal of bringing more outlets to smaller Chinese cities. 

McDonald’s currently runs over 2,400 restaurants on the mainland and 240 in Hong Kong.

The announcement comes just two months after KFC parent company Yum Brands announced a spinoff of its Chinese division.

[Top image via University of Missouri]

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