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McDonald’s Under Fire: Chinese Urge for Improved Quality Amidst Price Increase

McDonald’s Price Hikes in China Prompt Demand for Improved Quality
Calls for Enhanced Food Quality

Chinese people are voicing demands for improved quality from McDonald’s as the fast-food giant recently announced price hikes on most of its burgers and snack items in China. This move has prompted some to explore local alternatives, with sentiments such as, “There are many good Chinese brands, too,” emphasizing patriotic consumption.

According to the state-run Global Times (GT) on the 26th, “McDonald’s price increase” became the top trending topic on Weibo, the biggest Chinese media platform. The news surfaced that, beginning on the 27th, McDonald’s would implement price increases of 0.5 yuan (approximately $0.07) on roughly 90% of its burger and snack offerings in China. The price of a McCombo will increase by 1 yuan. McDonald’s explained that “the prices of some items and combos will be adjusted” and that this is “a part of regular price adjustments considering operating costs.”

Expectations for Improved Quality
Consumer Resignation and Concerns

Online discussions among consumers reveal an expectation for enhanced food quality corresponding with the recent price hike. One internet user emphasized the lack of necessity to adhere to particular brands, highlighting the presence of numerous successful domestic brands and the importance of cost-effectiveness. Another consumer expressed resignation towards escalating housing and fuel prices but found the increase in McDonald’s prices particularly disconcerting, as reported by GT.

According to the third-quarter results announced at the end of October, McDonald’s recorded $6.692 billion in revenue and $2.317 billion in net income during this period, an increase of 14% and 17%, respectively, compared to the previous year.

As of the first half of this year, McDonald’s had over 5,400 stores in China, more than double the number in 2017. About half of these are located in third and fourth-tier cities in China. McDonald’s had also announced plans earlier this year to open a new store in China every 10 hours.

By. Hyun Jung Kim

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