CCTV-9 news anchor Rui Chenggang should be happy now. Finally, a store that serves not just coffee but traditional Chinese beverages like tea too! After all, Rui was the wonderful guy who sparked it all off with a post on his blog which said that having a Starbucks in the Forbidden City, “is not globalising, but trampling Chinese culture”. The coffee chain is “a symbol of low-end US food culture presence” which “undermines the Forbidden City’s solemnity’ and is ‘an insult to Chinese civilisation”. His vitriol attracted half a million hits within two days, and eventually led to the ousting of Starbucks from the Forbidden City.
Now please, we’re not the greatest fans of Starbucks ourselves, but really, we aren’t sure if the presence of Starbucks was a greater insult to the Forbidden City or this hideous monster of a coffee store (whose coffee nobody appears to be drinking).
But wait, there’s more. Tim Johnson adds:
While Starbucks is gone from the Forbidden City, another icon of U.S. capitalism is everywhere. American Express has rights to advertise on nearly every sign in the place.
Can it be long before the place is known as the Federal Express Forbidden City, like some sort of sports arena in the U.S.? Or perhaps it will be called the Haier Forbidden City or the Lenovo Forbidden City, after a better known Chinese company.
China Rises: Tempest in a coffee cup
Shanghaiist: Storm in a coffee cup brewing in the Forbidden City?
Shanghaiist: Starbucks in the Forbidden City now a thing of the past