Despite China having a rich culinary history over-whelmed by culture, KFC is the leading fast food restaurant. It not only manages to be the leader in its own category, it has also surpassed Chinese cuisine on its home-ground.
Attractiveness of Chinese Market
As any company would be, KFC viewed China as a lucrative option due to its size; China alone constituted 20% of the world’s population (Young Entrepreneur Foundation 2009).
Mode of Entry
KFC first entered China in 1987, nine years after China’s economic reform. There was still a considerable amount of skepticism due to the economic and political instability that ensued in the region. The first outlet was opened in Beijing and the Chinese customers were delighted to finally sample western cuisine in their homeland (Warren Liu 2009). The easiest way to enter the Chinese market is through Joint Ventures; and that is exactly what KFC did (Apmforum 2002). This way not only does the company gain local support and insight, it is complies with the legal requirements for foreign firms who wish to do business in China.
Chinese Cultural Values
KFC was a natural winner chiefly due to the color red which symbolizes largely positive connotations in China. It is the color of prosperity, joy, their national flag, weddings, loyalty and of course passion. Gifts and gift money are often wrapped in red wrappings and envelopes (Wikipedia 2009). Chinese customers have very different value systems which drive their eating and socializing habits. In their culture saving face and avoiding conflict reigns supreme; it is these little insights that any marketer has to know before entering a market which is so different from that of the parent company’s. Their progress in today’s world is due to their open-mindedness and eagerness to change and break out from the clasp of customs that have historically curtailed the rate of development. It is for this very reason that the Chinese culture welcomed fast food brands which matched the changing pace of life and booming rate of economic success as it opened its borders to the world.
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