A controversial Starbucks coffee shop in the Forbidden City, the former
imperial palace at the heart of Beijing, has closed its doors after years of
A campaign for its closure has been brewing since early this year, when a
television anchor complained that the American chain's presence in the symbol of
the Chinese nation was trampling on Chinese culture.
The outlet opened in 2000 prompting a media backlash so severe that the
museum authorities considered revoking its lease after a couple of months. It
has operated without the usual outward corporate Starbucks bunting in recent
"Starbucks shouldn't be here. Why bring something so Western to an ancient
place like this?" steamed an Australian tourist who gave his name as Justin.