Starbucks out of Forbidden City

Updated: 2007-07-17 08:51

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 opposition.

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 years.

"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.