Barriers Facing Starbucks in China as They Try to “Teach People to Change Their Conumption Habits from Tea and Instant Coffee

Topics: Culture, Globalization, China Pages: 2 (475 words) Published: November 18, 2008
Starbucks' global corporate goal is to become the leasing coffee seller and brand in each of its expansion targets. They aim to do this through their finest quality coffee and other products, and by means of their high-quality customer service. China is an exemplary example of how a Western company can triumph over cultural obstacles especially in the Eastern/Oriental part of the world. For many people around the world, the globalization of goods and services from other countries is a most welcome event since it would allow them access to products that are not found in their own country. However, there are trade-offs in this kind of developments. One is changes that are influenced by globalization might threaten the feasibility of the local production; meaning, foreign products and services, which are sometimes much cheaper, might displace the current local producers of the host country. Another issue however has a greater impact in the society, which is the possible disruption of the country's cultures and traditions. This issue is of course applicable to both the host nation and the globalizing corporation; the former is when exposure to foreign products may change the country's culture, value and tradition, the latter is when the company resolves to adapt to the cultures of the host country, losing its culture in the process in exchange for profits. Though China represents great opportunities because of its big population and impending growth, coffee is never of Chinese traditions. Starbucks faces a big obstacle: Most of China's 1.3 billion people don't care for the chain's signature product. Coffee is so unpopular in China's tea-drinking culture that until recently many Starbucks didn't brew regular drip coffee unless a customer ordered it. Coffee was considered as a Western commodity and doesn't go well with Chinese food, cultures and traditions, tea of course sounds a lot better. It is difficult to transform a tea-drinking nation into a coffee-drinking...
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