Protest-hit Starbucks at Beijing's Forbidden City 'may close'
A palace spokesman was quoted by state media as saying they were considering whether Starbucks would remain after a major renovation of the site.
A China state TV personality has led an online campaign to have the US coffee giant's outlet removed from the site.
Rui Chenggang said its presence "trampled over Chinese culture".
He has reportedly won the backing of more than half a million internet users, the China Daily newspaper reports.
Palace spokesman Feng Nai'en was quoted as saying that they were "working with Starbucks to find a solution by June in response to the protests."
"Whether or not Starbucks remains depends on the entire design plan that will be released in the first half of the year," he was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
He said a third of the shops in the 71-hectare (178-acre) Forbidden City complex had already been removed during the renovation.
The Starbucks coffee shop has caused controversy since it opened in 2000. It is one of more than 200 that have opened in the vast country since 1999.
Rui Chenggang, an anchorman for China Central Television, wrote in his blog that the shop's presence in the Forbidden City was "not globalising but trampling over Chinese culture".
Starbucks has defended its outlet, saying the firm "appreciates the deep history and culture of the Forbidden City and has operated in a respectful manner".
"We have provided a welcome place of rest for thousands of tourists, both Chinese and foreign, for more than six years," the company said in a statement.
The Forbidden City, which is also known as the Palace Museum, was built in 1420 and was home to 24 emperors until the end of imperial rule in 1911.
It is China's top tourist attraction and a Unesco World Heritage site.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- McKinley's lost his mountain. Should we still remember his presidency?
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'
- 72 history professors sign letter urging removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Kentucky Capitol
- 10 Years After Katrina, the Enduring Value of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank
- Historian author Antony Beevor says his new World War 2 book may anger Americans