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Nationalism Rising
Nationalists in China Hurt US Company’s Bottom Line

If you want to get a feel for the level of popular nationalism in China right now, look no further than statements from executives of the U.S. company which owns KFC and Pizza Hut. Reuters reports:

[Yum Brands Inc.], which will spin off its China business on Oct. 31, said the last quarter started well there, but its restaurants were hit by anti-U.S. protests after an international court in July rejected China’s claim to historic rights in the South China Sea.

Yum Brands on Wednesday reported a surprise 1 percent drop in third-quarter sales at China restaurants open at least one year. The protests reduced the measure by as much as 500 basis points, but the impact has largely eased, executives said on a conference call on Thursday.

Claiming and protecting territory in the South China Sea isn’t just an elite-driven effort. It has deep popular support, and that’s why anyone who thinks Beijing might compromise anytime soon on the issue is being naive. U.S. policymakers and the voters who pressure them need to understand this dynamic, and how difficult it makes securing free movement for the $5 trillion of goods that pass through the South China Sea each year.

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  • Observe&Report

    For an idea of pathetic this is, search for “China KFC ripoff brands” in google images.

  • Matt_Thullen

    If you want to add another group of self-proclaimed elites to the list of those who have proven to have feet of clay, add U.S. multinational business executives. They urged the U.S. to open our country to Chinese-manufactured imports (which massively accelerated the decline of U.S. manufacturing) in order to gain access to the Chinese market.

    Between Chinese theft of foreign intellectual property by Chinese manufacturers (Google “Chinese Third Shift”), bureaucratic slow playing of permits and approvals and the government-driven nationalistic headwinds against foreign companies, it seems like the promise of selling to one billion “consumers” in the Chinese market wasn’t well thought through.

  • Nevis07

    Well of course it has deep support, the CCP have been indoctrinating since childhood a sense of victimhood and claims of ownership.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    A strategic blockade of China’s ports would permanently destroy the foreign trade China has developed (40% of GDP) since the “Iron Curtain” came down. Any foreign investor that isn’t desperately trying to get their investment out of China, is a fool that can’t see the “writing on the wall”.

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