Walk down the streets of any major Chinese city and it will become clear that international restaurant chains, foreign retailers, and other name brand service companies have entered the China market in large numbers. More than 200 McDonalds are there now, and KFC is not far behind. Indeed, international retailers dot China’s numerous new commercial districts and shopping malls.

Many of these international brands normally franchise their businesses. However, because franchising in China is still in its infancy and fraught with legal and practical difficulties, most own their own stores, often through a joint venture with a local Chinese partner, and relatively few have established a significant franchise business there.

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