McDonald's will increase its number of stores in mainland China to 4,500 by the end of 2022. As Reuters Anita Li reports from Shanghai, that's up from 2,500 currently and is all part a new partnership.
McDonald's is supersizing its bets in China - with its plans to almost DOUBLE the number of restaurants in the country by 2022. (SOUNDBITE) (English): ANITA LI, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "This is one of 2,500 McDonald's restaurants currently in China. But the company has set its sights set on a major expansion. It wants to raise the number of stores to four and a half thousand in the next five years - saying China will soon become its largest market outside the United States." It's part of its new deal with state-backed Chinese group CITIC and the U.S.- based Carlyle Group. McDonald's had planned to add just fifteen hundred restaurants over the next five years. But it's now aiming for double digit annual sales growth in China over that period. The company plans to open more restaurants in smaller cities While boosting delivery and introducing a more digitalised service. What's on the menu will also be a key focus for McDonald's As it recovers from a series of food-supply scandals in China Which hit its reputation and sales here. But experts say maintaining food safety and quality control will be a challenge and could push suppliers to their limits at the rate the company wants to expand. But being in the fast food game has proven you need to be fast thinking. And with a slowing market in the US McDonald's is confident China's got the appetite to carry its business forward.