Beijing: A member of China’s parliament has demanded the immediate closure of a Starbucks coffee shop inside Beijing’s Forbidden City, the Xinhua news agency reported on 11 March. Two months after a TV host launched an online campaign to evict the American coffee chain from the former home of Chinese emperors, the seven-year-old cafe has had its logo removed but otherwise it’s business as usual, the agency said.
“Starbucks must move out of the imperial palace immediately, and it can no longer be allowed to taint China’s national culture,” said Jiang Hongbin, who represents the province of Heilongjiang at the National People’s Congress.
“As long as it stays in the imperial palace, it poses a challenge to our traditional culture,” said Jiang, a leading businessman in Heilongjiang.
In response to the online boycott, the Palace Museum management had promised to seek a solution with Starbucks by the end of June, Xinhua said. The rent paid by Starbucks is used for maintenance of the palace, it added, citing museum managers.