McDonald's outlet in historic Chinese building sparks outrage

Beijing: McDonald’s has opened an outlet in a historical residence in east China’s Zhejiang province, sparking a heated debate over whether such sites should be used for commercial purposes.

The burger chain began operating in the historical building on November 13, stirring up a social media storm
The burger chain began operating in the historical building on November 13, stirring up a social media storm. File Pic/AFP

The burger chain began operating in the main building of a former home of Chiang Ching-kuo, son of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek, in Hangzhou on November 13, less than two months after Starbucks opened in another section of the residence, reports Xinhua news agency.

Chiang Ching-kuo and his family lived in the building for less than a month in 1948.

McDonald’s proposed to rent the two-story house near the scenic West Lake and turn it to a 100-seat cafe in January. The story has sparked a public uproar, with many people accusing authorities of ignoring the historic value of the buildings and risking their damage.

Even Chiang Ching-kuo’s grandson, Demos Yu-bou Chiang, questioned the McDonald's deal, with a post on social media website Weibo asking: “Is having a McDonald’s in a historical residence or a Starbucks in a palace really an OK thing in management of cultural real estate?”

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