Forbidden Starbucks

The Starbucks empire is often lampooned for its many, many stores, but the coffee giant has lost one of its most prominent locations. Responding to the demands of more than half a million citizens, the Chinese government closed down the Starbucks in the Forbidden City, the ancient imperial palace complex in the heart of Beijing.

While a coffee stand might not seem out of place in the Louvre, there was something truly bizarre (and approaching self-parody) about the sight of that familiar Starbucks decor in the middle of carefully preserved ancient Chinese atmosphere.

Coffee fans, fear not. Starbucks still has plans to colonize every other street corner in the world. Just kidding … kind of.


The Starbucks outlet was forced to close in July, having long been accused of tarnishing the historical site.

The shop, which opened in 2000, sought to quell the protests two years ago by removing its distinctive signage.

But the move failed to satisfy its critics. An online campaign earlier this year led by a state television personality drew more than 500,000 signatures.

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