Gourmet dining at McDonald’s in Shanghai

March 25, 2015

Maybe China’s government doesn’t care for McDonald’s because of the increase in obesity among the Chinese, but many Chinese think of McDonald’s and Pizza Hut as gourmet restaurants or at least they act like they do.

For instance, a few years ago, my sister-in-law hired a young Shanghai ballerina to model for a photo shoot. Afterwards, the ballerina called her husband on a cell phone and told him to meet her at the two story McDonald’s in the middle of Shanghai to celebrate the extra cash she’d earned.

McDonald’s is even planning to increase the number of outlets in China, and to get ready, they have opened a leadership school that only accepts 1% of the applicants for training.

We also saw long waiting lines outside a fancy Pizza Hut on Shanghai’s Nanjing Road, a crowded pedestrian mall.

More Posts about Shanghai:
Shanghai Huxinting Teahouse
Shanghai Huangpu River Tour
Shanghai’s History & Culture
Chinese Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards


Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

The Danger of False Truths – Part 3/3

July 23, 2011

In another e-mail, this “old” friend questioned China’s behavior in Asia and mentioned the disagreement between Vietnam and China over some offshore oil fields that both countries claim.

He felt this was a sign that China would wage war on other countries and inferred this would not happen if China were a democracy similar to the US, since “no democracy has ever gone to war with another democracy” (his words).

Soon after I received that e-mail, I used Google and found Democracies Do Not Make War on One Another … or Do They? by Matthew White, who does a great job throwing ice-cold water on another false truth.

White says, basically, it depends on the definition of democracy and that individuals will shift the meaning of the definition to fit what he or she wants to believe.

To come up with a set of probabilities, White studied the wars that took place in 1967 and came up with these results:

White wrote, “Now, 1967 is just a single year, but I’ve spent a good deal of this Atlas counting democracies. I can state with reasonable certainty that 44.5% of mapable sovereignties during the WW2-Y2K Era were full democracies. This calculates out to…

  • The odds of 2 random democracies going to war: 19.8%
  • The odds of 2 random non-democracies going to war: 30.8%
  • The odds of a random democracy going to war with a random non-democracy: 49.4%

He also mentions an interesting theory that “no two countries with a McDonald’s Restaurant have ever gone to war with one another”, which seems to indicate that as countries are incorporated into the global economy by trans-national corporations, they stop waging war on one another.

This theory is an individual truth that most of us might want to believe since there then should be no worry that the US and China will ever wage war.

In 2009, the US had 13,381 McDonalds and in 2010, China had almost 1,000 with thousands more planned. In addition, China has thousands of Pizza Huts, KFCs, Starbucks and the Chinese love to drive Buicks and Fords. Wal-Mart is even building stores in China.

However, I discovered the McDonald’s theory might be another false truth.

Pakistan has 25 McDonalds and the first one was built in 1998. India has 192 with the first built in 1996, and the last Indo-Pakistani War was in 1999.

Return to The Danger of False Truths – Part 2 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

America’s Gift to China – the Curse of the Middle Class Bulge

March 3, 2011

The Atom Stack Tribune reports McDonalds is facing stiff competition in China. Today, McDonalds has more than 2100 outlets in 450 cities and towns across China.

KFC has three times as many stores serving artery clogging fried chicken, while Coca Cola reported a 26% increase in sales in China of its sodas making up for reduced sales in the US.

At the end of 2010, Starbucks reported more than 750 Starbucks locations in Greater China.

Pizza Hut food is expensive in China when compared to Chinese restaurants, which explains why Pizza Hut focuses on China’s middle class.  Pizza Hut started doing business in China in 1987. Today it operates 3,000 restaurants in 650 cities and towns.

What has been the result of all this American fast food in China?

In 1979, less than one percent of China’s population was diagnosed as diabetic. Since that time, the increase of diabetes has paralleled China’s development along with the growth of American fast food outlets in China.

A recently published study reported that the proportion of diabetics in China was nearly equal to the United States, which is almost nine percent of the adult population.

In addition, the growth of reported cases in China is growing at about 1.5 million annually on average.

The increase in diabetes in China is due to increasing obesity, lack of exercise and to poor eating habits.

Dr. Liu Hongfang of Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing says the situation is only going to get worse as living standards improve and more people can afford to eat high-fat foods more often.

As a result, the number of diabetics will keep increasing.

The World Health Organization estimated that in the period lasting from 2006 to 2015, China would lose 558 billion dollars in national income due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes combined.

Thanks to government reforms in health care in 2009, more than 1.2 billion people now have some form of basic medical insurance. However, this health coverage is often minimal and diabetes costs more than the health care covers.

Discover China’s Health Care Today


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

Understanding How to do China Business

April 27, 2010

There’s a reason my wife warned me to never do business in China; then she went and lost money doing business there herself—and she’s Chinese. However, being Chinese in China is the same as being American in America—there is no guarantee that anyone is going to be a success and fill buckets with money.

If you want to read the nightmare side of doing business the wrong way in China, see Showdown at Changsha by John Alley. “Western companies felt they had to be players in the China market, and dozens of the world’s largest corporations fell over themselves losing money in abortive China joint ventures.” Source: Asia Review of Books

Walmart in China

Google appears to have failed because they did not learn that doing business in other cultures means changing the way you think and present yourself. On the other hand, Bob Grant’s guest posts on iLook China are examples that there are success stories in China. Recent news shows that GM is making profits in China—more than in the US. McDonald’s announced recently they are opening hundreds more fast food outlets in China this year.

Anyone wanting to do business in China should consider going back to school. I checked one of America’s top universities, Stanford, and found a course taught by an expert. There’s even a Doing Business in China for Dummies book.

Learn more about Doing Business in China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.