‘Thousands of Starbucks, McDonald's, KFC stores opened…,’ US expert explains how Chinese economy changed overnight

China’s decision to open its market to the foreign investment has helped the country to become a global superpower, said renowned author and China expert Michael Pillsbury today at the India Today Conclave 2023.

Referring to thousands of Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC stores in China, Pillsbury said that China became the largest recipient of foreign direct investment among developing countries in a few years. “They became ruthless in bringing foreign investments in China and it worked amazingly well for them.”

He said that China used to hate foreigners earlier, however that changed dramatically overnight as they welcomed huge foreign investments.

“Mobs seen in front of KFC, McDonald’s and Starbucks are an example of how China opened thousands of such stores in their country,” added Pillsbury.

For instance, China built infrastructure for companies that wanted to sell smartphones in their country, made them tax-free for 10 years, added Pillsbury.

China unleashed this strategy in almost every sector and it succeeded. 

In comparison to China, India is not very friendly to foreign investments, Pillsbury said at the conclave.

He spoke at length on how America’s preferential treatment of China helped them grow in leaps and bounds. “The US decision to invest heavily in China and transfer all scientific discoveries and technology to China helped China pull ahead… The US government favoured China over India,” said Pillsbury.

When asked if China would ultimately outpace America’s growth and surpass India to become the world’s biggest superpower, Pillsbury drew an interesting connection with a cricket match.

“In the US-China or India-China competition, there is no announcement, the score is not made public and there is no umpire. So, the role of India and the global media is very important to describe the game that is going on, which indicators should be watched,” said Pillsbury.

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