Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- McDonald’s Corp. plans to increase investment in China, its third-largest market, by 50 percent this year after the world’s largest fast-food chain opened a record 200 stores in 2011.
Spending will focus on opening an expected 225 to 250 outlets, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in an e- mailed statement today. It didn’t provide a specific figure for its investment target.
McDonald’s is accelerating expansion in China, where it trails Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC Corp. McDonald’s has more than 1,400 restaurants in the world’s second-largest economy, according to today’s statement. KFC has more than 3,200, its website shows.
Yum! agreed to buy Chinese hot-pot seller Little Sheep Group Ltd. last year to extend its lead as the nation’s biggest restaurant operator. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands.
McDonald’s planned to increase investment in China by 40 percent in 2011 and open 175-200 restaurants, the company said in Dec 2010.
--Michael Wei. Editor: Ben Richardson, Dave McCombs
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