For a country where the average person, according to data from Nestle, only consumes three cups of coffee per year, the Chinese are downright pissed that Starbucks is raising prices. They took to the Internet to bemoan a two yuan price hike that the Seattle company announced last week–a change that will impose about a 32-cent increase on all coffee drinks sold there. The Wall Street Journal reports that this means a “tall” latte will now be around 27 yuan, or $4.20.
According to the WSJ, the outrage has made “Xing Ba Ke”, the Chinese term for Starbucks, trending upwards on Baidu.com, China's most popular search engine. Some bloggers are even calling for the government to step in and set some price controls.
Starbucks, in the meanwhile, concedes that their decision has had “an impact on our consumers”, but cites increased operational costs as the reason. Basically, it's the same line they used on us when they did the same here.
Ah, remember when complaining about the cost of decaf cappuccinos was strictly an American gripe? China, you're all grows up.