Starbucks, the world’s largest chain of coffee bars with 1,000 stores in China, has been accused of price speculation by local television. The alarm was launched by a special report on China Central Television (CCTV), the most important state network on the mainland, after a price comparison on various continents. Paradoxically, a medium-sized latte in China costs 35% more than in Chicago, and 10%-11% more than in London.
As demonstrated by this case, and that of the baby food cartel, China’s media and authorities are keeping due vigilance on speculation that impacts on its citizens.
Coffee retail sales in China grew by 90% from 2007-2012 and analysts agree that by 2020 the Chinese consumer coffee market will be the largest in the world, surpassing that of the United States and Brazil.