Economy: McDonald’s Cuts Prices in China

When McDonald’s sharply lowers the price of the Filet-O-Fish and Double Cheeseburger in China, one thing is clear: the global slowdown has truly arrived in the once sizzling Asian economy.

The New York Times

McDonald’s announced Thursday that the world’s most populous nation would now be able to feast on four new combo McDonald’s meals — also featuring a chicken filet burger and a pork burger — for 16.50 yuan, or $2.41, a savings of up to one-third from the former price.

The special promotion, McDonald’s said, is “in line with the government’s direction to stimulate domestic demand” and “help build a stronger economy.” As the economy slows, “we can do our part by helping stimulate domestic demand in the restaurant sector,” said Jeff Schwartz, McDonald’s China chief executive.

Chinese walk past a McDonald's outlet in Shenyang in northeast ... 
Chinese walk past a McDonald’s outlet in Shenyang in northeast China’s Liaoning province Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009. The world’s largest fast-food chain says it has cut some prices by as much as a third in China and half of its products are sold at the lowest prices in a decade.(AP Photo)

McDonald’s is not the only food retailer to have lowered prices in China Others like KFC also have launched promotions as shoppers in China began to fret about slowing growth and rising unemployment. But the price reductions by one of the world’s best-known companies highlight how the economic downturn that began in the United States has changed shopping — and selling — patterns as far away as China.

Just a year ago, the prices of staples like pork, rice and cooking oil were soaring, lifting inflation and threatening to overheat the Chinese economy….

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