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Starbucks Closes Controversial Cafe

Starbucks has closed a controversial coffee shop it had operated in Beijing's historic Forbidden City since 2000, Chinese media reported on Saturday.

The cafe was closed Friday under a reorganisation of private businesses operating in the grounds of the ancient palace which was the former residence of the Ming and Qing emperors (14th-20th century), the Beijing News said.

The managers of the palace, which attracted 8.76 million visitors last year, proposed that Starbucks could continue to operate within a cafe offering other brands but the US coffee shop chain declined, the newspaper said.

"The company insisted it wanted to continue to have its own independent cafe," Li Wenru, vice curator of the Forbidden City, told the paper.

More here.

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