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Selling Starbucks In The Forbidden City

829 words - 4 pages

Philosophy 484
Professor Neiman
3/22/12

“Selling Starbucks in the Forbidden City”

Ever since the Starbucks retail outlet has opened in the “Forbidden City” of Beijing, China, there has been a huge controversy over whether this store deserves to be in this sacred area of China’s history. I believe that Starbucks has a moral obligation to operate a retail store in the “Forbidden City.” The first objection from some Chinese citizens is that Starbucks is highly considered an American brand, and that American commerce is destroying Chinese culture that they claim goes back 5000 years. In some cases, people may believe that the Chinese have the cultural right to maintain their culture ...view middle of the document...

On top of all of this, not all of the Chinese are against the Starbucks in the Forbidden City, and some are even for it.

I believe that Starbucks doesn’t have a moral duty not to interfere with the culture in the Forbidden City. First off, Starbucks is not doing anything illegal and are within the boundaries of Chinese Law. Another thing I noticed is there is no law prohibiting American or multi-national companies from conducting business in China; if anything, it is becoming more and more popular. Some Chinese citizens objected to the Starbucks opening by stating that it would cause serious damage to the area it is located in and the people that are around it. I think this is somewhat invalid, since no one is morally obligated to go visit the café or purchase anything. One could just simply ignore it. Secondly, the café had to be passed through the Forbidden City Board, which shows there were people who were for the Starbucks being here in the first place. So another question may be, “ Is it morally right to kick Starbucks from the Forbidden City even though there are Chinese for it and against it and could cause happiness and unhappiness to others?

Many Chinese citizens may claim that having a Starbucks in the Forbidden City may be American Imperialism and that it takes a lot away from Chinese Culture. Another point of criticism is that Starbucks is the only...

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