What would a U.S. presence anywhere be without fast food fried chicken?
Perhaps this is why Popeyes is in focus by the Global Times, after it was reported that the fast food chain shut down 7 of its 9 stores in mainland China.
The brand "apparently failed to gain ground" in China, the report says, while sister brand Tim Hortons - originally a Canadian brand - has continued to make an "ambitious expansion push".
Four outlets in Shanghai have closed, according to the report. They are unable to be reached by phone and only two additional locations - one in Huangpu District and one in Pudong New Area - remain.
Popeye's also formerly had two stores in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province and one store in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, the report says.
A member of Popeyes' staff confirmed to Global Times that the locations had been shuttered, and that they were unsure about their future: "We were not informed whether the stores will be closed permanently or opened later. We haven't received any specific notice nor the reason for the closure."
Popeyes first started to expand in China at the worst possible time, May 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic. The company's initial success - with customers waiting in line as early as 4AM - had led the brand to believe it could expand to 1,500 stores in 10 years.
Restaurant Brands International still has Tim Hortons - referred to as "Tim's China" - and Burger King with a strong presence in mainland China. RBI is still aiming for more than 2,750 Tim Hortons stores in China by 2026.