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YUM! Brand (KFC) in China

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Select a company that you are familiar with and write a paper that evaluates all aspects of the company's organization. In the Introduction, please provide some historical background of the company and its financial and international dealings.

Some concepts to consider are:

? Culture of the organization - values and norms
? Ethics in international dealings
? Foreign Direct Investment
? Entry into the markets
? Its international strategy
? Strategic positioning
? Marketing tactics

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The Chinese market commands center stage in foreign investment forums around the world. With 1.3 billion people, a majority between 15-64 years old, combined with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates averaging 9.5% since 2008, the lure of the Chinese market is obvious, (CIA, 2011). The equation results in lots of people with ever increasing amounts of disposable income. Foreign investment in China-especially direct foreign investment-represents a great risk-reward opportunity for growing enterprises.

One such enterprise is YUM! Brands' component Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Since the opening of its first storefront in Beijing in 1987, KFC has grown to over 2000 locations across China, (YUM, 2011). KFC represents a successful mitigation strategy of the risks of direct foreign investment... but may not represent a model to be duplicated.


Even the most casual of investors is exposed to offers promoting foreign investment. These types of investment are not the KFC model. The difference between the KFC success story, and the ever increasing numbers of Chinese focused mutual and index funds is the nature of the investment. KFC successfully grew their business into China through direct foreign investment. Direct investment is comprised of physical capital bought or built in one country, by an enterprise from another country. In other words, "direct investment in buildings, machinery and equipment is in contrast with making a portfolio investment, which is considered an indirect investment," (Graham, J & Spaulding, R., 2004).

Indirect investment-while certainly not without its risks-represents a far more liquid investment than direct investment. This liquidity provides a degree of risk mitigation in and of itself. KFC did not invest in liquid Chinese assets. They purchased or leased property, hired employees, opened physical storefronts in China. This sort of permanency elevates the risk level of any investment-much more so when the intricacies of foreign investment are included.


The reward of a forty percent (and growing) market share of Chinese fast food restaurants didn't come without assuming some risk, (Mellor, 2011). The KFC success story is, in fact, its second attempt in the Chinese market. In 1973, KFC opened 11 restaurants within the year-just two years later, all were closed (YUM, 2011). That failure certainly came with a financial cost. This initial probe into the Chinese market came at a time of overextension of the KFC company, and its subsequent failure added to the franchise-wide struggles of the ...

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

MiniCase 15: Yum! Brands

• Yum! Brands is the result of a spin-off by PepsiCo, where it sold its fast-food chains KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Do you consider this spin-off successful? Why or why not? Explain.
o Evaluated the success of the spin-off by looking at the value created since the divestment, and whether PepsiCo is better or worse off as a result.
o Used information in the case and other online research to defend the position taken.

• Why is Yum! Brands so much more successful in China than in the U.S., its home country?
o Used information in the case and other online research to describe specific actions taken by Yum! Brands in China to help establish competitive advantage.
o Identified the type of strategy at Yum! Brands in China, using from Rothaermel Chapter 6 and other course readings.
o Contrasted this strategy with how Yum! Brands competes in the U.S. fast food industry.

• Why was Yum! Brands KFC so successful in China, while other U.S. fast-food companies - such as Pizza Hut (also owned by Yum!), McDonald's, and Burger King - were so much less successful?
o Applied Porter's Five Forces analysis to explain how Yum! Brands' strategy provides sustainable competitive advantage vs. other U.S. fast food companies.
o Used information in the case and other online research.

• Given Yum! Brands recent challenges in China, do you consider this to be a temporary problem, or a harbinger of losing its competitive advantage?
o Applied PESTEL or SWOT analysis to assess the recent immediate challenges described in the MiniCase.
o State whether these are temporary problems that can be ignored, or something that Yum! Brands must address.
o Recommend specific actions that should be taken by Yum! Brands to respond to these threats.

• What recommendations would you give David Novak, Yum! Brands' CEO, to overcome the company's current challenges in China?
o Used PESTEL or SWOT analysis from the previous question determine other threats to long-term competitive advantage in China
o Recommended other actions to defend and sustain competitive advantage, using information provided in Rothaermel Chapters 8 and 9.

only needs to be 3-4 pages

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