McDonald’s is taking a severe beating at the moment in the Chinese press for accusations of paying below the minimum wage in Southern China.
That is going to an investigation. However, things are set to get worse.
The Shanghai press is accusing McDonald’s of paying low at RMB6 (US$0.78) per hour – about double what it has been supposedly paying in Guangdong but, argue the press, too low for increasingly expensive Shanghai.
And the press is also gearing up to launch an attack on McD’s for being one of the main drivers behind China’s urban obesity crisis.
Obesity in China is a disease of the middle classes rather than the poor, given the comparative expense of a Big Mac in China (still the cheapest in the world) to most people.
McD’s is trying to head of the press at the pass by issuing nutrional information and building in-store gyms but their current advertising still urges Chinese to eat more beef while another campaigns argues that young mums should come to McD’s with their kids for the social life!
Additionally the Chinese press has raised its eyebrows about McD’s tie up with China’s largest operator of petrol stations to open drive-thrus in Beijing and elsewhere.
Expect a summer of anti-McDonald’s activity in China.