Chinese netizens irked by McDonald’s alleged price hikes
Published: Dec 26, 2023 06:10 PM
Photo: Courtesy of McDonald's China

Photo: Courtesy of McDonald's China

Discussions about possible price hikes of McDonald's food products went ferment among Chinese netizens, reflecting a mix of consumer curiosity and concerns over the food chain's operation in the Chinese market.

The topic has surged to the top on social media platform Sina Weibo's trending list on Tuesday.

McDonald's will reportedly raise prices of main products in China from Wednesday, with nearly 90 percent of its burger products and snack items to rise in price by 0.5 yuan ($0.07), according to media reports. 

Additionally, prices of its McCombo meal will increase by 1 yuan.

Asked by media, McDonald's China customer service confirmed that some items and combos would see a price adjustment. "Considering changes in operating costs, we regularly assess and adjust our price structure," a staff member said. 

McDonald's did not reply to the Global Times' interview request on Tuesday.

Some netizens have expressed understanding on the proposed price hike, while calling for improved food quality. "Prices can go up, but the quality needs to keep to the standard," commented one netizen. 

Others expressed dissatisfaction and vowed to shift to alternatives. "There's no need to be fixated on certain brands; many domestic brands are doing exceptionally well now. The key is affordability," said another netizen.

"When home prices rose, I watched with indifference; when gas prices surged, I remained unaffected; but when McDonald's raises prices, it hurts me to the core," another netizen commented.

Some analysts suggesting that the reasons behind McDonald's decision to increase prices could include rising raw material costs, increased labor expenses, and higher transportation cost. 

On October 30, McDonald's released its third-quarter financial results, reporting a revenue of $6.692 billion, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent, and a net profit of $2.317 billion, an increase of 17 percent. 

Benefiting from the growth in sales and the addition of new stores, McDonald's China achieved significantly higher sales and overall growth in the first half this year compared to pre-pandemic levels. As of June 30, the number of McDonald's China restaurants has increased to over 5,400, doubling from 2017, with nearly half located in third- and fourth-tier Chinese cities. McDonald's said earlier this year that the company plans to continue opening new stores in China at a rate of one every 10 hours, reported.

Since 2017, the number of McDonald's stores in China has doubled to 5,500 with the country becoming its second largest market. McDonald's Chinese business has also generated sales growth of more than 30 percent since September 2019, according to a CNN report.

Global Times