The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - — The Associated Press

McDon­ald’s will nearly dou­ble the num­ber of its restau­rants in China in the next five years, even­tu­ally sur­pass­ing Ja­pan as the ham­burger chain’s sec­ond-big­gest mar­ket out­side the U.S.

The com­pany ex­pects to have 4,500 restau­rants in China by 2022, up from 2,500. With fewer peo­ple eat­ing at U.S. lo­ca­tions, it hopes to grow sales in China by dou­ble dig­its in each of the next five years.

Slow­ing traf­fic at home has other Amer­i­can com­pa­nies turn­ing to China for growth. Star­bucks, for ex­am­ple, wants have 5,000 coffee shops in the coun­try by 2021, more than dou­bling its store count.

The an­nounce­ment from McDon­ald’s on Tues­day comes a week af­ter it com­pleted a pre­vi­ously an­nounced deal to sell most of its op­er­a­tions in China. The deal leaves McDon­ald’s, based in Oak Brook, Ill., with a 20 per­cent stake in its China busi­ness.

McDon­ald’s said 45 per­cent of its China restau­rants will be in smaller cities, such as Shan­tou and Shi­ji­azhuang. And 75 per­cent of the stores will of­fer de­liv­ery.

Ng Han Guan, Associated Press file

Boys open the door to a McDon­ald’s restau­rant in Bei­jing.

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