McDonald’s Scales Back Prices in China

HONG KONG — When McDonald’s sharply lowers the price of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich and double cheeseburger in China, one thing is clear: the global slowdown has truly arrived in the once-sizzling Asian economy.

McDonald’s announced Thursday that residents of China, the world’s most populous nation, would now be able to feast on four new combo McDonald’s meals — the other two feature a chicken filet sandwich and a pork burger — for 16.50 yuan, or $2.41, a cut of up to one-third from the former price.

The promotion, McDonald’s said, is “in line with the government’s direction to stimulate domestic demand” and “help build a stronger economy.” As the economy slows, “we can do our part by helping stimulate domestic demand in the restaurant sector,” said Jeff Schwartz, chief executive of McDonald’s China.

McDonald’s is not the only food retailer to have lowered prices in China Others, like KFC, also have started promotions as consumers in China begin to fret about slowing growth and rising unemployment. But the price reduction by one of the world’s best-known companies highlights how the downturn that began in the United States has changed shopping and selling patterns as far away as China.

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