Starbucks coffee is a status symbol

Overpriced coffee: China attacks Starbucks

Shanghai Starbucks has been criticized in China for its high coffee prices. In the past few days, state media accused the world's largest coffee house chain of excessively burdening consumers in the People's Republic and thus driving up its profit margin. The medium-sized café latte in Beijing costs $ 4.43, a third more than in Chicago, reported the state TV broadcaster CCTV.

The US group announced that the prices reflected higher costs in China - for milk and rents, for example. Much more money would also have to be spent on staff training. The company operates around 1,000 stores in China. As of 2014, it should be the second largest market for Starbucks after the US. The profit margins would be no different from what could be achieved in the home market, according to the management.

Starbucks does not publish precise data for individual countries, but it does for regions. Accordingly, the group achieved an operating margin of 36.2 percent in the China / Asia / Pacific region in its most recently published quarter up to the end of June 2013. In America, however, it was only 22.3 percent, in Europe a meager 3.2 percent.

Foreign companies are repeatedly criticized in China. For example, Apple had to be accused of inflated prices and discrimination against Chinese consumers in the state media.