Best Buy Is Latest to Jump Into Chinese Market

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Best Buy announced today it will open at least 20 stores in China, following the opening of its first store there in December of last year. Best Buy joins a host of American companies already doing business in China, such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and KFC. Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read some facts and figures about Uncle Sam's presence in China.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

North America's largest consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, announced today that it is opening 130 new stores. The stores will be in the U.S., and Canada, and in China. The company has had its eye on the world's largest consumer market for sometime. Last June, Best Buy bought a Chinese appliance retailer with 136 stores.

BLOCK: It's a familiar story - an American company, trying to cash-in on China's 1.3 billion potential customers. Wal-Mart has more than 70 stores in more than 30 cities there. Home Depot bought up a Chinese company called the Home Way last December, giving them 12 stores in six cities. And, of course, fast food chains like McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken have been in China for sometime - McDonalds, since 1990; KFC since 1987.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHINESE TV AD FOR KFC)

SIEGEL: That's a Chinese TV ad for KFC.

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