Kentucky Fried Rice

Yum Brands' expansion into China shows that in the global economy, it's not what you sell but how you sell it

Ariana Lindquist for TIME

Two customers — employees of a nearby Best Buy outlet — order lunch from East Dawning's Ming Jun

With its Chinese lettering and unremarkable name, the fast-food outlet in a Shanghai shopping mall looks like many others selling local fare. East Dawning is crowded with customers on this winter evening, and they're sampling a menu that includes pork fried rice, marinated egg and plum juice. Stanley Yao, a restaurateur from Hong Kong who is opening a sushi joint nearby, dines here once a month. The food is "a little too oily," he says, but he likes the soy-milk drinks, and "the prices, of course, are very reasonable." (A meal of noodles, tea and custard dessert costs $4.) With eight...

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