What a Difference a Year Can Make in China

Sunday, March 23, 2008 7:45
Posted in category Going to Market

9 months ago, McDonald’s and Yum (parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell), were being flame broiled as part of a large labor scandal.the controversy surrounded paying their college students below the accepted levels, and as with a number of big stories in China, it was a battle fougt out on BBS and in the news.

Well, it appears that just 12 months after 94% of 47,839 Respondents Believed that Yum and McDonald’s that reports accusing Yum and McDonald’s of paying illegally low wages are true, Yum has been recognized as one of China’s top 10 employers.

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4 Responses to “What a Difference a Year Can Make in China”

  1. Levin says:

    March 23rd, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    The first survey is about what people believe. That still could be true even today. They may still believe that Yum and McDonald is underpaying. It may even be true that these companies are actually underpaying. And they can still be one of the top 10. May be all others are even paying less. In fact, they may even be top 10 highest paying employers and can still be under paying.

  2. Rich says:

    March 23rd, 2008 at 7:07 pm


    Very true. Where I find this interesting is just the perceptions of it all.

    Where I would be interested in seeing more detail is in the location of the survey behind the recent award. The problems of last year were primarily in the South, so perhaps a Northern crowd may have different opinions?


  3. Levin says:

    March 23rd, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    There are all kinds of question about the sampling. The sample size is too big. I think this is an op in survey on the net. So this is probably not a random sample. I doubt they would do a strategized run on the numbers to separate out regions of the country. Since the survey is about perception of an unknowledgeable population (do the respondents really know how much McDonald and Yum is paying, and how much all other similar shops are paying ?), it is of no business use anyway, except that Yum and McDonald may want to fix their messaging to solve the perception problem, if the perception problem is great enough to be solved.

    It is very easy to figure out whether you are really underpaying your people or not: number of good quality people applying for jobs in your shop.

  4. Rich says:

    March 23rd, 2008 at 8:16 pm


    Agreed – to make that sampling even more unbiased was the fact that both groups were in the middle of a media roast.

    During that time, I asked a friend what she thought about the controversy because she was (1) a college student and (2) had worked as a cashier in a McD’s, and her reply set me back a bit because in her mind, McD’s was not a place where she (being a college student) was really looking for high pay. She was looking for (1) to learn western business style (2) speak to foreigners and (3) her friends were working there.

    With regard to your last statement… I am fairly certain that there are a number of HK invest firms in South China that are only now coming to understand that simple observation.