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Controversy progresses on Starbucks' tying knot with Lingyin Temple

(People's Daily Online)

15:31, September 27, 2012

(Henan Business Daily)

The world's largest coffee chain Starbucks' newly opened outlet close to one of Buddhism's most famous temples - Hangzhou's Lingyin Temple has sparked a heated debate about a clash of cultures in China.

Pros: Why can't Starbucks lie beside Lingyin Temple?

It is important to know where exactly the new store is located. If it is located inside the Lingyin Temple, it is of course controversial. However, if the new coffeehouse is located just in the commercial zone of the Lingyin Temple Scenic Area, arguing over it will be really pointless.

Cultural attractions and stores are interdependent in modern tourism. Cultural attractions attract visitors, while stores bring revenue to local tourism. There is no such thing as a place of interest without nearby stores. If many people oppose setting up a Starbucks outlet in the scenic area due to concerns it may bring the stink of money, the first thing they should oppose is temples charging admission fees. By extension, they should also oppose the sale of souvenirs or donation of money at any temple. If they cannot do that, they should admit the reasonableness of the existence of these stores in scenic areas. [Read More]

*Supporters, however, said they welcomed the outlet as a place for tourists to enjoy a drink after visiting the temple.

Talk of an "invasion" was misplaced, they said, as the outlet was not inside the temple but on a nearby commercial street where a KFC restaurant and a shopping mall had been open for more than six months. >>>

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