McDonald’s China adding 250 restaurants, may float ‘dim sum’ bond

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD, quote) said yesterday that it would open a record 225 to 250 new outlets in China this year – and that nearly half of those outlets would be drive-thrus. 

“Drive-thru is one of the fastest-growing businesses,”  said McDonald’s China Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chan. He also plans to open up more than 100 dessert kiosks, and operate 600 “McDelivery” hubs with online ordering.

McDonald’s did not say how much the investment in new restaurants was going to cost. There was also no word on how rising minimum wages would affect the traditional “McJob.” 

The fast-food chain opened its first restaurant in Shenzhen in 1990, and now has more than 1,400 restaurants in 26 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the Chinese mainland. McDonald’s opened 200 new outlets in 2011, and aims to expand to more than 2,000 outlets by 2013.

China is McDonald’s third-largest market, after the U.S. and Japan. McDonald’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division accounts for more than a fifth of the company’s revenue.

However, McDonald’s lags behind rival Yum Brands Inc. (YUM, quote), which has opened 4,500 restaurants under brands including KFC, Pizza Hut, East Dawning and the recently acquired Little Sheep.

According to Bloomberg, McDonald’s is considering a second sale of “dim sum,” or yuan-denominated, bonds in Hong Kong to raise more funds for expansion. The company sold 3% notes worth 200 million yuan ($32 million) in Hong Kong in 2010, becoming the first non-financial foreign company to offer the bonds

“We have been in China for 22 years, and we are here to lead the industry. We don’t want to be just another one in the market. We aim to be No. 1,” said Chan.