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FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Thailand
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Yum China eyes Thailand's 5 billion baht hotpot market

The company also plans to expand in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Yum China has announced its plan to enter Thailand's five billion baht (approx. US$156 million) hotpot market.

Isa Jiang, senior specialist for the company's franchise development, said it's interested in expanding the business into Thailand, seeking local partners to open Little Sheep Hot Pot, a Mongolian-style hotpot chain.

"The food and beverage industry in Thailand is one of the most developed markets in the world," she told the Bangkok Post. "Thailand also has a rich history of hotpots, as well as food culture."

Yum China Holdings is one of the largest restaurant companies in China, the company opened 76 Little Sheep Hot Pot restaurants worldwide last year: 66 in China and ten in Cambodia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Mongolia.

The restaurant has 300 locations in 130 cities, including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Phnom Penh, Toronto and Singapore.

Apart from Thailand, the company is also looking to expand with restaurants in other countries.

"Southeast Asia and the US have the highest projections for expansion this year. We are focusing on Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Shabu restaurants are quite popular in Thailand, but we are confident in our key product's characteristics, especially our meat and broth,” Jiang said.

Yum China operates restaurants under the KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, East Dawning, Little Sheep, and COFFii & JOY brands, which specializes in chicken, pizza, hot pot cooking, Chinese food, Mexican-style food, and coffee categories. 

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