The Financial Times this morning has a story about how “Starbucks is making a super-sized bet on China, where it is opening a premium roastery that will be its largest outlet in the world as part of efforts to maintain its upscale reputation in an increasingly important market. The Seattle-based company has spread to more than 130 cities in China, where it operates about 3,000 stores. It is opening new outlets at a rate faster than one a day as it seeks growth in the country following several quarters of underwhelming results in the US, its biggest market.”

The story says that “as white-collar Chinese consumers with rising incomes switch to pricier premium goods, Starbucks is betting that thirst will extend to coffee. China could become Starbucks’ biggest market within a decade, executive chairman Howard Schultz told the Financial Times in Shanghai on Tuesday. Starbucks outlets in China have been seen as an upmarket destination for business meetings or dates, and so are able to charge more for a coffee than in the US.”

KC's View: If some economists and political scientists are correct that we’re about to enter the China decade, with that country dominating in terms of money, power and influence, then Starbucks definitely is making the right moves here.