Starbucks Plans Big Move Into China

Starbucks is planning a major expansion in China, which the company thinks can overtake Japan as its biggest market outside North America, a report says.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

is planning a major expansion in China, which the company thinks can overtake Japan as its biggest market outside North America, CEO Howard Schultz says.

Starbucks, the coffee chain giant, is looking to open thousands of stores in China over time, Schultz told the

Wall Street Journal

.

Starbucks would plan its China growth carefully, however. "Over time there will be thousands of stores in China," Schultz told the newspaper. "But it's a complicated market that requires significant discipline and thoughtfulness."

Schultz said Starbucks was eager to tap the potentially lucrative Indian and Vietnamese markets, where it doesn't yet have a presence. "Asia clearly represents the most significant growth opportunity on a go-forward basis," Schultz said.