McDonald's announced its name change on Oct. 25, 2017. (Photo from official account of McDonald's Sina Weibo)
McDonald's, through its official Weibo account, confirmed on Wednesday evening that it has changed its Chinese company name from "Maidanglao" to "Jingongmen," or "Golden Arches."
The fast food chain, however, clarified that it "only changed its registered name" but that all stores would continue their service under the familiar Chinese brand name "Maidanglao" (the Chinese pinyin translation of the English word McDonald).
The clarification was made after earlier reports about the change have triggered heated discussion and confusion among Chinese netizens -- many of whom think the new name is old-fashioned or sounding more like a traditional Chinese restaurant, while some wonder whether the old name will still be used in its stores in China.
According to Caixin, McDonald's name change came after two subsidiaries of state-backed CITIC Group, CITIC Limited and CITIC Capital, bought 52 percent of McDonald's China's shares in July 2017. The deal also saw American investment company Carlyle Investment Group holding 28 percent of the shares and McDonald's owning the remaining 20 percent.
After the acquisition, McDonald's China announced its "Vision 2022" which will help the fast food chain increase its stores from 2,500 to 4,500 on the Chinese mainland in the next five years.
By then, about 45 percent of all McDonald's outlets will be located in third- and fourth-tier cities, and 500 new restaurants are expected to be open on annual basis, much higher than the present expansion speed of 250 new chains per year.