Bloomberg Businessweek

Feeling China’s Pain

Multinationals’ reliance on the country’s enormous consumer market could turn into a liability

China has long been a magnet for U.S. brands eager to tap its massive population. Even as the heady days of double-digit economic growth ended this decade, the consumer story rolled on as tens of millions were added to the coffee-sipping, movie-going, smartphone-addicted middle class, a cohort that exceeds 400 million people.

Starbucks, Apple, and Walt Disney led the charge into China with Chai Frappuccinos, rosegold-colored iPhones, and films with Chinese actors and locations woven into plotlines. So when Apple Inc. cut its revenue forecast for the first time in almost two decades on

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