Skip to navigation – Site map
Society

New Forms of Mobility and Social Practices: The Starbucks Cafés in Beijing

Blandine Pons, Jin Xiaoting and Gilles Puel

Abstract

The multinational coffee shop chain Starbucks has proved to be a pioneer in the United States, with the deployment of Wi-Fi access. Declaring itself to be an ethical company, it provides a non-smoking environment and non-alcoholic beverages and charges a fee for secure internet access, in the fashionable areas of big cities. Having first placed the company's economic model in the global context of new forms of mobility and of the development of the commercial opportunities they provide, the authors present the initial findings of research, carried out in April 2006, on the users of the Starbucks cafés in Beijing. The social practices observed reveal the need for access to distant services and a strong desire for local social interaction. These new areas of mobility, which are semi-public/semi-private spaces, have elements of both the SOHO (Small Office Home Office) and the meeting place.

Top of page

Editor's notes

Translated by Michael Black

References

Electronic reference

Blandine Pons, Jin Xiaoting and Gilles Puel, « New Forms of Mobility and Social Practices: The Starbucks Cafés in Beijing », China Perspectives [Online], 67 | september-october 2006, Online since 01 June 2007, connection on 22 August 2017. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/1049

Top of page

Copyright

© All rights reserved

Top of page
  • Logo CEFC – Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine
  • Revues.org