Burger King, the world's second-largest hamburger chain, arrives in China today, 18 years after Kentucky Fried Chicken, thanks to years of corporate infighting that cost it one of the world's most promising markets. The shop, with 170 seats on the second floor of a building in a busy shopping street close to the Jing An temple in Shanghai, will be the first of 10 in the city. The menu is a mix of traditional fried American convenience food and Chinese dishes developed specially for this market. Burger King operates 12,000 restaurants in more than 60 countries and territories around the world with annual revenue of US$12 billion, making it the world's second-biggest hamburger chain and third-biggest restaurant chain after McDonald's and Yum Brands, the parent of KFC. KFC opened its first China outlet in Beijing in 1987 and now has more than 1,200 restaurants. The Golden Arches first appeared in Shenzhen in 1990 and there are now more than 600 McDonald's shops. Asked why it took Burger King so long to set up in China, chief executive Greg Brenneman blamed the short-sightedness of previous management. 'Our former owners, Diageo, had no interest in developing the fast-food business,' said Mr Brenneman, who took over as chief executive in August last year and became chairman in February. 'This company was under-managed for many years. You will have to ask the former owners why they did not come here. It was the obvious market.' A group of private equity investors including Texas Pacific Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Bain Capital bought the burger chain in 2002 for about US$1.5 billion from Diageo, the British drinks giant, and took it private. Mr Brenneman said the investors eventually would look to float shares and relist the company, perhaps as early as next year. He said that Burger King had opened in two new countries this year, Brazil and China, which both offered good long-term prospects. Its initial target is to open 10 outlets in the Shanghai area. It will run the Shanghai stores itself and not through franchises, which account for 90 per cent of its outlets worldwide. 'All the stores in Brazil are franchises,' Mr Brenneman said. 'The risk factor is low, as we were in all the South American countries except Brazil. Here it is not the same market and we do not know it so well. We will learn as we go. There is a big demand in China for Burger Kings.' He declined to give targets for sales or number of outlets in China. While the target market worldwide is people between 18 and 34, in China they will appeal to children. 'Most families have one child,' said Steve Desutter, president for Burger King Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. 'The children drive the decision.' For six years to 2001, Mr Brenneman was president of the troubled Continental Airlines, which he helped turn around.