McDonald’s leaves Russia, which is already holding its successor

WAR IN UKRAINE – It is a symbolic departure, that of a company embodying more than any other globalization and the Russian reopening to the world after the Soviet years. This Monday, May 16, the McDonald’s fast food chain announced that it was withdrawing from Russia definitively, a direct consequence of the invasion of Ukraine by Kremlin troops.

Like French automaker Renault, the group has said it is selling all of its assets in the country. “We are committed to our global community and must remain adamant about our values,” Group CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a company statement. “Abiding by our values ​​means we can no longer keep the Arches (the McDonald’s logo, editor’s note)” in Russia, he added.

Present in Russia for over 30 years, McDonald’s has 850 restaurants and 62,000 employees. The company had announced the temporary closure of all its restaurants and the suspension of its operations in the country on March 8, following in the footsteps of other multinationals which had distanced themselves from Moscow.

Is Russia “entitled” to its version of McDonald’s?

Russia, where McDonald’s directly manages more than 80% of the restaurants bearing its name, accounts for 9% of the company’s total revenue and 3% of its operating profit. The group is seeking to resell its entire Russian portfolio to a local player. Until a transaction is finalized, McDonald’s is committed to continuing to pay its employees and wants to ensure that they continue to be hired by the future acquirer.

But this one could already exist, under the name of Uncle Vania. This restaurant has indeed already unveiled a logo and a visual identity that could not be closer to those of the American giant, as shown in the 3D concept below produced by an Internet user from the visuals unveiled by the company:

An up-and-coming restaurant chain whose name is taken from a classic of Russian literature, a play by Anton Chekhov published at the end of the 19th century, and which contented itself with turning over the famous “arches” of McDonald’s to form the letter “V” in Cyrillic on its logo, as our colleagues from the HuffPost British.

Intellectual property no longer exists in Russia for Westerners

A visual identity now protected in the name of intellectual property, since a Russian deputy, Vyacheslav Volodin, decreed that the country had the right to have its own version of McDonald’s.

This question of intellectual property has become a real subject in recent weeks, as Western companies have announced that they will cease their activities in the country.

In Crimea, an imitation of KFC (Crimea Fried Chicken), for example, started selling buckets of fried chicken, while “Starducks” offered coffee of all kinds. Similarly, a Russian judge ruled that the plagiarism of the little character Peppa Pig was legal. One more sign, if needed, that Russia is moving further away from the Western world every day.

See also on the HuffPost: Putin celebrated Orthodox Easter in Moscow without granting a truce to Ukraine

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