A Glimpse of China’s Real Estate Market: A KFC Story

Key Learning Points (Preview):

超出……接受范围 (chāochū…jiēshòu fànwéi) Go beyond/be out of the acceptable range of…

闹市区 (nàoshìqū) Downtown area  

核心竞争力 (héxīn jìngzhēnglì)  Core competitiveness   

Recently, KFC restaurants are reported to have to move frequently in some areas of China. Why does such a fast-food giant have to face this embarrassing situation? KFC restaurants in China often “租赁 (zūlìn) rent” their places. When their 10-year lease expires, the rent in the “闹市区 (nàoshìqū) downtown area” has already soared to several times the original rental price, and has “超出 (chāochū) gone beyond 接受范围 (jiēshòu fànwéi) the acceptable price range of” KFC. So KFC was forced to re-select some less-expensive locations. First of all, this proves that the original locations’ selection of KFC is correct. The success rate of its location choices is almost 100 percent, which is one of the KFC’s “核心竞争力 (héxīn jìngzhēnglì) core competitiveness.” Second, the rent’s soaring suggests the “房地产 (fángdìchǎn) real estate” industry’s rapid development in China. The same also applies to the development of the “商品房 (shāngpǐnfáng) residential building.” Since 2003, China’s housing prices began nearly six-year’s continuous growth, making more and more people become “房奴 (fángnú) mortgage slaves” due to high housing prices.

超出……接受范围 (chāochū…jiēshòu fànwéi) Go beyond/be out of the acceptable range of…

“超 (chāo)” means to exceed, “出 (chū)” means out of, so “超出 (chāochū)” means to go beyond. “接受 (jiēshòu)” means to accept, and both the two Chinese characters mean to accept.”范围 (fànwéi)” means the range.


Nǐde jiàgé chāochūle wǒ gōngsī de jiēshòu fànwéi, néng shāowēi jiàngdī yìxiē ma?
Your price goes beyond the acceptable range of our company’s capacity. Can you bring it down a bit?

闹市区 (nàoshìqū) Downtown area  

“闹 (nào)” means noisy; “市 (shì)” means market place and “区 (qū)” means area.

核心竞争力 (héxīn jìngzhēnglì)  Core competitiveness   

In this word, the character “核 (hé)” means core and “心 (xīn)” means the very center, so “核心 (héxīn)” means the very core. The character “竞 (jìng)” means to compete and “争 (zhēng)” means to fight, so “竞争 (jìngzhēng)” means to fight to win competition. Here the character “力 (lì)” means ability.


Wénhuàlì shì qǐyè héxīn jìngzhēnglì de yuánquán.
Culture is the source of core competitiveness in enterprises.

生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary 

租赁 (zūlìn): v/n rental 

房地产 (fángdìchǎn): n real estate 

商品房 (shāngpǐnfáng): n commercial residential building  

房奴 (fáng nú): n mortgage slaves  (see newsletter issue 13—popular words)

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