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Food & Beverage

Japan eatery chain Watami returns to China for taste of recovery

Restaurant owners hungry for foreign expansion as rebound lags at home

Japanese restaurant operator Watami brings its Karaage no Tensai fried chicken chain to China this month with an opening in Shanghai. (Photo by Kenta Ando)

TOKYO -- Watami, one of Japan's biggest restaurant operators, debuts a fried chicken shop in Shanghai this month as the company hunts foreign growth while the industry remains under coronavirus restrictions at home.

The move reverses the company's exit from China last year when Watami, known for its namesake izakaya gastropubs, shut seven locations under this brand in the country as the pandemic upended the restaurant industry there.

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