Us vs them: Asian brand nationalism

Rising protectionist sentiment worldwide is sparking fresh tensions. Asia is not immune—and neither are the big brands.

Brand flashpoints: from the South China Sea to Kashmir, bilateral spats give way to protests and boycotts, with brands caught in the crosshairs across Asia.

Smart young professionals sit in Starbucks cafes in the southern Chinese boomtown of Guangzhou, sipping barista-made drinks. Decked with mood lighting and smooth wooden tables, menus offer everything from Chinese New Year cakessome shaped like teddy bearsto green-tea lattes.

Starbucks is a foreign brand that has been a resounding success in China since 1999, when the company made its first foray into the Middle Kingdom, it has reached more than 2,100 stores in...

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