The company is partnering with BreadTalk Group Ltd. and AspacF&B International Pte Ltd. to open franchises in the cities ofBeijing, Shanghai and Tianjan, as well as the provinces of Zhejiangand Jiangsu, China. BreadTalk has 199 bakery outlets, including 83company-owned sites in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia andThailand. Aspac is already a licensee in Singapore and Malaysiawith 10 Carl's Jr. restaurants.

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Richard Tan, chairman of Aspac, said in a statement that Chinesediners want American food options. "In the last five years or so,we have seen a significant rise in the demand for overseas premierbrands in the quick-serve industry due to irreversible risingconsumerism and economic conditions." A CKE spokesperson could notbe reached in time for comment for this story.

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Currently, CKE franchises 294 international units of both Carl'sJr. and Hardees, and plans to open its 300th restaurant on foreignsoil during the second quarter of the fiscal year. Overall, thecompany has more than 3,000 franchised, licensed orcompany-operated restaurants in 42 states and 13 countries.

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