Yum! Brands Inc., parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, announced it had begun testing a local-food restaurant concept in China as it works to widen the gap between itself and McDonald's Corp. The company's Chinese fast-food chain is called East Dawning and is part of a strategy designed to boost growth in what Yum's chief executive David Novak said was the company's most important growth market. Speaking in New York, he said the company was also looking at expanding its casual dining version of the Taco Bell chain, Taco Bell Grande, across the country. Novak said Yum's China unit was expected to report an operating profit of $200m in 2004. With roughly 1,300 restaurants, KFC is the largest fast-food chain in China. McDonald's holds the No. 2 in the fast-food market with 600 restaurants.
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