DQ Opens 500th China Location, Plans 100 More for ’12

The company plans to open an additional 100 restaurants within the country by the end of this year.

Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen International, Inc., announced Wednesday that it just opened its 500th location in China.

While significant, the milestone doesn't mark an end to the popular chain's growth within the country-in fact, the company plans to open 100 more restaurants there by the end of 2012.

“With the world's fastest-growing major economy, China continues to be a tremendous expansion market for the Dairy Queen system, and we attribute that in large part to strong alliances with our development partners here, including Shanghai Shida Catering,” John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, said in a press release.

The 500th Dairy Queen restaurant is located in the Hu Dong finance district in Shanghai and operated by Shanghai Shida Catering Management Company, which has more than 350 franchised Dairy Queen locations throughout southern and eastern China.

The new location will feature the company's signature soft-serve products, frozen coffee-flavored beverages, and fruit-blended beverages.

The first Dairy Queen in China opened in Beijing in 1991.

The Dairy Queen system, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, has been focused on international expansion in recent years. As of August, more than 850 of the company's 5,900-plus locations were outside of the United States and Canada. Of the 271 Dairy Queen locations that opened in 2011, 131 were in China.