OAK BROOK, Illinois: McDonald's, the fast-food restaurant chain, has been using a branded online auction service allowing Chinese consumers to buy products ranging from mobile phones to MP3 players, as part of the promotional strategy for its Super Value Meal in the country.

While McDonald's has previously announced its intention to combine a "global brand promise" with a targeted approach, it has also recently scaled back its planned expansion in China.

The company agreed a two month tie-up with Taobao, the Chinese online auction site, to promote its Super Value Meal, and began selling products ranging from vouchers to digital cameras in February.

While items were initially priced close to their typical sales value, the cost declined with each "bid" until it reached 16.5 yuan ($2.42; €1.81; £1.63) – the price of the Super Value Meal – at which point it was sold to the winning web user.

A number of major multinational operators have previously launched web-based sales platforms on Taobao, including Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, Dell, the computer manufacturer, and most recently Uniqlo, the Japanese fashion brand.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff