Fried-chicken chain KFC, a unit of US fastfood giant Yum! Brands, has been granted government permission to enter Tibet, according to Samuel Su, chief of Yum! Brands’ Greater China unit.

“We do have plans to enter Tibet,” Su was quoted by Reuters as saying, without giving a timescale. “Supplies are a major challenge, absolutely. We are working on that right now.”

China is Yum! Brands’ largest market outside the US. The company has around 1,000 KFC outlets in China in 230 cities in all regions except Tibet.

Su said the company planned to open hundreds more KFC outlets in China in 2004, as well as expanding the Taco Bell franchise outside Shanghai, reported Reuters.