The trend for bubble tea across Asia is showing no signs of abating.
Photo from Facebook of Mixue
By LU Yibei
As of June 8, the number of bubble tea chain Mixue Bingcheng overseas stores has exceeded 1,000, just 4 years after it decided to explore markets abroad. It took 13 years for Gongcha, a Taiwanese milk tea brand, to do the same.
In 2018, Mixue Bingcheng opened its first store in Hanoi, Vietnam. By December 2021, the number of local stores had exceeded 200. Since then, its stores have reached neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Myanmar, and Laos, while entering Malaysia in 2021 and Singapore this year.
Mixue Bingcheng has the strongest growth in Vietnam and Indonesia, where it opened more than 500 stores.
The company maintains a low-price strategy overseas. In Vietnam, it set the price of bubble milk tea at 25,000 VND (7 yuan), the average cost of local milk tea in the country. In Singapore, local media reported on Mixue Bingcheng’s iconic ice cream cone, saying that although it cannot be compared with premium Italian ice cream, the price of 1 Singapore dollar (4.8 yuan) was good enough to satisfy customers.
“In recent years, there has been a lack of high-quality, affordable cold drinks in the Southeast Asian market, which has provided us with natural business opportunities,” said SUN Jiantao, head of Mixue Bingcheng’s overseas business department.
Another reason for Mixue Bingcheng to seek overseas opportunities is the cutthroat competition of low-price bubble tea chains in China. Though it owns more than 20,000 stores and plans more, others are catching up.
For now, Mixue Bingcheng is the brand with the largest number of stores in the Chinese tea market, with more than 20,000 stores globally.