David Thomas is an expert on doing business in China. With a successful history of forging global business relationships, David helps leaders, entrepreneurs and investors solve the China puzzle. As part of that, he’s launched a daily email newsletter ‘China Bites’ which you can read here on Targeting China.

Hot on the heels of Starbucks and Luckin, and proving that the Chinese still prefer drinking tea, is China’s new-age tea shop chain, HeyTea.

According to ChinaEconTalk “at about $3.50 a drink, 25% higher than its utilitarian bubble tea competitors CoCo and Happy Lemon, HeyTea delivers. Its best-in-class product department comes week after week with new drinks like cheese teas, a fluffy, salty, savory cream cheese topping that only tastes good when HeyTea makes it. Hourlong lines are mitigated by top-level interior design and its WeChat Mini App that allows for remote ordering for pickup and delivery. In the seven years since its first location opened in southern China, it has built up a network of 226 shops nationwide, and recently earned itself a billion dollar valuation”.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the key to success in China is to promote exciting new and alluring brands (rather than products) combined with attractive and comfortable social spaces (including free wifi) and unique experiences which can be easily captured and share via social media. Now that HeyTea have set the bar so high, who will jump higher?

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