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As Investors Circle Milk Tea-Makers, Experts Warn of Coming Bubble

By Luo Guoping and Tang Ziyi / Oct 21, 2019 12:31 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

It’s no secret that China is hooked on milk tea. Just look at Sanlitun, one of Beijing’s trendiest retail hubs, where more than 70 sellers serve up the sweet beverage — often laden with bubble-like tapioca pearls or layers of fresh fruit and cream — to the city’s hip younger crowd.

Investors are catching on, too. Just as the country’s bike-sharing market once attracted funding from venture capitalists and internet heavyweights, popular milk tea brands like Heytea are becoming the new darlings for the likes of Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping and JD.com. According to state-run news agency Xinhua, total investment in China’s tea-based drinks industry exceeded 1.3 billion yuan ($184 million) by the end of 2017.

But as the much-hyped industry comes to the boil, some experts are warning that milk tea might be set to become to the next market bubble.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com)

Related: China's Most 'Time-Consuming' Tea Brand to Launch First Overseas Store in Singapore

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