It seems to have become a trend these days, to buy a cup of bubble tea from Heytea and post the picture on WeChat. Unfortunately, there is a chance the store you went to is nothing but a copycat, making your Heytea purchase a complete fake!
Recently, after receiving a complaint from the owner of the Heytea trademark, the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) carried out a specialized investigation. As a result, they uncovered 24 fake Heytea shops across 10 districts in Shanghai.
Originating in Guangdong, Heytea was founded in 2012 and opened their first Shanghai store in Raffles City in February 2017. It immediately became a hit and according to their statistics, daily average sales reach 4,000 cups, with people lining up in droves to buy the bubble tea and subsequently show it off on social media.
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The popularity seems to have motivated some who’d like to make a fortune without the hassle, hence the appearance of so many fake shops around town.
In case you haven’t seen it, the logo of Heytea (a.k.a. HEEKCAA) is a little man drinking bubble tea. During the investigation, the watchdogs found that nearly all the copycats kept the Chinese name ‘喜茶,’ and made slight changes to the English name and the logo; the changes are so small that you can hardly spot the difference between the real one and the fake one.
Among the 24 fake stores, 13 were found to commit trademark infringement and will receive a penalty of a monetary fine or fixed-time imprisonment; two were considered as a slight trademark infringement and were asked to rectify within a specific timeframe. As for the rest, they were rectified before the investigation and are now under SAIC supervision.
According to the official website of Heytea, there are only 7 official stores in Shanghai. So, Next time you walk by a Heytea store and consider stopping for a cup of bubble tea, make sure you pay close attention before placing an order and handing over your RMB.