TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After facing a massive backlash from furious Taiwanese netizens for kowtowing to Beijing on Weibo on Monday (Aug. 5), Yi Fang Fruit Tea (一芳水果茶) changed its tune today and declared that it wishes to be an apolitical brand and focus on fruit tea drinks instead.
On Monday, well-known Taiwan tea brand Yi Fang Fruit Tea suddenly took to Weibo to kowtow to Beijing by swearing its support for the tattered "one country, two systems" framework and condemning the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong, prompting many Taiwanese to curse the company and threaten a boycott. The company also said that it would terminate its contract with an Yi Fang franchise branch which had gone on strike without permission.
Taiwanese netizens were incensed by the move and said they would "refuse to drink it" and that "This turned out to be the nail in the coffin for fruit tea." They criticized Yi Fang for "only seeking profits and having no conscience" and that it has simply become "Yi Fang Chinese tea."
At 2 p.m. today, the company issued a three-point statement in response to the uproar in Taiwan. The following is a summary of those three points as reported by Liberty Times:
"1. 'Making the Best Fruit Tea from Taiwan's Local Fruits' is the original intention of Yi Fang. The brand has been dedicated to the promotion of Taiwan's fruit tea in the global market, providing the best products and the ultimate experience for vast numbers of consumers.
2. The headquarters will continue to strengthen communication with partners around the world, abide by local laws and regulations, adhere to the principle of a non-political brand, and focus on the promotion of fruit tea drinks.
3. The incident aroused concern and disturbed all sectors of society. Yi Fang Fruit Tea Headquarters is deeply sorry."