TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Well-known Taiwanese beverage chain Yi Fang Fruit Tea (一芳) has ended operations at more than 30 locations since kowtowing to the Chinese government over Hong Kong's anti-extradition bill protests in August.
The Yi Fang Huwei branch in Yunlin County announced on Facebook Tuesday (Dec. 3) that it was closing due to a lack of customers. In the post, it expressed appreciation for its supporters along with a picture of its store manager taking a bow in front of the shop, reported Now News.
Many Taiwanese netizens responded to the post by saying that the store was being sacrificed for political ideologies, while others bashed the tea brand for choosing the wrong side. Since Yi Fang pledged its allegiance to Beijing and its "one country, two systems" framework on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, Taiwanese consumers been boycotting the company and its products.
According to the founder and director of Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea, Kei Tzu-kai (柯梓凱), more than 30 of its 180 stores in Taiwan have closed since August. Despite Kei's reluctance to give up on the Taiwanese market, the backlash continues to affect the once-popular franchise, reported Liberty Times.
Yi Fang Founder and Director Kei Tzu-kai. (Facebook photo)