TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A human rights watch group recently unveiled its ratings for Taiwanese bubble tea stores and their values when it comes to human rights and freedom.
Up to 20 popular bubble tea brands have been rated by Snowball, an organization dedicated to promoting human rights and freedom in Asia. The ratings were based on publicly available information on corporate social responsibility and human rights infringements in Hong Kong, as well as China's bullying of Taiwan.
Points were deducted for strong engagement with the China market, labor or food safety violations, and other behavior deemed unethical or problematic. Likewise, businesses could gain points for having no franchises in China, voicing support for Hong Kong's democracy movement, and charitable donations.
Three bubble tea brands were rated in the "Great" bracket: Ching Yuan Taro Ball (清源芋圓), Like Tea Shop (老賴茶棧), and Truedan (珍煮丹).
Ranked No. 1, Ching Yuan is an emerging bubble tea brand in Taiwan and has expanded rapidly in the 12 months up to May, from some 50 outlets to 170 nationwide. The company claims its hand-shaken iced drinks use only natural, fresh ingredients and have no additives.
COMEBUY, Milk Shop (迷客夏), YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea (一芳水果茶), Da Yung's (大苑子), COCO (都可), Ten Ren Tea (天仁茗茶) had the lowest scores and were said to have issued statements in support of the "one country, two systems" policy favored by Beijing and even called themselves a Chinese brand rather than Taiwanese.