Chinese Tea Chain Mixue Enters South Korea and Japan

Mixue, a Chinese tea-based beverages brand that is set to list on the main board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, has recently entered the South Korean and Japanese markets.

In the beginning of November, an account named “MIXUE.Japan” became active on Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle-sharing Chinese social media platform, where it released a brief opening notice and site selection of its first store in Japan. The location is in Omotesandō, Tokyo, which is a business district as popular as Harajuku and Shibuya, focusing on high-end fashion and creative clothing.

According to Chinese web users living in Omotesandō, this high-end location isn’t concentrated with Chinese people, and it seems to be inconsistent with the low-cost style of Mixue. However, MIXUE.Japan quickly said in the comment area that besides Tokyo, it will expand to Kyoto and other places in the future.

The first store in South Korea of Mixue officially opened at the end of October. It is located near Chung-Ang University, where local students and Chinese students often gather. In the first three days of opening, attracted by free ice cream, the store was crowded with customers.

A Mixue store in South Korea (Source: Xiaohongshu)

Many Chinese students posted pictures of products from the store on social media. The types of drinks are basically the same as those in China, but the prices are slightly higher. Lemonade is around 8 yuan ($1.14), which is similar to the price of a bottle of water in Korea, and the most expensive drink costs less than 16 yuan. The store was opened by Chinese people, and most of the employees in the store are also Chinese, so ordering in Mandarin is possible.

Another Chinese milk tea brand called Gongcha has opened over 700 stores in South Korea, with a price range between 23 yuan and 42 yuan. Other milk tea brands, such as COCO, Tiger Sugar and Guming, have also expanded their stores to South Korea, and their product prices are much higher than those in China.

Entering the Japanese and South Korean markets for the first time, Mixue has experienced imperfections in its operations. Due to the long journey to purchase raw materials from China and inconvenient logistics, Mixue was often out of stock after opening, and a large number of packages in the stores are still in Chinese. MIXUE.Japan’s short promotional video was also criticized by social media users because the translation was not in place.

Established in 1997, Mixue opened its first overseas store in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2018. By the end of March, 2022, Mixue had opened 249 stores in the country, with a total revenue of 9,290,400 yuan and a net profit of -322,000 yuan. The brand runs 317 stores in Indonesia, with an operating income of 25.4108 million yuan and a net profit of 2,235,500 yuan.

SEE ALSO: Chinese Tea Brands Including Mixue and HeyTea Eye Southeast Asia

Although it is still in the early stages of expansion, Mixue is full of confidence in overseas markets such as Southeast Asia, and stated in its prospectus that youth groups account for a large proportion in the region, and the purchasing power of current consumers is constantly increasing.

With the completion of listing counseling, Mixue plans to raise 6.496 billion yuan. According to the latest data, Mixue has 22,276 stores around the world. From 2019 to 2021, the company’s revenue was 2.566 billion yuan, 4.68 billion yuan and 10.351 billion yuan respectively, while the net profit was 445 million yuan, 632 million yuan and 1.91 billion yuan respectively.