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Industry Beverages
Genre Bubble tea
Founded Zhubei in Hsinchu County, Taiwan (2003)[1]
Headquarters Zhubei, Taiwan
Number of locations
1,002 in 30 countries (January, 2017)[2]
Area served
Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam
Key people
Henry Wang Yao-Hui
(Chairperson, Founder)[3]
Bubble tea  • Tea  • Flavored tea
Services Tea
Revenue US$20 million (2011)[1][4]
Number of employees

Chatime (日出茶太) is a Taiwanese global franchise teahouse chain based in Taiwan (officially the Republic of China). It operates 1,002 outlets in 30 countries.[2] In 2006, it opened its first store outside of Taiwan in California, and it has since expanded to China (PRC), Malaysia, Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, India, Dubai, Japan and Korea, among others.[5][6] Its expansion and growth model is through franchising.[5]

Its parent company, La Kaffa International Co Ltd (六角國際事業), debuted on the Emerging Stock Market (興櫃市場) in December 2012 at NT$168 per share. It is expected to list on Taiwan’s Gre Tai Securities Market in the second half of 2013.[5] It is the only public-listed bubble tea company in Taiwan.[7]


There are over 80 Chatime flavours.

Henry Wang Yao-Hui founded Chatime in 2005 in Hsinchu, Taiwan, under the parent company, La Kaffa Coffee.[4] He modernised traditional tea making culture by producing tea machines that could make quality fresh teas that were consistent, using a variety of flavors, fruits and toppings, in order to stand out from the many competitors in the market.[4]


The company opened its first outlet outside of Taiwan in California in 2006,[6] followed by Australia in 2009,[8] where it currently has over 40 stores.[9] This was followed by Malaysia[10] in 2010.[11] Its Malaysian operations currently account for just under 50% of its global revenue.[10]

In 2012, the brand opened its first store in India, a traditional tea drinking country, in New Delhi.[12]

After its two stores in New York, its third store in the United States opened at Mall of America in March 2012.[13] The Chatime store in London is located on Old Compton Street.[14]

In the Philippines, it planned to open 50 stores by 2014,[1] while in Malaysia, it opened its 100th store in 2013, with plans to open up to 250 stores within a three to five-year period.[15]

As of August 13, 2015, the brand has 12 locations throughout Ontario, Canada.[16]


Chatime outlet in Æon, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang, Malaysia

Chatime's parent company, La Kaffa International Co. Ltd., debuted on Taiwan's Emerging Stock Market (興櫃市場) in December 2012 at NT$168 per share[17] under the stock code 2732.[5] It is the only public-listed bubble tea company in Taiwan.[7]


The brand's best-selling drink is its signature Chatime "pearl" milk tea.[4] The brand has a variety of drinks under categories such as milk tea, fresh tea, fruit tea, "oriental pop tea", "QQ" jelly, "mousse", juices, smoothies and coffee, with stores carrying anywhere between 30 and over 90 flavours.[18][19] Its products are available with less sugar.[1]

Typically, Chatime products come with a variety of toppings such as "pearls", while "QQ" jelly is a mixture of "pearls" and nata de coco.[1]

Some products are only available in certain countries. For example, in Malaysia, Chatime introduced three flavours in collaboration with Horlicks from GlaxoSmithKline.[20]


As of 2017, Chatime is present in 30 countries and territories.[21]

North America Europe Middle East Asia Oceania
  • Canada
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Oman
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar
  • Australia
  • Guam
  • New Zealand
  • Fiji
Chatime Map.svg


Chatime was the first bubble tea brand to be made available in-flight in a collaboration with AirAsia
Chatime became the first beverage company in Malaysia to host an official account on WeChat. On the far left and right are WeChat ambassadors Lisa Surihani and Shaheizy Sam.[23]

In 2012, AirAsia announced that it would offer Chatime on its flights and claimed that is would be the "world's first and only in-flight bubble tea". The airline said that two speciality bubble tea drinks, Roasted Milk Tea with Red Bean and Mango Green Tea with Rainbow Jelly, were available on flights operated by Malaysian AirAsia with the airline code AK to 48 destinations, which include India, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines.[24] The collaboration was organised by Chatime Malaysia's CEO, Bryan Loo.[24]

Chatime became the first beverage company in Malaysia to host an official account on WeChat. To mark the collaboration, Chartime gave away 1 million cups of drinks worth over RM6 million/US$2 million through digital coupons made available via the WeChat platform.[25]

Other collaborations include partnerships with McDonald's, Horlicks from GlaxoSmithKline,[26] and biscuit brand Julie's.[27]

Brand ambassadors[edit]

A Chatime outlet in a shopping mall

Chatime announced in 2012 that award-winning Taiwan actress Ariel Lin would serve as its brand ambassador.[28]

The following year, the brand announced that Crystal Lee had become the lifestyle tea provider's first “Chatime Friend”. The announcement was made soon after Lee became the youngest actress ever to have won the award for Best Actress at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival.[29]


In South Korea, Chatime said it would take legal action against a store which sold similar products and was recruiting potential franchises.[30] Additionally, in Malaysia, they will seek an injunction against newly launched Tealive for operating and selling similar products and the possibility of using the same trade practices as its predecessor, Chatime.[citation needed]

Legal & regulatory matters[edit]

In Malaysia, the master franchisee agreement was terminated on 5 January 2017 by La Kaffa International due to contractual dispute with its country master franchisee, Loob Holdings. This legal dispute attracted the attention of local media and is currently in arbitration in Singapore. La Kaffa held a press conference in Kuala Lumpur announcing it would be taking over the Malaysian Chatime business operations and development with immediate effect. [31] This however appears to be largely incorrect with Loob Holdings rebranding 161 out of 165 Chatime outlets to Tealive brand on 17 February 2017.[32][33] Due to Loob Holdings' alleged use of unapproved ingredients (which were later found out to be collaborations with other brands for locallization purposes [34]), questionable practices, and a blatant breach of the terms of contract, La Kaffa International director Chen Zhao sought an injunction against the former master franchisee from operating a similar (bubble tea) business in Malaysia. On 29 May 2017, the High Court dismissed the injunction bid by La Kaffa International, against Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, from carrying a similar business as Chatime.[35] Judicial Commissioner Wong Kian Kheong, in his oral judgement, ruled that the injunction would cause great risk of injustice to Loob Holding and its business and also associates. The court also found that the franchise termination by La Kaffa was done in bad faith. While both companies have taken their dispute to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, La Kaffa reportedly tries to persuade LooB Holdings to settle this matter outside court.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jamora-Garceau, Therese (12 April 2012). "Lifestyle report from Taiwan: What time is it? It's Chatime". Phil Star. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "La Kaffa International to Partner with Ryuji Group Brings Chatime to Myanmar Region". Chatime. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "La Kaffa International Co Ltd". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Baga-Reyes, Reyes (26 April 2012). "How Taipei’s Chatime came to Manila". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Su, Amy (8 April 2013). "Food, beverage firms plan expansion". Taipei Times. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Chatime enters Korea". Inside Retail Asia. 18 October 2012. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "mad about tea - How to sell bubble tea profitably". The Edge. 15 November 2011. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bubble tea". Neat Eats Food news. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Hammond, Michelle. "Chatime’s Australian expansion highlights growth of Asian franchises". Startup Smart. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Chatime boss finds his cup of tea". The Star. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Chatime Malaysia Celebrates 100 Outlets". La Kaffa. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chatime opens Taiwanese bubble tea store in New Delhi". Want China Times. 3 August 2012. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Chatime to open at Mall of America". Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Chatime’ makes its European début in London". Ad-lib Traveller. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Chan, Jade (26 July 2013). "Chatime unveils expansion plan at opening of its 100th store". The Star. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Recovered, remade, reloved!". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  17. ^ "Announcement - La Kaffa". GreTai Securities Market. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Products". Chatime. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Drinks". Chatime. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  20. ^ Sri Priya, Sheila (25 January 2013). "Tea with Horlicks for Chatime". New Straits Times. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Locations". Chatime. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "Chatime Pakistan: Unveiled in Lahore". Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  23. ^ Yu, Steve. "WeChat celebrates partnership with Chatime with 1 Million Cups of Chatime for Redemption". My Techj Quest. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "AirAsia upbeat on its F&B growth". Daily Express. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "WeChat and Chatime offer 1 million cups of Chatime". Borneo Post. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "The "Why" Behind the Chatime-Horlicks Alliance". Marketing Magazine. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Julie’s teams up with Chatime". Business Times. 22 Nov 2013. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Ariel Lin as the Official Brand Ambassador for Chatime". Chatime Press Release. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Award-winning child actress debuts in brand's programme". The Star. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Taiwanese bubble tea chain opens first outlet in South Korea". Want China Times. 18 October 2012. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
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