Gong Cha

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Gong Cha Global Limited
IndustryFood and beverage
Founded2006; 17 years ago (2006) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Key people
Wu Zhenhua (吳振華) (Founder)
Martin Berry (CEO)
ParentGong Cha Korea (70%)
Gong Cha Global (30%)

Gong Cha (Chinese: ; pinyin: Gòngchá) is a tea drink franchise founded in 2006 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.[1][2][3]

Gong Cha expanded to Hong Kong in 2009,[4] and by 2012 had further expanded internationally to Macau, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia and China.[5]


The name is a combination of the Chinese characters "", meaning contribution or tribute, and "", referring to tea. Together meaning "Tribute tea".[6]


Gong Cha, which translates to “tribute tea for the emperor,” was founded in 2006 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Gong Cha's first Hong Kong store was established in 2009 by a Hong Kong native who had lived in Taiwan for five years.[7] In 2012 it had forty-six stores in Hong Kong, mainly in MTR stations and shopping centers, but that number has dropped to five due to decreased business from several health and safety scandals.[8] Gong Cha serves a total of about fifty-seven different drinks, which can be divided into seven types: house specials, brewed tea, milk tea, 'Creative Mix,' coffee, 'Healthy Series,' and ice smoothies. These drinks are offered in medium and large sizes. Gong Cha also sells tea sets and tea in stores, such as Bi-Luo-Chun Green Tea and Darjeeling Spring Tea. In some locations they also offer food, a new recent addition being "Mochi Waffles".[9]

In 2017, 70% of ownership was sold to Kim Yeo-Jin (金汝貞), owner of Gong Cha Korea, Gong Cha's Korea franchisee, with backing from private equity firm Unison Capital. In January 2017, Gong Cha's main headquarters was acquired by Gong Cha Korea. CEO Kim Soo-Min has announced plans to reach out into the Middle East and Latin America, while promising to "change everything but the taste".[10]

In 2019, TA Associates agreed to provide growth investment to Gong Cha and later bought 100% of Gong Cha Korea. UK company GC Group BIDCO Limited bought the remaining 30% in the same year, with GC Group BIDCO renamed to Gong Cha Global in 2020, moving the global headquarters to UK.

2011 Taiwan food scandal[edit]

In May 2011, a scandal broke out in Taiwan when many drinks were found to contain DEHP, a plasticiser which was added as a clouding agent in order to improve the appearance of the drinks. Ingestion of DEHP is known to cause heart problems and to affect male genital development.[11] Even though Gong Cha's products were proved to contain no DEHP, the sales record of its branch in Causeway Bay dropped approximately 30%, caused by the news spread to Hong Kong.[12] Gong Cha took a variety of actions to restore consumer confidence in the products, such as conducting tests on ingredients imported from Taiwan in order to prove their safety and in June 2011 discontinued certain kinds of juices in its Hong Kong branches before the test reports released.[13] In the end, the products were proved to contain no DEHP.[14][15][16][17]

Rebranding in Singapore[edit]

On May 29, 2017, it was announced that all 80+ Gong Cha stores will be closed and replaced with another brand, Liho.[18]

However, Gong Cha's Singapore Branch announced its return on 1 December 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Story: The Highest Quality". gong-cha.com. Retrieved 16 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "About Gong Cha". gongchausa.com. Retrieved 16 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Gong-Cha: Our Tea Story". gong-cha.ca. Retrieved 16 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "台灣珍奶國際化!貢茶憑什麼8年成長6倍、從左營小商號變身外資眼中金雞?". Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  5. ^ "New Gong Cha CEO Targets Global Expansion for Bubble Tea Brand". Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  6. ^ "Gongcha Daily Tea Place". sampartners. January 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "台飲過江龍 奶泡滑到黏嘴 (Taiwan-style drink 'River-Crossing Dragon': foam so smooth it sticks to your mouth')". The Sun. 2009-06-08. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  8. ^ "香港的營業據點 (Operating locations in Hong Kong)". Gong Cha. Archived from the original on 2014-10-16.
  9. ^ "Drinks and Snacks".
  10. ^ ""맛 빼고는 다 바꿔" 공차코리아 대수술, 본사까지 인수…글로벌 프랜차이즈 주인으로". Hankyung. 2016-11-29.
  11. ^ "台飲品含致癌起雲劑 (Taiwan drinks contain carcinogenic clouding agent)". The Sun. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  12. ^ "「日出茶太」全線產品安全 (Chatime's whole line of products is safe)". Ming Pao. 2011-06-02. Archived from the original on 2013-01-07. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  13. ^ "「貢茶」全線停售果汁飲品 (Gong Cha stops selling juice drinks at all stores)". Oriental Daily News. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  14. ^ "貢茶商品檢驗合格報告1-1 (Gong Cha's Products Pass Tests 1-1)". Gong Cha. 2011-06-15. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  15. ^ "貢茶商品檢驗合格報告1-2 (Gong Cha's Products Pass Tests 1-2)". Gong Cha. 2011-06-15. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  16. ^ "貢茶商品檢驗合格報告2-1 (Gong Cha's Products Pass Tests 2-1)". Gong Cha. 2011-06-15. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  17. ^ "貢茶商品檢驗合格報告2-2 (Gong Cha's Products Pass Tests 2-2)". Gong Cha. 2011-06-15. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Goodbye Gong Cha, hello LiHo | the Straits Times". 29 May 2017.

External links[edit]