Ben Cavender

China’s leading bubble tea makers including Mixue Bingcheng and Guming, each with thousands of stores, are rushing for an IPO in Hong Kong. A quick move now to collect capital might define the winners of the future, tells business analyst Ben Cavender to Reuters.


Mixue Group and Guming Holdings, China’s largest and second-largest freshly-made bubble tea chains by store count as of 2023, submitted applications for initial public offerings (IPO) in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings showed.

Mixue, which has roughly 36,000 stores, is looking to raise $500 million to $1 billion in its Hong Kong IPO, while Guming, with 9,000, is aiming to raise $300 million to $500 million, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter…

Bubble tea is one of the few bright spots on the consumer front in China, with low-price operators doing particularly well.

According to a China Chain Store & Franchise Association study, the country’s 486,000 bubble tea stores were expecting a 40% rise in yearly sales in 2023, reaching a market size of around 145 billion yuan.

But with low product differentiation, competition has been fierce among players. Another industry giant, ChaBaiDao, also submitted its Hong Kong IPO application just a few months ago.

“I think there is a big rush to IPO right now, as generally speaking these chains have been expanding aggressively but have had to be willing to lose money to do so,” said Ben Cavender, managing director at China Market Research Group.

“Whoever can IPO the fastest and get to a stable operating position may be the winner over the long term.”

More in Reuters.

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