Taiwan-based 85 Cafe may face boycott in the mainland, urged to recognize 1992 Consensus

By Ma Jingjing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/15 21:13:40

Taiwan-based chain 85 Degrees Celsius Bakery Café (85 Cafe) has sparked criticism in the Chinese mainland, after one of its US stores warmly welcomed Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, who leads the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

Tsai visited an 85 Café in Los Angeles, where servers took photos with Tsai and give her a present with her name and a date on it, media reports said.

This sparked mainland people's anger, as they believe the store supports Tsai's “Taiwan independence” policy.

On its official website, the company lists China as an overseas stronghold, along with the US and Australia. Meanwhile, on the page showing Global Locations, the Chinese characters "Zhongguo (China)" had been changed to "Dalu (mainland)" as of Tuesday, but the English version still said "China."

To ease criticism, 85 Cafe said in a statement on its Sina Weibo account that the company supports the 1992 Consensus and opposes any behavior and words that split cross-Straits compatriots.

The 1992 Consensus is an agreement between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland to adhere to the one-China principle.

But the statement was neither posted on its Taiwan official website nor its overseas social accounts such as Facebook. Thus, many believe that 85 Cafe made this statement only to cope with mainland internet users' anger rather than showing its stance outside the mainland.

"85 Cafe seems to hope to gain interests from both sides across the Straits. It wants to get commercial interests from the mainland, while essentially, it supports Tsai's policy that hinders the peaceful reunification of China," Wang Yong, an associate professor at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Taiwan-based companies operating in the mainland should recognize the 1992 Consensus, otherwise they will be punished, he said.

On the company's Sina Weibo account, mainland internet users called for a boycott of 85 Cafe and said that it should retreat from the mainland.

"The far-fetched statement is absurd and pathetic. Since the company advocates Taiwan independence, why doesn't it retreat from the mainland?…" a network user named ChenxiangfaMister said.

"85 Cafe makes money in the mainland, but does things that harm the mainland. What a trashy company!" "It's doesn't matter if we don't eat cakes at 85 Cafe. After all, there are many bakery stores," mainland internet users said.

On Wednesday, the Global Times noticed that mainland popular online catering service platforms such as Meituan and Eleme had removed 85 Cafe from their platforms.

According to media reports, 85 Cafe has a total of 589 stores in the mainland. 85 Cafe couldn't be reached by the Global Times for comment on Wednesday.


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