Starbucks reportedly tells influencers not to mention ‘Made-in-China’ in promotions
Published: Sep 17, 2023 10:10 PM
Starbucks Photo: VCG

Starbucks Photo: VCG

A promotional event by US-based coffee chain Starbucks in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province told Chinese influencers not to mention "Made-in-China" and "Chinese coffee" during promotions, local media outlet reported on Saturday, which triggered disputes on Chinese social media. 

A social media influencer surnamed Wang said he noticed Starbucks was hiring influencers worldwide to promote its products via video clips, and he was selected and invited into a WeChat group for promotions, according to the report. 

However, video shooting requirement in the WeChat group showed that some words including "Made-in-China" and "Chinese coffee" should not be mentioned in the promotional clips in order to focus audiences' attention on the products. 

"The remark was made by a video reviewer in the group and was sent to multiple groups for this promotional campaign, which aroused anger," said Wang, noting that some influencers said they don't understand why they cannot mention "China" in their own country. They then quit the campaign. 

A Starbucks employee said via the customer service hotline on Saturday that there will be special personnel to respond to the issue, said the report.

The relevant topic also gained many views on Chinese X-like social media Sina Weibo, which had been viewed over 18 million times as of 7 pm on Sunday. 

A netizen named "Chenxing Zhong Shanyao" said it was unreasonable not to mention the relevant words if Starbucks' coffee beans were produced in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. "In terms of technologies used in coffee production, they are already known and there is no country difference," said the netizen. 

Starbucks' China's net profit hit $821.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2023, the company revealed on August 2, up 60 percent year-on-year. New stores hit 237 in the quarter, surpassing the total number in the previous two quarters. 

As of the end of the third quarter, Starbucks had expanded to 250 Chinese cities with a total of 6,480 stores, its report showed. 

Global Times