ByteDance is attempting to enter the tea industry
ByteDance is entering the tea industry.

Chinese TikTok owner, ByteDance, is planning to enter the tea industry. On May 12, according to related media reports, ByteDance is setting up a food and beverage team in Beijing. In response to this news, an internal source responded that ByteDance’s food and beverage team mainly serves internal needs. However, in the job description of the post for “Food and Beverage Product Planning”, ByteDance explicitly required the candidates to be responsible for “sorting out the core selling points, product listing plans, and their launch.” This suggests that the food and beverage business is not limited to internal supply and it may also venture into the external market.  

This is not the first time that ByteDance showed the intention of entering the new consumption segment in China. In 2021, ByteDance invested in new tea brands, such as Manner, Ningji (拧季),inWE (因味茶), Lanxiong Bianli (懒熊火锅), and Sharkfit (鲨鱼菲特). ByteDance also became a shareholder of Ba Capital (黑蚁资本), which invested in Heytea, Genki Forest, Simple Love, and Wangbaobao (王饱饱). 

It is worth mentioning that the Founder of Ba Capital, Mr. Heyu, is a former employee of ByteDance. Mr. He used to discuss online selling and claimed that it should focus on experience and content, where consistency is the key to success among experience, consumers, and content. This is the trend for both online selling and offline selling. 

As for ByteDance’s layout in the tea segment, its private-label tea brand “Taoyuan Yuye (桃园玉叶)“ has been launched recently, and the brand’s official flagship shop has been opened on TikTok. Last November, ByteDance applied for a name registration of “Byte Tea”. 

ByteDance’s move reminds us of China’s premier sports brand Li-Ning’s efforts of attracting the young generation by selling coffee. Selling coffee is just a tool, and the same principle applies to ByteDance, which also aspires to enter the new consumption segment to expand its market share by selling tea.  

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