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Chinese tea drink chain scraps co-branded products due to illegal commercialization of Buddhism
Published on: 2023-12-08
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Hey Tea, a leading Chinese tea drink chain, has removed one of its latest products featuring images of ceramic Luohan and Bodhisattva sculptures, following allegations that the act, deemed a commercial promotion in the name of Buddhism, is illegal, Chinese media outlets reported on Tuesday.

The tea latte and its accompanying packaging and merchandise were launched on November 28, as a co-branded series by Hey Tea and Jingdezhen China Ceramics Museum. The co-branded products garnered a lot of attention both online and offline, but at the same time led to criticisms due to the religious elements in commercialization.

In China, multiple laws and regulations prohibit commercial promotion in the name of religion, including the "Religious Affairs Regulations," "Several Opinions on Further Addressing the Commercialization of Buddhism and Taoism," and "Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services."

Only a few days following the launch, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau of Shenzhen, where Hey Tea is headquartered, confirmed that the bureau had held talks with the Hey Tea company over the matter, as is reported by several Chinese media outlets.

The company took the controversial items off their menu on Sunday and issued a self-reflection statement regarding the matter.





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