In the wake of the Taiwanese president’s brief visit, Chinese netizens have angrily accused 85°C Bakery Café of supporting Taiwanese independence with some even calling for a boycott of the company which has more than 600 shops in mainland China.
Yesterday morning, 85°C responded to the online outrage by issuing a groveling apology in which it praised the Chinese government and voiced its “firm support” for upholding the ”1992 Consensus” and the “cross-strait family.”
However, it appears that the company’s apology hasn’t completely smoothed things over as 85°C no longer appears on China’s two major food apps, Meituan-Dianping and Ele.me, meaning that customers can no longer order deliveries from any of the chain’s locations. Those searching for information or reviews of 85°C on Dianping are met only with a notice saying that the app is “unable to find the appropriate merchant.”
Meanwhile, it appears that 85°C will also have to deal with being hassled by local authorities. Food safety officials in the Fujian city of Quanzhou carried out inspections at more than a dozen bakeries yesterday. However, as Apple Daily points out, the only official photos released from the inspections were from two 85°C locations, with officials publicly accusing the shops of various health and safety offenses.
It remains to be seen what this all means for 85°C’s business prospects in mainland China, but it ain’t looking good.