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Food & Beverage

$1 bubble teas fuel Chinese drink chain Mixue's rise to the top

With over 21,000 shops, market leader brews IPO plan and overseas expansion

A Mixue Bingcheng shop in Shanghai. The chain has grown by fielding low-cost, takeout-only locations. (Photo by Noriyuki Doi)

SHANGHAI -- For all of coffee's inroads into China, tea remains a far bigger and more crowded market. And one Chinese chain is outgrowing them all.

Mixue Bingcheng, whose snowman-logo shops sell ice cream and a variety of drinks, has over 21,000 locations in China -- three times as many as the next-largest rival.

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