A Sydney-based firm behind the well-known bubble tea model Sharetea is battling an try by its Taiwanese franchise companion to stop it from utilizing the model and its recipes in Australia, in a authorized dispute that would have an effect on greater than 80 shops within the nation.
Lian Fa Worldwide Enterprise Eating Company, which owns Sharetea’s worldwide rights, has initiated authorized proceedings towards Sharetea Australia, a Sydney-based franchise firm for the model in place, court docket paperwork present.
Lian Fa says he ended an settlement between the 2 in September, making it unlawful for Sharetea Australia to make use of its model or confidential info, resembling its recipes for candy milk tea served with tapioca pearls that the chain is understood.
However in response to an electronic mail seen by Within the Sydney Morning Herald and The age, Sharetea Australia has refused to adjust to the termination discover, elevating questions from particular person franchisees working retailers beneath the model.
Sharetea Australia, launched by entrepreneur Teng ‘Anthony’ Mu virtually a decade in the past, has round 80 shops in its community. The corporate vigorously disputes the termination discover in court docket, with a spokesman saying it has a legally binding settlement with Lian Fa that additionally has a decade to run.
He mentioned Lian Fa had requested Sharetea Australia to offer confidential info relating to its franchisees to assist with the general public itemizing of the Taiwanese firm, which was on the coronary heart of the dispute.
“Sharetea Australia has not complied with Lian Fa’s requests for plenty of causes, together with our obligation to guard the confidentiality of our franchise companions,” the spokesperson mentioned. “Earlier this yr, Lian Fa stopped supplying Sharetea Australia with the product, which compelled Sharetea Australia to produce the merchandise from different suppliers.”
The spokesman mentioned Sharetea Australia would proceed to function usually whereas the dispute is earlier than the courts, had knowledgeable its franchisees of the issue and mentioned Lian Fa had not validly terminated the settlement of the 2 events, which has been signed in Shenzhen and lasts till 2032.
“Sharetea Australia maintains that our menus, recipes, retailer designs and operations manuals have been developed independently by Lian Fa,” he mentioned.