Starbucks Offers Free Coffee, China Turns Up With Huge ‘Cups’... Again

By Ryan Gandolfo, April 23, 2019

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Yesterday, Starbucks offered patrons in China quite the deal in celebration of Earth Day.

According to a post on the company’s official Weibo account, the rules were simple: from 9am-12pm on Monday, customers who brought their own cup to Starbucks would receive a free medium-sized coffee (355ml). 

However, poor Starbucks baristas appear to have been inundated with requests to fill up 5-liter water jugs, pots, bowls, empty soy sauce bottles, you name it.

Check out a few popular pics that were making the rounds on Chinese social media below.

Image via @Rabbit每日爆料/Weibo

Image via @Rabbit每日爆料/Weibo

Image via @54汪瑶/Weibo

Image via Sina

Image via @thissst/Weibo

Starbucks has run the same three-hour promotion over the last couple of years, with similar photos emerging year after year, a trend we always find highly entertaining. However, these photos of massive jugs of coffee may very well be a ruse. In 2017, one person reportedly spent RMB327 to fill up a giant metal bowl with coffee five days before the Earth Day promotion began.

The company experienced a similar frenzy back in March, when they released a limited edition ‘paw’ cup. The quirky, coffee-holding item was in such high demand that some people reportedly purchased the cup on Taobao for over RMB1,200.

Starbucks’ success in the Middle Kingdom is no secret. With over 3,800 locations in China, spanning 140 cities, the Seattle-based company has won over a nation that once viewed coffee as a status symbol as opposed to a dark, bitter, caffeinated drink. As one of coffee’s biggest brands, Starbucks also plans to expand their number of stores in China to 6,000 before 2022, according to National Business Daily. Each year until 2022, Starbucks plans to build over 600 new stores to help the company reach markets in second-, third- and even fourth-tier cities.

While all of the images used in this article were posted yesterday, That’s would like to stress that we cannot independently verify when each photo was captured.

READ MORE: Starbucks' Limited-Edition 'Cat Cup' is Blowing Up Taobao

[Cover image via Sina]

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