Canadian café chain Tim Hortons gets investment from Tencent for China expansion: report

15, May. 2020

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

TOKYO, NNA - The Chinese arm of Canadian coffee shop operator Tim Hortons Inc. has received an investment from Chinese internet services giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. for a store network expansion in the country.

With an undisclosed sum of investment from Tencent, Tim Hortons’ Chinese unit aims to expand coffee shops from about 50 currently, most of which are in Shanghai, to about 1,500, some media reports have said.

The funding will also be used to expand digital infrastructure and its accelerated upgrade at Tim Hortons, the reports added.

“The partnership with Tencent — which is behind the social media and mobile pay system WeChat that has become ubiquitous in China — will help boost the digital expertise at Tim Hortons for a market far more familiar with online ordering and delivery,” Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper, reported on Wednesday.

Tim Hortons forayed into China in May 2018 as a joint venture formed by Restaurant Brands International Inc., a Canadian fast food chain operator, and private equity fund Cartesian Capital Group LLC.

China’s coffee shops are currently dominated by Starbucks Coffee Co. with over 4,200 outlets in the country and local operator Luckin Coffee Inc. at more than 4,500.

Tim Hortons’ first Chinese outlet opened in Shanghai in February 2019, with its Canadian roots in the design that features hockey stick door handles and maple leaf lattes, according to the Financial Post report.