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16.jpg (Photo : image.wenweipo.com)


The Tianjin Goubuli Group Corporation (Goubuli) announced yesterday that it is in the final stages of acquiring a well known U.S. coffee chain.

While the name of the U.S. chain was not revealed, Goubuli did say that the chain operates "hundreds of shops" in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe. Goubuli on the other hand, is the owner of the well known Goubuli Steamed Stuffed Bun restaurant chain. The original bun was the invention of Tianjin native Gao Guiyou whose childhood nickname was "gouzi" or puppy.

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A popular story says that as his snack shop became more popular, Gao would devote more time to making buns than to speaking with customers and so people began referring to the bun as the goubuli baozi or the buns from the puppy that ignores everyone. With over 150 years of history, the bun was awarded the title "Famous Chinese Snack" in 1997 by the Chinese Cuisine Association.

Terms of the deal have also not been revealed but this won't be Goubuli's first international venture. Last October it inked a deal with Singaporean food manufacturer Tee Yih Jia to market and sell Goubuli products in the more than 50 Asia-Pacific cities it does business in.

Similarly, Goubuli sees the U.S. coffee chain purchase as another way to promote its products to overseas markets. According to Goubuli Chairman Zhang Yansen, despite the popularity of Chinese food around the world, it is not considered high-end cuisine. Accordingly, because Goubuli is one of China's oldest and most famous food brands, it will be able to use the purchase of the U.S. coffee chain to promote high-quality Chinese food.

The purchase is expected to be completed in the first half of this year.