12 November 2018
The tea house in Shanghai charged Champagne prices for its Chinese tea (inset). Photos:, Baidu
The tea house in Shanghai charged Champagne prices for its Chinese tea (inset). Photos:, Baidu

Shanghai tea house bills Japanese tourists by the sip

Every major city has its tourist traps, and Hong Kong is no exception.

But a Shanghai tea house has come up with an innovative way of parting visitors from their money.

When two Japanese students visited Yu Garden, a well-known attraction in Shanghai, last week, they met a man and two women who cajoled them into going to a tea house on Jingling East Road, promising they would enjoy its tea, China News Service reported, citing a Weibo post.

After they finished drinking their tea, the duo were presented with a bill for more than 2,100 yuan (US$325).

An employee of the tea house said the amount was based on the price of 48 yuan per sip.

The two Japanese ended up being forced to hand over all the cash they had, about 1,000 yuan.

The tourists reported the incident to local police.

Police helped the pair get their money back the next day and told them the whole thing stopped there, the report said.

But on Saturday, the authorities in Huangpu district, where the tea house is located, said in an official Weibo account they had launched an investigation into the case, and penalties would be imposed if laws had been broken.

A lawyer was quoted as saying that crimes of fraud and forced transaction might have been involved.

However, as the amount the tourists lost was not big enough to qualify for charges under the criminal law, it is likely the culprits could face up to 10 days in administrative detention along with a fine of up to 500 yuan.

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