Last year, the bubble tea business was booming in Japan. This year, with the novel coronavirus, a state of emergency has been declared in Japan. There are fewer people going out, and when they do, it’s just to buy essentials like food and face masks.
As noted on bulletin board 2ch and sites like Hachima, bubble tea shops in Japan are now selling face masks (マスク or masuku), as a way to stay in business if nothing else. However, any many folks have pointed out on Twitter, shops are selling them at a markup, with boxes of 50 masks going between 3,000 yen ($27.90) and 5,000 yen ($46.50).
This is pretty suspicious. In Japan, there have been rumors that the bubble tea shop bubble was fueled by those with criminal underworld connections.
In other news, as Kotaku previously posted, Domino’s Pizza is selling boba pizza. Because 2020.