Warren Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett selected as the face of Cherry Coke in China, April 4, 2017. In this photo, Buffett drinks a can of Cherry Coke at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, May 1, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and billionaire investor Warren Buffett has become the new face for Coca-Cola for its limited edition cans of cherry-flavored coke in China, reports said Tuesday. Buffett won't receive any payment for the endorsement. Berkshire Hathaway owns about 8.7 percent of the Coca-Cola Company.

"Four or five months ago, [Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO] Muhtar [Kent] said they were going to introduce Cherry Coke into China and asked me about putting my picture on the cans and bottles," Buffett told Yahoo Finance. "I said it would be fine to do it for the first six months after launching the product. If there are no problems associated with this and he asks me to continue, I will likely say ok. Incidentally, there is no compensation involved."

Coca-Cola cited Buffett's prominence in China as an investor and said he is seen as "a non-corrupt, down-to-Earth" kind of person in the country. Also, according to the beverage company, Buffett "is one of the world’s best-known fans of Cherry Coca-Cola." The new flavor, Cherry Coca-Cola, was launched in the United States in 1985. On March 10, 2017, it was introduced in China.

"I can't think of a better way to launch Cherry Coke than with its best-known fan on the package," said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive. "It is an honor for us to be able to feature Warren on his favorite drink as it rolls out in one of the world’s most exciting and dynamic consumer markets."

Some of the officials at the company said they were surprised when Buffett agreed to the idea.

"Chinese consumers love new flavors and crave excitement from brands like ours as we launch new products," said Shelly Lin, Coca-Cola China’s marketing director for Trademark Coca-Cola. "As we thought of the most creative ways to bring the great taste of Cherry Coke to China, we thought who better to celebrate the launch of this special drink than its best-known fan. We honestly were surprised when Mr. Buffett agreed to the idea. But we’re thrilled, and he’s selling well," Lin added in a company statement.