Troubles are cooking up in China for foreign fast food chains
A savoury piece in China Daily shows how foreign fast foods chains are losing the Chinese people’s confidence, punished for what is perceived as their deceiving, or plain wrong, advertisement. Shaken by earlier scandals such as the melamine-infected baby milk in 2008, the public has become much more sensitive to food safety issues.
Western groups, such as KFC or Mac Donald, were so far shielded from public scrutiny: Chinese consumers thought they did not compromise with quality in order to cut costs like domestic producers do.
But no more. They are now being held accountable for their misleading claims, and customers vote with their cash and keypads. Beyond growing safety concerns, the end of such immunity reveals the broader rise of consumer activism in China - parallel to increasingly bold expression of political discontent. A dangerous mix for political and business leaders could be on the stove.