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Xiabu Xiabu Sues Tencent After Rat-in-Hot-Pot Article

By Charlotte Yang / Jan 22, 2019 05:22 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

It wasn’t the first incident of rats in Chinese hot pot — recall Haidilao’s rodent-infested kitchens — and it’s unlikely to be the last.

When a pregnant women found a rat in her broth at fast-food chain Xiabu Xiabu in September, video of the soupy creature went viral. Xiabu Xiabu’s stock tanked, but recovered within weeks.

Tech giant Tencent later published a finance article titled “Rat found in hot pot broth — is Xiabu Xiabu still worth buying after its valuation drop?”

All seemed quiet thereafter. But it emerged today that Xiabu Xiabu is in fact suing Tencent over the article.

According to a Beijing court, a lawyer for the restaurant chain sent a letter to Tencent in November demanding the article’s removal, due to “inaccurate depictions” of the brand. It is not known what those inaccuracies are, and Xiabu Xiabu has not denied the rat incident.

Xiabu Xiabu says Tencent’s refusal to remove the article has further damaged its reputation, according to a notice published by Beijing Haidian District Court on Monday, which is reviewing the case.

The district court said Xiabu Xiabu requests Tencent delete the article, apologize and compensate its economic losses totaling half a million yuan ($73,485).

Tencent has offered no comment on the case. At the time of publication, Caixin was unable to find the disputed article online.

Speaking of rats: Financial ‘Rat Trader’ Sentenced to 3 Years Behind Bars

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