Rat in broth wipes a fortune off Chinese restaurant chain’s value

Irving Hamilton
September 13, 2018

For one Chinese restaurant chain, however, an item found by a customer at one of its outlets has proved to be particularly costly: a rat.

Mr Ma also alleged that one of the staff had suggested his wife get an abortion if she was anxious about the baby's health, and offered him 20,000 yuan for the procedure.

After video footage of the rat circulated social media, The Telegraph reported the chain restaurant shares dropped by 12 per cent losing £145 million (NZ$288m) in value.

The outlet in Shandong province has now been temporarily suspended.

The restaurant allegedly later offered the couple 5,000 yuan ($728) in compensation for the incident - a price he was willing to negotiate after the hospital visit, he told the newspaper.

However, the woman's husband rejected the offer as he wanted her to go for a full body checkup before settling the compensation amount.

The hotpot restaurant chain opened its first outlet in Beijing in 1998 and now operates over 800 outlets in China. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said a Weibo user.

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On 11 September, the company's share price hit its lowest level since October past year.

At hotpot restaurants in China, most of the ingredients are relatively low-cost. Xiabu Xiabu and one of its rivals, Haidilao, have reported surging sales and an expanding network of restaurants. "I can't believe this", another commented.

Another user asked: "If something happens to her baby, how are they going to compensate her? Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?"

The rat appeared when hotpot has been enjoying something of a moment in China.

Hotpot is a common meal in China and across other parts of Asia.

Diners were eating hot pot, raw meat and vegetables cooked in boiling soup at the table, when they found an unexpected ingredient - a boiled rat.

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