Kentucky Fried Chicken’s China division is striking back against rumors that it has genetically modified chickens to grow six wings and eight legs, filling a defamation suit against three Chinese companies as the Chinese government launches a campaign a to cleanse online “rumors, negativity and unruliness.”
The restaurant operator is the largest in China with more than 4,600 locations according to the Associated Press. KFC posted the announcement of its lawsuit to its Chinese website.
The poultry-purveying giant is ordering 1.5 million yuan, that’s about $242,000, immediate cease and desist of social media attacks and one apology from each of the three companies named in the lawsuit.
Shanghai Xuhui District People’s Court has chosen to take the case, according to a spokesperson cited in the AP report.
KFC has accused the companies named in the lawsuit of operating and spreading the genetically modified chicken rumors on social media site WeChat.
The AP report states that the Chinese government is operating a campaign to “clean up” rumors circulating through social media.
The Daily Mail notes: “Critics say the campaign was largely aimed at suppressing criticism of the ruling Communist Party. Commentaries in state media have argued that a cleanup was needed.”
In the KFC case, “[t]he companies being sued were named as Shanxi Weilukuang Technology Company, Taiyuan Zero Point Technology Company and Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication in Shenzhen city. Calls to numbers listed for the companies either rang unanswered or were not valid,” the AP reported.
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