Someone found a dead rat in their meal in China, and shares in the restaurant company are crashing

(Owen Lin / Getty Images)
  • Media in China’s Shandong province reported that a diner found a dead rat in their meal last week.
  • Shares in the Hong-Kong listed company which owns the restaurant have promptly slumped by 15%.
  • Chinese authorities have ordered the restaurant to suspend operations, Bloomberg reports.

Chinese hotpot with a side of rodent?

That was the unfortunate predicament faced by a restaurant diner in the eastern Chinese city of Weifang, who allegedly found a dead rat in their meal last Thursday.

Spare a thought for the unlucky customer, sure.

And perhaps also spare a thought for investors in Xiabuxiabu Catering Management China Holdings Co Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed group overseeing the restaurant in question.

Shares in the company have slumped by around 15% to start the week, after Weifang media reported the “rat-cident” on Friday and local authorities ordered the restaurant to close.

Yesterday’s 6% fall has been followed another 7% slide in Tuesday trade:

And according to Bloomberg, the timing is especially poor because Monday marked the first day that shares in Xiabuxiabu were eligible to be traded on mainland China, via a newly established link between markets in Hong Kong and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Officals in Weifang are now conducting a safety check on the restaurant.

On Saturday, Xiabuxiabu issued a statement on Chinese social media app Weibo, and the company didn’t deny that there was a rat in the meal.

However, it said how the rodent got there in the first place had nothing to do with either the restaurant’s hygiene practices or operational factors. The statement has since been taken down.

A separate announcement by the company on its official WeChat account said local authorities had ordered the restaurant to suspend operations, and added that it may face possible penalties.

You can read more on Bloomberg here.

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