KFC Files Lawsuit With Chinese Company Over 8-Legged Chickens

Kentucky Fried Chicken has filed a lawsuit against several competitors in China over some foul fowl claims. The rival companies allegedly orchestrated an online rumor campaign against KFC which is China’s largest restaurant operator. While you shouldn’t always believe what you read on the Internet, many Chinese chicken fans took the strange posts seriously, that would have Colonel Sanders rolling in his bucket. Little known fact: KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders is buried in a man-sized chicken bucket.

In the lawsuit, KFC claims that rivals Chen An Zhi Chenggong Culture Communications Ltd., Wei Lu Kuang Technology and Ling Dian Technology purposely conspired to mislead the public with rumors that Kentucky Fried Chicken used eight legged chickens with six wings.

While it seems absurd, many people who have concerns about food safety in China took the claims seriously. So seriously in fact that Yum Brands which owns KFC reported a 9 percent loss in revenue over the first quarter of the year. That certainly got some feathers ruffled; the company is asking for 1.5 million yuan ($242,000) and apologies from the companies. However we all know that once it’s out there on the internet, there will be people who will never be persuaded that this false information is not correct. Twenty years from now some guy in China is going to be ranting about eight legged chickens when his buddies want to go split a bucket.  

Here is some of the anti KFC propoganda:

This sounds like a spin on the old American urban legend that has been around for years. Supposedly Kentucky Fried Chicken was forced to rebrand itself as “KFC” since the US government discovered that the fast food chain was selling meat from genetically modified organisms with NO HEADS, beaks or feathers, and thus that could not be considered “chickens.”

China, how could you say no to this?

8 legs would improve this.

While companies slandering competitors for financial gain is one thing, China has taken steps to crack down on individuals who post “rumors” to the Internet in response to cases like this one. If citizens post a “rumor” that is then reposted 500 times or gets 5,000 views they could be charged with defamation and get three years in jail.  That too might have Colonel Sanders rolling in his bucket.

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: Reuters