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Chinese food behemoth invests 30 million RMB to quash online rumors

(People's Daily Online)    16:29, May 26, 2017

A renowned Chinese company announced on May 25 that it will establish a 30-million-RMB fund to tackle online smear campaigns, in an effort to stop negative rumors from damaging Chinese brands’ reputations.

Yihai Kerry, the parent company of famous cooking oil brand Jin Long Yu, confirmed that the company will also offer a 10-million-RMB reward for the arrest of anyone who defames the company’s products. According to the company’s official announcement from May, some internet users have been spreading fake videos online, depicting the company’s products as gutter oil.

The accusations in these videos were proven false three years ago, but some netizens have nevertheless re-edited them and spread them online. The company has filed a suit against the rumormonger, according to Chen Bo, chief manager of Yihai Kerry.

Yihai Kerry is not the only food company to have been burned by food safety rumors. Due to the increasing exposure of food safety issues in China, consumers are becoming more cautious when choosing food and beverage brands. Zong Qinghou, chair of beverage giant Hangzhou Wahaha Group, noted that rumors and the spread of counterfeit products cost his company 5 billion RMB in 2014, according to a report by Chinanews.com.

Liu Zhi, vice president of the China National Food Industry Association, told Beijing Youth Daily that such rumors have had a negative influence on the reputation of Chinese food brands, and have also weakened public confidence in China’s food safety.

“Around 45 percent of the online rumors target food and beverage brands. Strengthened measures are needed to tackle this vile influence,” said Liu.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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