Rat Wipes $190M Off Restaurant Chain's Value

Xiabu Xiabu

Xiabu Xiabu

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 chain also offered a compensation price of 5,000 yuan.

The woman, identified only as Ms Gao, was having dinner with her husband Mr Ma at a Xiabu Xiabu restaurant in Weifang City last week. He alleged that one staff member had offered 20,000 yuan ($2,900) for an abortion if she was concerned about the baby's health.

"If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it", Mr Ma says the staff told him.

The local market supervision authority has launched an investigation into the incident and the outlet where the rat was discovered has been shut down.

The hotpot restaurant chain opened its first outlet in Beijing in 1998 and now operates over 800 outlets in China. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?" one person said. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again".

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

"Xiabu Xiabu has always been one of my favourite restaurants, I thought they were quite clean as well..."

"If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her?"

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

The restaurant initially put out a statement on Saturday saying that it had "ruled out" the possibility that a lack of hygiene had caused the rat to end up in the hotpot, but later deleted it.

Hotpot, a bubbling Value-Added Tax of broth in which diners dip pieces of meat and other morsels, is a beloved family meal in China, especially when the weather starts to cool down. No traces of rats were found though the branch was ordered to suspend services, according to a statement.

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