While the PRD turns out its fair share of horrifying food scandals, it's also no stranger to the fake fake food scare: rumors about plastic seaweed or similar that turn out to be unsubstantiated. Even by these standards, the most recent story was extreme: a short video spread over social media showed people lying on the ground, supposedly dead after eating fried chicken at a shop in Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen.
The video – surprise, surprise – turned out to be misleading. The people lying down were all alive and well, according to a rebuttal posted on Weibo by the fried chicken chain store shown in the video, Zhengxin Chicken Steak.
The footage was actually taken on May 7 outside a Zhengxin shop in Dongguan, not Shenzhen. According to shop owner Wang Yanxiao, the incident happened because of an argument with a local landlord. Supposedly jealous of the popular chain's 'booming business,' the people shown in the video were attempting to 'provoke' the store's employees by pretending to be injured after bumping into Wang.
Wang claims his testimony is backed up by both CCTV footage and local police investigation. A separate CUTV report also showed that the two Zhengxin Chicken Steak stores in Shenzhen's Huaqiangbei don't look like the one in the video at all.
Taken out of context, however, the sight of people lying on the ground outside a Zhengxin shop gave rise to a false death-by-fried-chicken scare.
Here's some of the footage that started it all (VPN off):