KFC is suing three Chinese companies for spreading false rumors about the restaurant chain on social media. According to the Associated Press, the three companies spread a variety of false rumors, including one that alleged KFC used genetically modified chickens that have "six wings and eight legs." KFC is demanding 1.5 million yuan ($242,000) as well as an apology from each company for spreading the false information on popular mobile phone messaging app WeChat. KFC also wants the companies to "stop their infringements." KFC China's president Qu Cuirong tells the BBC, "This not only seriously misled consumers, but also hurt our brand."
The chain filed the case in the Shanghai Xuhui District People's court this week. The move comes shortly after Chinese authorities relaunched a campaign "to clean up what they call online rumors, negativity, and unruliness." The campaign seeks to put an end to internet marketers that manipulate "online sentiment on behalf of clients by posting false information about competitors."
KFC — which currently has 4,600 restaurants in China — has been trying to reclaim its reputation since last year's meat scandal. In July, a supplier sold expired meat to a number of chain restaurants in China, including KFC. Footage shows workers picking up the expired meat from the floor and throwing it into the processing machines.