Three Chinese tech firms were slammed with fines this week after a court determined they spread damaging rumors about KFC on social media, according to Reuters. The companies were ordered to pay a combined $91,191 and issue an apology for circulating allegations that Yum Brands chicken chain KFC had served genetically modified chickens with "six wings and eight legs."
The original claim against the companies, filed in the Shanghai Xuhui District People's court, said the defamatory messages that circulated social media had damaged KFC's reputation and business.
The lawsuit arose in the midst of concerns over food safety in China, and the resolution comes just days after 10 people were jailed for an incident back in July where KFC, McDonald's, and several other chains unknowingly purchased expired meat from a supplier. KFC is now fighting to redeem itself from these debacles and restore its reputation across its 4,600 restaurants in China.
While KFC asserts it was definitely not serving so-called "mutant chicken" in China, perhaps the idea isn't so far-fetched: After all, the company did once imagine a future in which chicken had no bones.