A movement to boycott Master Kong, one of most popular producers of instant noodles, has emerged in China after a Taiwanese tour guide claimed that the brand was affected by Taiwan’s “gutter oil” scandal.
Hundreds of tons of bread, instant noodles, dumplings and more had to be taken off shelves in Taiwan and Hong Kong after it was revealed that over than 1,000 eateries and food plants had used tainted oil collected from cookers, fryers and leather processing plants.
Not long after, the Taiwanese food giant Ting Hsin International Group was accused of selling oil mixed with animal feed.
In a video that began spreading online over the weekend, a Taiwan tour guide told visitors from the mainland to boycott all products from Tingyi, a subsidiary of Ting Hsin group and the maker of Master Kong noodles, claiming that the company was involved in the food safety scare.
Speaking to tourists on a bus, the guide said that Master Kong used 56 times more tainted oil in China than in Taiwan. She added that most Taiwanese people have boycotted the products, but it hasn’t had much of an effect on Ting Hsin since the company has the 1.4 billion USD Chinese market to rely on.
The video was forwarded more than 80,000 times in a day, according to Want China Times, and was reposted by popular social media figures and celebrities.
Ting Hsin, based in Tianjin, denied that its instant noodle products sold on the mainland were affected by the scandal, saying that none of the instant noodles produced there used ingredients from Taiwan.
A spokesperson for the company said that it plans on taking legal actions against the person who spread the rumors online.
In 2013, the company was reported to have been linked to a counterfeit olive oil scandal in Taiwan, and last year, Master Kong admitted that one of its Roasted Pork Noodle products was made with ‘poor-quality edible oil’, Xinhua reports.
Tingyi’s total revenue was recorded at 10.2 billion USD in 2014, down 10.9 billion USD from the year earlier, according to Reuters.
[Image via CCTV]