McDonald’s Hamburger Crisis

Trending Topic of July 30, 2014: Besides the big news about the formal investigation into China’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang, there are more mundane topics Sina Weibo’s netizens are concerned about, such as the current state of McDonald’s hamburgers.

Netizens are complaining that their hamburgers have tragically changed into ‘meat buns’ (汉堡惨变肉夹馍). McDonald’s China currently serves hamburgers without ingredients such as lettuce, onion or pickles, due to serious problems with its supplier.

Recently, local Chinese media exposed how supplier Shanghai Fuxi (上海福喜) provided inferior and expired meat products to China’s biggest fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. On July 28, McDonald’s announced it was no longer working with the Fuxi company since the 25th. This led to a stock deficiency in restaurants all over the country. Some restaurants only serve drinks and fries, while others are serving bare hamburgers without bacon, lettuce or onions. McDonald’s has stated that it hopes to find a different supplier as soon as possible and continue business as normal by the beginning of August (Sina 2014).

In the midst of the McDonald’s hamburger crisis, a picture has gone viral over Weibo of a restaurant next to a KFC; the shop has put up a banner saying: “With the kind of meat you’re selling, I feel ashamed to be your neighbour.” There are also netizens who object to the comparison of the hamburger with the Chinese ‘meat bun’ (roujiamo, 肉夹馍) – a famous type of street food: “I personally feel that this topic is an insult to the roujiamo, which is both delicious and nutritious. How can you compare it with that trash food?!”




Sina. 2014. “厦门洋快餐部分产品断货 涉事餐馆公示表清白.” Sina News, July 29.


– by Manya Koetse