American coffee chain, Starbucks has announced closure of two of its outlets in China post suspected use of expired ingredients.
This comes following speculations reported by a state-backed newspaper that Starbucks violated safety regulations by using expired ingredients to make drinks.
According to the newspaper, an undercover investigation revealed that these incidents occurred at two outlets located in the east of Wuxi city of China.
In response, Starbucks has assured that it is sincerely addressing the reports published by the local media and has therefore immediately shut both the outlets in order to investigate the incidents.
While the company has refrained from commenting on the specifics of the report, Starbucks claims 100% commitment since entering the Chinese market 22 years back with compliance to stringent food safety standards and zero tolerance policy over food safety issues.
The incident gained significant attention after the report was published on Weibo, a twitter-like social media platform.
Crucial to note that both the Chinese media and consumers have become more hostile and are aggressively when it comes to protecting customer rights by surveilling the behavior of big brands, particularly from overseas.
Other candidates that have been subject to massive public attention include Canada Goose, a winterwear brand from Canada which got in trouble for its refund policies resulting in government reprimands.
Chinese brands have not been an exception. For instance, Nayuki, a native milk tea brand caught the public eye for notorious reasons.
According to Starbucks’ latest earning reports, amongst foreign countries, China is the largest market for the coffeehouse company, housing 5,360 Starbucks outlets.
The news report mentioned that of the two Starbucks stores being probed, one used expired matcha to make lattes whereas the other was serving pastries which were supposed to be discarded.
The hot topic apparently received over 50 million views on Weibo with significant user engagement.