A video that garnered tens of millions of views on social media has stirred controversy for Tsingtao Brewery, one of China’s leading beer producers and primary exporters. The company promptly informed the authorities upon discovering the video, emphasizing that the affected batch of ingredients was sealed.
In the clip, which emerged online on a Thursday, a worker in uniform, complete with a helmet, is seen scaling a high wall to access a container, where he urinates. The video’s location tag indicates the “Tsingtao beer No.3 factory,” as reported by The Paper, a local news outlet.
“National Business Daily” later cited an internal source, revealing that neither the video’s creator nor the individual featured were direct employees of the company.
The Bureau of Market Supervision and Administration in Pingdu City, where the factory is situated, promptly formed a team to conduct an on-site investigation after discovering the video. They sealed the entire batch of ingredients from the video and committed to addressing the issue seriously once the specifics were confirmed.
Tsingtao expressed its deep concern regarding the video and informed that the police had initiated an investigation. The BBC reached out to the company for comment.
The video has sent shockwaves through Chinese social media, given Tsingtao’s significant presence at home and abroad. Commenters on platforms like Weibo expressed outrage, with one remarking, “A misstep that could cost a fortune, this worker has caused real harm.” Another user questioned the brand’s survival, saying, “Good thing I don’t drink beer – but it’s unimaginable if this brand is finished because of this.” Concerns were raised about whether this was an isolated incident.
Although Tsingtao Brewery’s shares initially dropped sharply when the Shanghai Stock Exchange opened on Monday, they later stabilized. The Hong Kong market, where Tsingtao shares are also listed, remained closed on Monday for the Chung Yeung Festival holiday.