The Chinese Are Serious About Ramen

A Chinese chain's stock dropped 50 percent after a marketing disaster

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Just the idea that they were subjecting customers to impostor ramen noodle soup caused the stock of Chinese chain, Ajisen, to drop more than 50 percent over the last month, reports The Wall Street Journal. "Ajisen (China) Holdings Ltd.'s stock price is down more than 50% in Hong Kong over the last month after Chinese media reports questioned the freshness of the broth used with the company's Japanese-style ramen noodles." It's not like there was even anything wrong with the soup. "The reports late last month accused the company of using cheap powders and other instant seasoning to make its ramen broth. That contradicted, according to a subsequent China Daily article, a statement on Ajisen's website that its soup base was made from 'a broth of pork bones simmered to perfection.'"

That's right, they appear to have done just what every other chain restaurant does--you know, fibbed about the quality of their food, just a bit--but they got caught. After the press heard about the not-so-natural simmering process, they hammered the company on faulty nutritional facts and ingredients, only making them look worse. On Friday Ajisen apologized, but it might not have helped too much. After Monday trading their shares closed down 6.7 percent.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.