China graft watchdog calls for stricter regulation of some restaurants

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – China’s graft watchdog on Monday (Aug 30) called for stricter supervision of restaurants that chase rapid success online after a series of food safety scandals, as regulators continue to ramp up pressure on social media and the tech sector.

In a commentary on its website, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said so-called “Wanghong” restaurants – those with explosive online popularity – must ensure public safety.

It highlighted examples of popular restaurants that have recently been exposed for the use of fake duck blood, expired and rotten ingredients, and unsanitary food preparation practices.

“Some restaurant brands are rapidly expanding their popularity with the help of online markering hype, while others are created with the aim of quickly making money,” the commentary said.

Authorities should strictly investigate food safety problems and make the results of investigations public, it said. They should also step up supervision, including inspection, sampling, monitoring and media supervision.

China has boosted efforts to bring its tech and social media firms under tighter control in recent weeks, with regulations targeting “chaotic” celebrity fan culture and algorithms used by technology companies to drive their business.

On Saturday, China’s top social media platforms said they would begin to “rectify” accounts not officially registered with the authorities that publish financial information.

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