Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beijing's Fake Pork Buns

This is the most viewed news footage on today (Tudou is the Chinese equivalent of YouTube)

The Middle Kingdom is now the Kingdom of Fakes. In addition to the fake LVs, Guccis, Rolexes now there are fake pork buns (baozi).

One CCTV program aired this shocking revelation late night on Wednesday and it instantly became the talk of the country. There is quite a lot of discussions in Hong Kong, too.

Some pork bun vendors mixed cardboard boxes with the minced pork to make the filling for the pork buns. The cardboard boxes were softened with NaOH (to make it all mushy) and then "flavoured" with chemical flavour power and lots of salt to masquerade the paper taste.

The secret recipe is 60% cardboard and 40% fatty meat. Once vendor claims that on a good day the profit can reach 1000 RMB with such cost-cutting strategy. I assume it's untaxed. You can live like well-paid expat with that kind of income.

The scariest thing is that the vendor states this is a common and well-known practice in the industry, and they have been doing it for the past 10 years in Beijing. It will not surprise me in the least bit if people find similar "products" in other places of China.

The concept of business ethics is so messed up in China I don't even know where to begin to comment. I used to have a colleague who will only eat and drink at McDonald's and Starbucks whenever he goes on a business trip to China. I called him a wuzz behind his back. Sorry, Jeff, now I know you are the smart one.

Read this story on MSNBC

Watch the original news on (in Mandarin)

1 comment:

Fuji Fan said...

News Flash:
Now they say this whole fake buns thing is a fabricated story, the relevant people at the Beijing TV station have been arrested.
I don't know about that, anyway, one of them has got to be fake, either the pork buns or the accusation. Take your pick.