Pregnant woman finds rat in hotpot, allegedly offered $4,000 to abort child

Xiabu Xiabu

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A popular Chinese restaurant chain has lost around $190m (£145m) in market value after a pregnant woman found a dead rat in her soup. This revelation caused the offer to be upped to 20,000 yuan so that the woman could get an abortion.

"If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it", Ma says the staff told him, South China Morning Post reports.

The outlet in Shandong has been temporarily shut down following the find last week.

The restaurant allegedly later offered Ma 5,000 yuan ($728) in compensation for the incident - a price he was willing to negotiate after the hospital visit, he told the South China Morning Post.

Quickly, the story spread online, along with video and images of the rat being fished out of the hot pot with a pair of chopsticks, thoroughly sullying the name of Xiabu Xiabu, a generally beloved Beijing-based chain with hundreds of outlets across China.

A video of the boiled, gelatinous rodent being pulled out of the pot with its arms stretched out, circulated on Chinese social media site Weibo - and users were angry and disgusted.

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Another shocked user said: "If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her?" In all, the discovery of the rat had knocked about $190 million off the market value of the business, which is publicly traded in Hong Kong. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?"

Authorities in Weifang said they would investigate.

Xiabu Xiabu released a statement on Saturday night saying that it valued food security and would make improvements.

Hotpot, a bubbling Value-Added Tax of broth in which diners dip pieces of meat and other morsels, is a beloved family meal in China, especially when the weather starts to cool down.

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