Following last week’s decision from the Hague ruling in favor of the Philippines and against China’s claims over the resource-rich South China Sea, Chinese citizens are protesting American KFC franchises across their country.
Despite being a comparatively small boycott, the Chinese government has begun censoring the phrases “KFC” and “South China Sea” in social media as part of a larger effort to prevent wide-spread protests and unrest in general.
The first sign of the KFC campaign was a banner unfurled on Sunday outside an outlet in the northern province of Hebei. “Boycott the U.S., Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Love the Chinese people,” the banner read. “What you eat is KFC. What is lost is the face of our ancestors.”
The Chinese government has acted wisely in this situation since the nationalistic fervor of prior boycotts have often led to serious property damage and even deaths. My question is will the Chinese boycott their Starbucks franchises as well? Will they protest the fake Apple stores? Or the knockoff Nike factories and the Ford F150 clones? How about the “Polystation” game console or the “X-Boy.” China need not be worried about losing the face of their ancestors, every fake iPhone comes with a camera these days.