The Chinese beer company Tsingtao has finally released a detailed follow-up in the wake of “Pee-Gate”, the viral incident of a worker who was caught urinating in a company malt container two weeks ago in Pingdu city. The video was shared on Douyin (China’s TikTok) on October 19, sparking a viral sensation that reached far beyond Chinese social media.
Via China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, the company said the Pingdu city authorities had conducted a full investigation into the incident and identified the man in the video as an outsourced truck driver with the surname Cui. Among other rectification steps, the company said it would strengthen the management of outsourced personnel in future.
“The occurrence of this incident reflects loopholes in our management of the transport of raw materials, for which we feel deeply guilty and pained,” the Weibo statement said. “We will certainly reflect seriously on our actions and rectify them. We hereby express our sincere apologies to all consumers!”
Attached to the Weibo post was a statement from the Pingdu authorities detailing the sequence of events leading up to the urination, including a dispute between Cui and another employee. Cui has now been detained for intentionally damaging property, the authorities added.
The response from netizens was overwhelmingly positive. “This truly is an unmitigated disaster, quite unlucky, but Tsingtao did not shirk responsibility too much and reflected deeply on their actions,” wrote Weibo user @什刹海最靓的仔. “It’s clear that as a major national brand, Tsingtao has a responsible attitude towards consumers and I will continue to support them in the future.”
The comments section was filled with similar responses of admiration towards Tsingtao’s sincere efforts to reform business practices. Unlike the recent PR crisis of Florasis, another hugely popular Chinese brand, this incident did not imply any desire on the part of the brand to mislead, rip off, or undermine consumers, and so Tsingtao steered clear of significant reputational damage.