Chinese police detain Tsingtao brewery worker filmed urinating in malt container

Authorities say he was detained on 22 October for intentionally damaging company property

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 02 November 2023 11:51 GMT
Worker appears to urinate on Tsingtao beer raw ingredients

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Chinese authorities have detained a worker from the Tsingtao Brewery after he was caught on camera urinating into a vat.

Authorities on Wednesday said the worker was detained on 22 October for intentionally damaging company property.

A shocking video of the man urinating into the container had gone viral on social media. The viral clip showed a man dressed in blue overalls and a helmet climbing into a malt container and urinating into the vat at the Tsingtao beer factory in Pingdu, China on 19 October.

A statement by the Pingdu government’s investigation team on Wednesday claimed the man had urinated into a malt container that had just been emptied.

Tsingtao, which describes itself as the sixth-largest global beer maker and China’s second-biggest brewery, said they had “completely sealed” the batch of malt in question.

The company also launched an investigation into the incident.

“Our company attaches high importance to the relevant video that emerged from Tsingtao Brewery No. 3 on 19 October,” it said in an earlier statement.

“We reported the incident to the police at the earliest opportunity, and public security organisations are involved in the investigation.

“At present, the batch of malt in question has been completely sealed. The company continues to strengthen its management procedures and ensure product quality.”

The statement published on Weibo said Tsingtao had adopted what it called were measures to close “loopholes in the management of raw material transportation”.

The measures included fully enclosing trucks “so that there is no contact between personnel and raw materials throughout the process”, and introducing a “behaviour recognition monitoring system” in the factory that is powered by artificial intelligence.

Earlier, a Tsingtao source was quoted by Chinese media outlet Yicai as saying that the worker and the person who shot the video were not directly employed by the brewery.

Due to the viral video, Tsingtao Brewery’s shares reportedly experienced a notable decline on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Originally posted on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, users had varied responses to the viral video.

“I’ve always said the beer here is like horse pee. Turns out I was wrong,” joked one user.

Others had jumped to the brewery’s defence.

“I suggest the company takes this man to court and gets him to pay compensation for the damages,” one user said.

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