Rumour merchants give Tsingtao in Taiwan a hangover

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 October, 2008, 12:00am

Tsingtao Beer, we are sure, is made to the highest quality. But this did not stop nasty rumours being spread on the mainland last month that the products of several listed spirits-makers contained cancer-causing contaminants. Hong Kong-listed Tsingtao and mainland-listed Kweichow Moutai and Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine have all denied the rumours, which have caused their shares to gyrate wildly, as if the global financial meltdown is not trouble enough.

But, inexplicably, Tsingtao's subsidiary in Taiwan yesterday put out large adverts in the island's major papers saying its beer sold on the island is all made there as well. The ad (above) said the subsidiary only used quality barley imported from Australia and rice grown on the island.

What's the matter? Is it casting doubt on the product safety and quality of its mainland parent?