The revolution may not be televised, but maybe it’ll be deep fried. Fast food chain KFC has taken its localization/Party pandering to new levels by opening a restaurant in Hunan province dedicated to Chinese Communist hero Lei Feng.
March 5 is “Learn from Lei Feng Day” in China, whereby citizens are reminded of the iconic soldier’s dedication to the Communist cause, a dedication that may or may not have been heavily embellished for propaganda purposes. These days, this usually means being told about the virtues of being community-minded and doing your “duty” for the country — State propaganda service Xinhua calls Lei an “altruism paragon“. KFC have decided to lend their (obesity-inducing?) weight to this cause by introducing Lei Feng-themed initiatives in the figure’s home province of Hunan.
These include the opening of a Lei Feng outlet in the Hunanese capital of Changsha, and the “long-term promotion of Lei Feng values”, according to the site Changsha Shequ Tong (link in Chinese). In addition to putting on “educational” activities for young children inside the fried chicken restaurant, KFC has committed to allowing street cleaners from across the province to rest up and get a glass of water in its outlets free of charge.
Click through to this link for some some images of the Changsha joint, including anime-like renditions of Lei, kids being schooled on altruism by a member of KFC staff, and a fast food service counter wrapped in Communist iconography.
Though of course this isn’t the first time that KFC has turned to a Chinese icon to enhance their appeal:
Check Out this Insane Chizza Ad in Which K-pop Star Luhan Claims to be the New Colonel Sanders
And the chain — along with the likes of McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and White Castle — has long been adjusting its look, commercials, and menus to appeal to Chinese tastes:
China Explained: How American Fast Food Chains Like KFC and McDonald’s Localized to Win Over China
Cover photo: A KFC branch not in Changsha, by Maxime Lebrun on Unsplash
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam