Chinese restaurant lose $288m after a dead rat was found in hotpot

A video of a rat found in a hotpot at a Chinese restaurant angered the nation

The restaurant allegedly offered them 5,000 yuan ($728) in compensation for this incident.

The local market supervision authority has launched an investigation into the incident and the outlet where the rat was discovered has been shut down.

The well-known chain, Xiabu Xiabu, was closed for an investigation by health officials after the incident occurred and stock hit the lowest level in nearly a year after news spread, the BBC reports.

The couple was eating at the Xiabu Xiabu restaurant when she found the dead rat in the hotpot.

"If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan (US$3,000) to abort it", they supposedly told the couple. This revelation caused the offer to be upped to 20,000 yuan so that the woman could get an abortion. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said a Weibo user.

The woman and her husband anxious the rat brew would affect their baby, since the mother had already taken a couple gulps of the soup when she made the horrifying discovery at Xiabu Xiabu on September 6. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?" one person said.

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On 11 September, the company's share price hit its lowest level since October a year ago. Xiabu Xiabu and one of its rivals, Haidilao, have reported surging sales and an expanding network of restaurants.

"If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her?"

Hotpot is a common meal in China and across other parts of Asia. Within, the chain claimed that food security is a high priority for them and that they would also work with officials to make any necessary improvements.

Hotpot, a bubbling Value-Added Tax of broth in which diners dip pieces of meat and other morsels, is a beloved family meal in China, especially when the weather starts to cool down.

An inspection was immediately undertaken at the restaurant, but there was reportedly no trace of rats.

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