KFC dedicates China restaurant to memory of Communist hero

The first “Lei Feng Spirit” restaurant in Lei’s home province of Hunan was annouced on Sunday

Fast-food chain KFC is memorializing a popular Chinese Communist hero with restaurant decor extolling his deeds, in a rare matching of an iconic American brand with Communist propaganda.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the company launched its first “Lei Feng Spirit” restaurant in Lei’s home province of Hunan on Sunday, ahead of Tuesday’s official remembrance day for the soldier who died in 1962 at the age of 21.

Lei’s example of selfless service to the Communist Party and his comrades was popularized in 1963 by former leader Mao Zedong and remains a rallying point for party unity and public service. Critics question the facts surrounding his alleged good deeds, saying most were based on accounts in a diary reportedly found after his death.

READ MORE: A little taste of Canada: Tim Hortons opens first coffee shop in China

The KFC restaurant in the provincial capital of Changsha is decorated with Lei’s writings and image. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“Lei Feng has been the role model for generations of Chinese. As the KFC (outlet) in his hometown, we will spare no effort to promote his spirit,” He Min, general manager for KFC’s Hunan region, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

In addition to opening the themed restaurant, KFC plans to “promote the Lei Feng spirit in its over 250 outlets in the province and encourage its staff to learn from the role model,” Xinhua said.

Lei Feng day is marked annually by acts of public service such as clearing garbage and visiting the elderly. Communist leaders revived his memory more than a decade ago to stir support for the party among the younger generation born after the abandonment of orthodox Marxism in the 1980s and the crushing of pro-democracy protests centred on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

READ MORE: How many iconic KFC buckets still exist in B.C.?

Recent years have seen renewed efforts to update his image, including through television specials and smartphone apps.

KFC in China is run by Yum China, which split from its parent company Yum Brands in 2016. The company’s American roots have occasionally made it a target of nationalistic Chinese during times of tension between Beijing and Washington, although it appears unaffected by the current trade war between the two.

___

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

‘Justice for Mona’ rally planned for Surrey

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Drive-in movies coming to Cloverdale

Dolittle, Trolls World Tour playing one night each at rodeo grounds

Rooftop hatchlings ‘a nice addition’ to White Rock RCMP operations

Pair of seagull chicks hatched in ‘fenced playground’ on July 2

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read