June 1, 2017 -Dongguan, China
Budweiser Beer, billed as the King of Beers by its manufacturer Anheuser-Busch wears the moniker of a blue-collar beer in the United States. In China, where beer consumption is still on the rise, Budweiser is a premium beer, with prices as high as $3.50 per can. Aware of China’s large untapped beer market, Anheuser-Busch operates fourteen breweries throughout the country in its quest to become the number one beer brand in the Country. Already comfortably holding on to the number three position, Anheuser-Busch is seeking to expand the Budweiser Brand to the same position it once held in the USA.
What Anheuser-Busch doesn’t want to see is imitation of its brand, exactly what happened when an undercover video reordered a Budweiser being counterfeited in a clandestine factory in South China. The video that seems to be recorded on a cell phone shows recycled lidless Budweiser beer cans being dumped from a cardboard box into a plastic tub full of liquid that appears to be beer. Multiple people then reach into the tub with their bare hands, scoop the liquid into the can and place it on a table. Another employee at this counterfeit beer factory then takes the filled cans and places them on an out dated can sealer, which puts a new top on them. They are then packaged for sale.
The video went viral across China’s social media platforms. When representatives of the Budweiser brand were made aware of this counterfeit beer facility, they contacted police and requested that a thorough investigation be conducted. The last thing a beer brand like Budweiser needs is a video of counterfeit beer being packaged in unsanitary conditions into their cans. Budweiser reiterated that all their breweries are corporately owned and there are no third-party licensees in China. All brewing and canning is done at one of their fourteen breweries located throughout the Country.
After prodding from Anheuser-Busch, Police located the factory and conducted a raid on May 5,2017. In the undercover video the counterfeit beer operation that was filling Budweiser cans by hand from liquid in plastic dish washing tubs appears to be very small. The police raid on this factory located in Dongguan, China turned out to be just the opposite. After police calculated the production based om inventory of packaged cans, empty cans waiting to be filled it was estimated that this fake beer factory was producing 600.000 crates of Budweiser per month that was then distributed to bars and nightclubs throughout the Provence of Guangzhou.
Anheuser-Busch now must be concerned with their brand, Budweiser, being tainted. With a production level of the proportions of this fake beer factory, one must wonder do the people of Guangzhou know the taste of authentic Budweiser.
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