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Overpriced hot pot sparks outcry online, authorities step in

Updated: Jan 3, 2024 By Zou Shuo Print
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A food stall selling small portions of hot pot at a popular commercial center in Changsha, Hunan province, has been asked by local authorities to refund customers after the owner was accused of over-charging.

Videos of the incident went viral on social media platforms recently. In the videos, the tourists argue with the stall owner for charging them 106 yuan ($15) for a small bowl of hot pot, usually sold at 20 to 40 yuan.

The incident happened at the Wuyi business center, which received over 1.45 million visitors on the last day of 2023, up by 122 percent from the year before, according to local government figures.

Netizens rallied behind the tourists, accusing the stall owner of deliberately deceiving the travelers to take advantage of Changsha's popularity as a travel destination. Others shared their own experience of being over-charged while traveling.

The Changsha Tianxin district market regulation bureau and Tianxin district urban management and law enforcement team said in a notice on Monday that they carried out a swift investigation into the incident and found that the owner did not sell food at expressly marked price and did not have a license to set up the stall.

The owner has refunded the tourists, and the authorities will strengthen the management of food stalls within their jurisdiction.

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