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.

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs hope to become NHL draft picks

Five former or current Chiefs are on the NHL’s Central Scouting ranking of North American skaters.

Dinosaurs will reign at Sto:lo Children’s Festival

Jurassic Park theme takes over long-standing, free community event

Funding for new Chilliwack schools could drive up development costs

School Site Acquisition Costs could dramatically increase by almost 30 per cent

Chilliwack developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Police probe report of shooting as Raptors rally continues

There were reports of a woman being injured at the event that celebrates the team’s NBA title win

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Most Read