SUPERSTITIONS SO-POWERFUL--- THEY DESTROY COMPANIES.
I’ve known many people who are superstitious about Friday the thirteenth, a black cat, a hotel’s 13th floor, stepping on cracks in the sidewalk, and other traditional superstitions.
It was only after living in China that I learned that the Chinese People have been seriously-committed to their Beliefs and Superstitions for centuries...and new ones are forming every day.
Read two incidents that occurred in China that involved two popular American Companies that were almost "destroyed" because of new Chinese Beliefs:
Imagine my surprise when Beijing Coca Cola’s Manager-- where I was teaching English-- explained the major dilemma faced by American’s largest soft drink corporation when they first-introduced Coca-Cola to the Chinese people.
Although China has billions of people, there is an unbelievable “pipeline” that quickly broadcasts information throughout Chinese neighborhoods. It’s faster and more accurate than any national news service! This human pipeline is a powerful means of communication; powerful enough to transmit a fear so powerful that it suppressed the world’s most popular drink.
The words “on the street” warned Chinese against drinking this internationally-famous soft drink, claiming the dark brown liquid would turn the consumer’s skin the same dark brown color. If a pregnant woman drank the Cola, her baby would be born black.
Highly superstitious, Chinese refused to drink Coca Cola; they refused to gamble on permanently staining their skin. After untold dollars and lots of heavy marketing that included well-paid testimonials from American-Chinese shown drinking the product---a few brave Chinese cautiously took a few sips, waited a day or two, then tried another few sips. Little by little, when the Chinese were convinced that the delicious drink didn’t affect their skin’s color---the pipeline issued an ALL CLEAR! Coca Cola was finally deemed safe to drink.
That was years ago and now---Coca Cola remains a huge hit in China. Pepsi Cola is China’s second-favorite carbonated drink. Yet, despite the ALL-CLEAR, pregnant women in China still boycott the famous beverage for a full nine months, fearful that the chocolate-colored drink could color their unborn child’s skin..... Black. (Interesting-to-note: Chinese women almost-never date men of color.)
Shortly before I returned to America in 2000, a new theory emerged among the back-street Chinese that threatened to destroy Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurants all-over China.
Once again, China’s notorious “pipeline” started spreading shocking information about American chickens. More vocal Chinese authorities said American Chickens are treated with high doses of estrogen to improve their appetites. By fattening their chickens, American chicken farmers are able to attract the highest prices.
Shocking News: hormone-treated chickens convert Kentucky Friend Chicken-eaters into homosexuals! Shortly after eating the delicious chickens…. Men turn into Women and Women…into Men!
Most frightening to the Chinese, the babies who eat chicken at Kentucky Friend will switch to the opposite sex--- right before the parents’ eyes. This declaration sounds preposterous to Americans who try to separate reality from fantasy or---superstition. But most Chinese, traditionally-naive and superstitious, seriously-believing what they hear from their neighbors and so-called authorities--- by way of the famous “pipeline”.
My hotel’s executive chef, a mainland Chinese raised in Singapore, believed so-strongly in the homosexual/chicken premise that he persuaded the hotel managers to remove all Chicken dishes from the hotel’s Dining Room Menu.