If you’ve lived in China for a decent amount of time, you will have had Lao Gan Ma at least once in your life. It’s one of the most popular hot sauce brands in China and is used in countless dishes.
Recently, this hot sauce brand got sued by Tencent.
Let me repeat that.
Tencent, one of the biggest Chinese tech giants, sued a hot sauce brand that’s been around for at least 20 years.
People were DYING to figure out what actually happened.
Turns out that LGM “failed” to pay the advertising fees for Tencent’s online platforms, which totaled over 16M RMB. However, the hot sauce brand denied this immediately and claimed they had never agreed to an advertising deal with Tencent.
So what was the REAL story?
After a couple of days, three people were arrested for signing a contract with Tencent using a FAKE LGM company seal. Their aim was to obtain online game package codes and resell them online.
Clearly, Tencent was stupid enough to skip any basic background check when they signed the contract and ended up suing poor Lao Gan Ma for not paying the advertising fees. People started making fun of Tencent all over social media, creating memes on how one of the biggest tech giants in China could be so stupid and naive to fall for such a scam.
BUT, that’s not even the most surprising part of the story. What happened next was truly eye-opening…
Tencent JOINED IN on the joke. They didn’t go the “serious” route.
They posted memes and videos ridiculing themselves as “the stupid penguin” on multiple channels including Weibo and Bilibili.
They designed a small contest asking the netizens for tips to prevent them from making such mistakes in the future. As a reward, Tencent wrote “We will give away a thousand jars of Lao Gan Ma for the winners!”
In the end – everyone had fun.
This could have ended very differently for Tencent, but this incident is a prime illustration that how you react to mistakes can make or break you. By being honest and willing to laugh at yourself you can become the real winner… or become the loser who tries to blame others and cover up their mistakes.
We all make mistakes… HOW you react to those mistakes is key.