China’s central government has cracked down on a popular Chinese cuisine popular among young adults, with many restaurants offering the chicken “Chinatown” dish for less than the $1.80 it normally sells for.
A government announcement Wednesday said that restaurants that serve the dish for free or on special occasions will have to pay between 20 and 50 yuan ($2.60 to $5.20) for the meal.
It also required restaurants to provide a list of ingredients and other details.
A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the government “strongly condemns” the unauthorized selling of Chinatown in supermarkets and restaurants, which is often accompanied by a warning to eat the dish only once or not at all.
The ministry said the regulation was aimed at preventing any other unauthorized use of Chinas cuisine.
The new regulation applies to “all Chinese restaurants and all the establishments serving food, including bar and restaurant,” the statement said.
It did not mention bars and restaurants specifically.
It was not immediately clear how many restaurants had been affected, and how many were still open.
Chinese authorities have been cracking down on the use of the dish in recent years.
In 2015, the government said it would crack down on restaurants that sell the dish illegally.
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In recent years, it has also become a staple in the fast-food industry, particularly in the southern provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan.
In 2016, the Beijing-based Xinhua News Agency reported that Chinese restaurants that served the dish had been forced to close their doors for several months because the government did not want people to be confused by the dishes name.
Chinese government officials have been pressuring restaurants to close, with authorities announcing in 2017 that it would be forbidden to serve the dishes.
At the time, Xinhua said it was the first time that a major Chinese government agency had directly warned businesses that they were violating the ban.