China's biggest meat company struck an outstanding PR bargain today in announcing the acquisition of American pork powerhouse Smithfield Foods.
The deal follows reports earlier this year off thousands of diseased pig carcasses floating in the tributaries of the Huangpu river. A fisherwoman complained to the March 29 Guardian that the Jiapingtang river carried more pigs than fish.
Authorities traced the floating apocalypse to massively overcrowded and illegal pig farms, a mere 60 miles from China’s shiny Shanghai, the national testament to capitalism.
In announcing the $4.7B takeover deal, Shuanghui International praised Smithfield's safe products. [There have been no reported connections to Shuanghui and the watery pig horror.] Shuanghui CEO Wan Long cited reasons for the deal:
"Shuanghui will gain access to high-quality, competitively-prices and safe U.S. products, as well as Smithfield's best practices and operational expertise ...We look forward to working with Larry Pope [Smithfield's CEO] and the many talented employees at Smithfield to grow the combined company as a leading global pork and processed meat producer with the same vision and values of providing high-quality and safe products to consumers."
The rotting porkers symbolized China's environmental degradation brought on by the country’s out-of-control economic development. The dead pigs are a global embarrassment to China's aspirations to achieve world leadership on par with the U.S. That lofty goal is going to be Topic A on the impending California summit between president Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping.
More global PR embarrassment: China's Internet community currently is ablaze over news that a six pound baby was found wedged in a toilet sewer.
Authorities ruled that a frightened young unwed mother accidently delivered the baby and accidently dropped the boy down the toilet. Allegedly, she tried in vain to retrieve the baby. C'mon, the official ruling is just another shabby cover-up to save face.
And so it goes.