America’s Most Famous Burger Does NOT Owned by China

Consumer Safety Fact Check International Misleading

In today’s  social media landscape, fake news is widespread and can significantly influence consumer behavior, causing brands to suffer both financially and reputationally. For instance, a recent viral article suggesting that America’s most renowned burger is no longer American-owned has been circulating rapidly on social media platforms. However, investigations by the Fact Crescendo team reveal that the narrative accompanying the image is misleading.

Let’s look at the claim in detail.

Social Media Claim

Recently, there was a viral article claiming that America’s most famous burger brand is no longer American. The above article attached to the claim referring to China has been shared by the social media users, leading them to be confused about whether this piece of news was real.

The following is a snapshot captured from the Facebook above, who wrote, “The selling off of what’s left in America”.

Facebook Post | Archived Link

Such other photos attached to the same article have also been posted and found on many Facebook social networks. The full confirmation message is below.

Facebook Post | Archived Link

The following is a snapshot captured from another Facebook post featuring a picture of “Burger” along with a text claiming, “Are we now owned by CHINA? Have we been sold out?”.

Facebook Post | Archived Link

Fact Check

Fact Crescendo team reviewed and verified the above claim through various reliable sources, which brought us to the following facts:

We started our investigation by questioning whether:

  • What is the most famous burger brand in America?
  • Where are they headquartered?
  • Who owns the company?

What is the most famous burger brand in America?

Burger restaurants are iconic American businesses. Perhaps this explains why Ibis World figures that there will likely be over 84,000+ burger businesses in the US in 2023.

Determining the “Most Famous” burger brand in America may be a personal decision. However, if sales numbers were considered, McDonald’s would have topped the food chain. 

The following capture is the McDonald’s President and CEO, Chris Kempczinski.

McDonald’s Link | Archived Link

Where are they headquartered, and who owns the company?

  1. McDonald’s

McDonald’s present headquarters are not in China but rather in Chicago, Illinois. Since it is a publicly listed firm, its ownership is divided among various investors. Currently, Chris Kempczinski is the Company President and CEO, while Joe Erlinger is the President of McDonald’s USA.

Google Map | Archived Link

  1. Wendy’s

Wendy’s is an American international fast-food restaurant chain founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. Its current headquarters is situated in Dublin, Ohio, United States.

Google Map | Archived Link

Todd A. Penegor is currently Wendy’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and he has served in this position since May 2016.

  1. Burger King

Meanwhile, Burger King Corporation is an American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the company was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida–based restaurant chain.

Joshua Kobza is the Chief Executive Officer of Burger King. He previously worked at Restaurant Brands International as a Chief Technology and Development Officer.

Snopes has also fact-checked and verified the above claim on December 12, 2023, and the result shows that it was misleading.

Snopes Link | Archived Link

In 2017, McDonald’s sold a majority stake in its China business to a consortium led by Citic, a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, in a deal valued up to $2.1 billion. However, McDonald’s later increased its interest from 20% to 48% in the partnership managing its China operations. (Source: AP, MSN)

As for Wendy’s, it hasn’t been the subject of a takeover by Chinese corporations. Nelson Peltz’s Trian, the largest shareholder of Wendy’s, has even declared that it has no intentions of taking over Wendy’s. (Source: CNBC)

Similarly, Burger King has yet to be the target of a takeover by Chinese companies. In 2020, however, TAB Food Investments (TFI), the largest global franchisee of Restaurant Brands International Inc. that operates Burger King in China and Turkey, was reportedly considering a potential deal that could involve an acquisition or merger. (Source: SP Global)

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Conclusion

Fact Crescendo has found that the articles attached to the above claim are misleading. China does not own America’s most famous burger. McDonald’s present headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois, and are managed by Chris Kempczinski.

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Title:America’s Most Famous Burger Does NOT Owned by China

Fact Check By: FactCrescendo Team 

Result: Misleading

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