A video of a small, dead rat - boiled, gelatinous and with its stunned arms outstretched - fished out of a Value-Added Tax of bubbling broth has shocked China, and sent shares of a popular restaurant chain plummeting.
The outlet in Shandong has been temporarily shut down following the find last week.
"If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it", Ma says the staff told him, South China Morning Post reports. He alleged that one staff member had offered 20,000 yuan ($2,900) for an abortion if she was concerned about the baby's health. He would be ready to negotiate with them after they were cleared of any health issues from the dead rat incident. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again". Others were upset about the staff offering money for an abortion.
Users of Chinese social media site Weibo reacted to the photos and video with disgust, with one person writing: "I feel like vomiting".
Another shocked user said: "If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her?"
A statement was put out by Xiabu Xiabu concerning the incident.
According to a report from Chinese outlet Kanka News, the market value of Xiabu Xiabu has been on a downward trend since August. In a statement published on Sunday on the Chinese messaging platform WeChat, the bureau said that while it found no traces of rats, the restaurant had committed violations related to stagnant water and buying food from unlicensed suppliers. Ms Gao said the chain had always taken great care over the quality and safety of its food.
A simmering pot of hot soup is placed at a dining table and various vegetables and raw meats are then placed in the pot to cook. Shares in the company fell by nearly 12.5 per cent, wiping about $264 million off its market value, The New York Times reported.