'I can eat a lot, is that wrong?' Mukbang livestreamer banned from China BBQ buffet

PHOTO: Screengrab/Weibo

After gobbling down 1.5kg of pig trotters in one sitting and more than 3.5kg of prawns in another visit, a mukbang livestreamer in China has been banned from a buffet restaurant for — you guessed it — eating too much.

In an interview with Hunan TV on Wednesday (Nov 17), the livestreamer surnamed Kang claimed that the all-you-can-eat BBQ restaurant in Changsha discriminates against people with large appetites.

Pointing out that he did not waste any food during his meals there, Kang said: "When I took the tray of lamb skewers on my fourth visit, the staff there immediately told me not to come back anymore.

"I can eat a lot, is that wrong?"

Restaurant owner Wang, however, complained about making losses whenever Kang goes for the buffet which is priced at 69 yuan (S$15).

"Every time he comes here, I lose a few hundred yuan," Wang said, adding that he has banned all livestreamers from his restaurant.

"Even when he drinks soy milk, he can drink 20 or 30 bottles. When he eats the pig trotters, he takes the entire tray."

Since the video was shared on Weibo this week, it has gone viral with more than 360 million views.

Some netizens defended the mukbang livestreamer. They said that if the buffet restaurant is "afraid of customers who can eat", they should not open for business in the first place.

"If I'm the restaurant owner, I'll make him a VIP and my spokesperson." PHOTO: Screengrab/Weibo

Other netizens empathised with the restaurant owner. 

"It's your own restaurant. You have the right to reject these patrons, especially mukbang livestreamers." 
PHOTO: Screengrab/Weibo
"Is there really a need to eat so much?" 
PHOTO: Screengrab/Weibo

In April, China's corruption watchdog called on social media platforms to block and remove accounts that promote mukbang shows, as part of a nationwide campaign to curb food wastage.

"Behaviour such as 'heavy drinking videos' not only damages the physical health of the presenters and causes food waste, but also promotes an ugly mentality and seriously harms the healthy ecology of the industry," it said.

chingshijie@asiaone.com