Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC has announced on its Chinese-language website that it has filed lawsuits against three Chinese media companies for allegedly spreading rumors that the company has bred its chickens to have eight legs and six wings. The complaint, filed in Shanghai Xuhui District People’s Court, reportedly alleges that the media companies disseminated false information on social media about KFC’s food quality, including digitally altered photos of deformed chickens and rumors of maggots in a delivery order.

KFC has more than 4,600 restaurants in China, accounting for about one-half of its revenue. The company reportedly alleges that 4,000 defamatory messages were viewed more than 100,000 times and seeks 1.5 million yuan, or about US$242,000, from each media company as well as an apology. See The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, June 1, 2015.