Restaurateur Claims Harassment from ‘Noodle Gang’

A Shanghai restaurateur says other restaurant owners are trying to destroy his business
Beef lamian noodles in china

Wikimedia/Ramon FVelasquez

The owner of a halal beef noodle restaurant in Shanghai says he's been harassed by a "noodle gang" of other restaurateurs for opening too close to an existing restaurant. 

A restaurateur in Shanghai says his brand new business is being protested, harassed, and smashed up, but it’s not a gang of miscreant youths trying to put him out of business, it’s other restaurateurs in the city.

According to Shanghaiist, a man named Xian opened a halal beef noodle restaurant in Shanghai earlier this month, but he says the restaurant he used all his savings to open has been a mixed blessing, because on the day the restaurant opened it was immediately swarmed by a group of more than 100 other people representing all the other halal beef noodle restaurants in the city. Xian says the “noodle gang” smashed up some tables, blocked people from entering his store, and even threatened him, all because he had allegedly broken an unwritten rule of Shanghai noodle restaurant entrepreneurship and opened too close to another halal beef noodle shop. 

The owner of two nearby halal beef noodle restaurants was participating in the protest, and he said that a decades-old agreement held that it was forbidden to open a halal beef noodle shop within 400 meters of an existing one. That is not a law, but he says it was a “treaty,” and Xian’s new place violated it.

The protesting and harassment reportedly went on for more than two weeks before both sides sat down for meditation. In the end, Xian agreed to remove the word “beef” from his restaurant’s sign, and he also scraped off the large logo identifying it as a halal restaurant. The shadows of the missing letters are still visible, but the other restaurateurs have backed off, and the whole thing appears to finally be over.