Yum Brands Apologizes Amid Chicken Probe

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BEIJING—Yum Brands Inc.’s  head of operations in China publicly apologized to KFC customers on Thursday after a high-profile official probe into chicken suppliers hurt its sales, demonstrating the growing power of digitally connected and increasingly health-conscious Chinese consumers.

Yum got 44% of its revenue from China last year, but due to the negative publicity it expects its China division’s fourth-quarter sales at stores open at least one year to fall 6%. Above, a KFC in Shanghai.

The company failed to address problems quickly and had poor internal communications, said Sam Su, chairman and chief executive of Yum’s China operations, in a statement posted on Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog service. He said the company would strengthen its management and supervision of suppliers.

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