Taiwan's instant noodle giant Master Kong has been making waves this week after announcing the dissolution of its Taiwan-based company, which means completely withdrawing from the island market where it once built up a fortune.
Master Kong's embattled parent company Ting Hsin International made the announcement on January 1, although Chia Hsien-de, president of Master Kong's Chinese mainland branch, confirmed later the closure will not affect its business across the Strait.
Ting Hsin has been embroiled in numerous food safety scandals in Taiwan over the last two years, which sparked widespread outrage across the island and led to boycotts against the group's food products.
Ting Hsin said Master Kong had been engaged in importing food-processing machinery equipment, which it leased to Wei Chuan, another affiliate of Ting Hsin for the contract production of the brand's instant noodles. The production line terminated in 2015 after an infamous contaminated oil scandal implicated Wei Chuan, according to Chia. Hundreds of tons of oil products, including bottles under the Wei Chuan brand, have been taken off the shelves in recent years after being found to contain so-called "gutter oil" - tainted produce reclaimed from used cooking oil - as well as other produce deemed not fit for human consumption.
Master Kong has long been one of the most popular instant noodle brands on the Chinese mainland. But the soaring growth of online food delivery services as well as an increasing awareness of healthy eating has dampened the company's performance recently. Latest financial results showed the brand's instant noodle sales slipped 12 per cent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2016 to 2.51 billion U.S. dollars, down from 2.85 billion US dollars for the same period in 2015.