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Major hotels in China inspected after room cleaning expose

Photo: AP


Chinese authorities are inspecting several major international hotels after hidden camera video showed room cleaning workers using soiled towels to clean cups and glasses and other questionable practices.

The Chinese tourism ministry said late Thursday that it had asked authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and three provinces to investigate 14 hotels that appear in the video. Several of the hotels including a Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria have apologized.

The nearly 12-minute video, posted online earlier this week, shows workers cleaning bathrooms. In several clips, they can be seen wiping down sinks, coffee cups and glasses with the same used towel. One wipes a glass with the bottom edge of her cleaning uniform.

An activist blogger who uses the pseudonym "Huazong" posted the video late Wednesday on his verified account on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. He calls the problem long-standing and widespread, and writes that he spent 2,000 nights at 147 hotels over six years. The video has been viewed more than 30 million times.

State broadcaster CCTV aired video of uniformed inspectors at an unidentified hotel flashing their ID cards and holding a drinking glass up to the light to inspect it.

The Peninsula hotel in Beijing said Friday that city food and drug administration officials had conducted an on-site examination of cups the previous day and found them cleaner than standards required. The cups were sent for further tests, the hotel said in a statement on its Weibo account.

"The hotel will still take measures to strengthen the implementation of the standard procedures for room service staff to ensure all aspects meet the established standards of the Peninsula," the statement said.

The Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said the actions in the video violate its hygiene standards, while the Park Hyatt in Beijing called it an isolated occurrence.