Spending restriction for luxury ice cream founder

Shen Mengdan
Questions raised over company's financial situation after court in Shanghai imposes penalty following its refusal to implement an arbitration resolution involving 818,106 yuan.
Shen Mengdan
Spending restriction for luxury ice cream founder

An ice cream in the shape of a Chinese roof tile.

A consumption restriction has been imposed on Lin Sheng, founder of luxury ice cream brand Chicecream, known as Zhong Xue Gao in Chinese.

A court in Shanghai said Lin was being punished as the company refused to implement an arbitration resolution involving 818,106 yuan (US$114,075).

Monday's order was widely discussed online with questions raised about the company's financial situation as the brand used to be well-known online as both the "Hermes of ice cream" and an "ice cream assassin" for its high prices.

In March 2018, Zhong Xue Gao was founded in Shanghai by Lin "to offer the best ice cream in China." It describes itself as an unreservedly Chinese brand, with the shape of its products resembling a Chinese roof tile.

On November 11, 2018, the company made a name for itself with the 66-yuan "Ecuadorian Pink Diamond," featuring a rare pink cocoa said to be from Ecuador. About 20,000 were said to be sold out within 15 hours of the launch.

But the high price also led to accusations that Zhong Xue Gao was an "ice cream assassin."

It has also been mired in suspicion of false promotion and quality problems.

It once claimed that "its raw materials have won international awards" and that the ice cream was "pure buttermilk flavor without adding a drop of water." Both were later found to be untrue.

In 2022, videos posted online showed the products did not melt or melted very slowly in heat, raising fears its ingredients could potentially be harmful.

Last year, there were a number of reports on social media of Zhong Xue Gao owing wages.

Earlier this month, people found some products nearing their expiry date being sold at 2.5 yuan each on some e-commerce platforms, aroused a new round of "ice cream assassin" accusations.

Zhong Xue Gao has been facing financial problems in recent years.

According to TianYanCha.com, China's leading business inquiry platform, the company received four equity freezes, with a cumulative amount of nearly 5 million yuan in frozen equity.

Since February this year, it added three pieces of shareholding freeze information, with the amounts of frozen shares at 20 million yuan, 10 million yuan and 5 million yuan respectively. The shares were all in its wholly-owned companies.

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