This is seriously disturbing.
Do you remember Four Loko? First manufactured in the United States about a decade ago, the drink was a cheap mixture of alcohol (malt liquor, to be precise) and caffeine that waned in popularity back in the day due to a series of hospitalizations and other incidents that resulted from drinking it. Way back in 2010, the FDA even issued a warning letter to the Chicago manufacturers of the drink, Phusion Projects, stating that the beverage could be hazardous to people’s health.
The FDA was right; Four Loko’s original formulation landed nine students in Washington in the hospital, and the parents of one 20-year-old in Florida blame his suicide on the drink, reports Munchies.
For some reason, however, the beverage is now making a comeback in China, where it is literally being advertised as "blackout in a can" on online shopping portals like Alibaba, Taobao, and JD.com, according to Quartz.
In fact, the drink’s new Chinese users have taken to referring to it online as she shen jiu, which translates to "lose virginity liquor."
Unsurprisingly, the drink’s availability is already causing imbibers to find themselves in perilous situations, with local police reporting that after three twenty-something Chinese girls consumed six cans between them, they ended up sneaking into a karaoke bar, passing out, and were then robbed.
The prices range from about $4 to $15 per can, with the products seemingly varying from platform to platform; some advertise the "new" version of the drink as caffeine-free and with 14% alcohol, while others say the ingredients include caffeine and 12% alcohol.
A Phusion Projects representative told Munchies that Phusion has "no connection whatsoever to these portals and has not authorized these false and misleading statements about our products. Our products are imported into China through a third party importer, and then sold to a distributor network and then to retail. We are committed to marketing our products responsibly and would never make such claims about them."
Phusion concluded by telling Munchies that it will "investigate the proper mediums to have these articles removed immediately and if they are not removed, we are prepared to take swift legal action."