Is McDonald’s entering the Chinese smartphone market? The fast food vendor briefly teased everyone in China with the crazy idea on Monday, when it released an ad there touting the global release of a new “5G” product.
Subsequent teaser images showed a black box, along with hints of an edge-to-edge touch-screen display, a camera, and some powerful specs, including the addition of facial-recognition technologies. This prompted media outlets to wonder if McDonald’s was trying to create an actual 5G smart device product in partnership with a Chinese vendor.
But it turns out the product isn’t a piece of hardware at all. Nope, it’s just fried chicken. On Wednesday, McDonalds revealed the truth behind the “5G” product, which is actually just a three-piece “McCrispy Chicken” deal.
The teasers are a play on how the Chinese people pronounce the word “chicken.” In Mandarin, you pronounce it as “Ji,” which sounds the same as the G on 5G. Get it? And according to McDonald’s, the new McCrispy Chicken product has also been infused with five “technologies”—big size, crispiness, juiciness, freshness, and taste.
The company released the marketing stunt as 5G in China has been paving the way for new smartphone models designed to take advantage of the faster cellular networks. Apparently, McDonald’s saw an opportunity and decided to capitalize on the consumer interest.
Despite the lack of actual 5G technology, it doesn’t seem Chinese consumers were let down by the reveal. On Chinese social media service Weibo, many users say they want to try the new fried chicken item.