China hotels red-faced after dirty cleaning practices revealed

Chinese tourism authorities have called for 14 major hotels in Beijing, Shanghai and three provinces to be investigated after video from hidden cameras showed workers using the same sponge to wipe down sinks and wash cups and mugs, along with other unhygienic cleaning techniques.

The video footage was posted online late on Wednesday by an activist blogger who goes by the pseudonym of "Huazong" and claims to often spend nights at hotels across China.

Chinese media picked up the story from Weibo, a Chinese social media site akin to Twitter, and it has been viewed more than 30 million times.

The Associated Press said several of the hotels — including a Shangri-La, Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria — have apologized since the posting of the video, which showed some cleaners even wiping cups and sinks with towels previously used to clean the toilet seat.

The Park Hyatt in Beijing called the incidents shown an "isolated occurrence," AP said.

Tourism officials in Beijing issued a statement ordering hotels to check on what their cleaners were doing and to correct their methods if necessary. They said they had also asked the health commission in the Chinese capital to carry out sanitary inspections in four of the hotels shown in the video.

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