A 23-year-old university student, identified as Xu, swindled KFC out of £6,500 worth of free food in just six months after he first discovered the loophole in its mobile application in 2018.
He then shared the secret with four of his friends and five of them together carried out fraud of worth £15,500 of chicken before they were busted by police, Thepaper.cn reported.
Xu was jailed for two and a half years and fined £700 while his friends were jailed for period between 13 months and two years.
He first discovered the glitch when he accidentally found out he can buy food using vouchers from KFC’s phone application but get a refund of the coupons by using WeChat app.
Ever since Xu started getting free food from KFC for himself and shared the scheme with his friends.
He also started selling the food to his friends at cut-price to make profits without paying anything.
The five of them were eventually busted and Xu pleaded guilty for using the glitch to get free chicken as well as sharing the information with his friends.
The incident became a trending topic of discussion on Chinese social media with some users saying the punishment is harsh while others said the app should be blamed for loopholes in its ordering system.
The court ruled that five of them used criminal methods to take advantage of data mismatch in KFC’s ordering systems and committed fraud.
Between April to October in 2018, Xu caused losses worth £6,500 to KFC with his orders and similarly his friends ordered food worth £1,000 and £5,200 each, the court said.