A Seattle Starbucks executive has reportedly apologized to a customer who was incorrectly accused of being a Chinese spy trying to steal trade secrets.
KPIX News reports San Francisco resident Daniel Lui was recently in Seattle on business when he stopped by a Starbucks for coffee.
While at the location, a company executive suggested in a brief conversation that Lui and his companion were there gathering information to take back to China and give to competitors.
Lui wrote a lengthy Yelp review detailing the incident.
He wrote in the review that the executive exited a conference room at the store and began giving an impromptu tour to a group of customers. Lui wrote that the executive singled him out along with his companion.
"You're part of the business, right? The coffee business, right?" the man said, according to Lui’s review.
“I wanted to let you know we’re very open with all our technology and all of our equipment, and if you want to take any of it to China you’re totally free to do that,” Lui, in a KPIX interview, said the executive said to him.
According to Lui, the man then said, “You can even get same-sourced beans, but you know what you can’t get in China? Our training.”
“I think that I was really shocked and taken aback,” Lui told KPIX.
After Lui posted the Yelp review, Starbucks reportedly apologized and gave him $50 in store credit.
Then, on Thursday night, he got a call from the executive.
“He actually ‘fessed up to really thinking that we were from China and wanting to steal secrets,” Lui told KPIX.
Lui, who was in Seattle not as a spy for the coffee business, but for his work with a Christian ministry, told the man he accepted his apology.
“I want to let you know that was still hurtful, it still really made me really uncomfortable, but I want to extend forgiveness to you and grace,” he told KPIX he said.
Photo Credit: WikiCommons, KPIX News