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China Officials Tighten Belts under New Leader

21 February 2013

China’s suppliers of shark fin, abalone, pricey liquor and other luxury items have been taking a beating since new leader Xi Jinping ordered officials to cut out lavish living. The Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday that business for high-end caterers in Beijing has plunged 35 percent since Xi’s order two months ago. Xi, who took power in November as Communist Party general secretary, ordered the elimination of banquets and other pomp that has alienated a public that is struggling with high living costs. During last week’s Lunar New Year holiday, sales of shark fin soup at Beijing hotels plunged 70 percent, the ministry said.—AP