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Last updated at 13:22 GMT, Friday, 08 February 2013

Austerity for Chinese New Year


8 February 2013

China has banned TV and radio adverts which encourage extravagant gift-giving ahead of Chinese New Year, which begins this weekend. Expensive watches, gold coins and alcohol are among the items that are affected, according to the state media.

Martin Patience

Man selling snake balloons

Chinese people are celebrating the Year of the Snake


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During Chinese New Year it's common to give gifts to bosses and officials as a way of gaining favour. But now the authorities have announced a ban on advertisements that have been encouraging people to give luxury items.

In a statement, the authorities said these radio and TV ads were spreading "incorrect values" and creating a "bad social ethos". According to reports, the ban relates to promotions which suggest products are "must-have items for superiors".

It's the latest move by China's leader, Xi Jinping, to try and cut down on government extravagance and corruption. At many official occasions, banquets have been banned or scaled back, red carpets are out, and the floral arrangements are no longer there. China's new generation of leaders are keen to display a more frugal administration in the face of growing public anger over official corruption.

Senior officials have repeatedly warned that corruption poses the greatest threat to the rule of the Communist party.


Click here to hear the vocabulary


gaining favour

getting acceptance


expensive and desirable


values or belief


senior or higher ranking members of the communist party


dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power

scaled back

reduced in size


more economical (in relation to money)

in the face of

as a reaction to a threat from

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