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Extravagant dining curbed by frugality call

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-20 20:42

BEIJING - A slew of high-end restaurants and luxury wine brands have reported drastic sales declines amid a government frugality campaign that has swept across China, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Wednesday.

Extravagant dining has been reduced since the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee promulgated a package of rules calling for officials to be more frugal, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference.

Upscale restaurants in cities such like Beijing, Shanghai and Ningbo have seen revenues fall by 35, 20 and 30 percent, respectively, year-on-year in January, according to a survey Shen cited.

Restaurants also reported selling fewer expensive dishes during the week-long Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. Sales of birds' nests and abalone both slipped by around 40 percent year-on-year, while orders of shark fin were down by a hefty 70 percent, according to the survey.

Sales of gift boxes containing expensive food shrank by 45 percent. Premium liquor brands, such as Maotai and Wuliangye, also saw sales drops.

The anti-extravagance drive does not conflict with China's efforts to boost domestic consumption, Shen said.

From a long-term view, the frugality campaign will help nurture sustainable consumption and will therefore ease supply pressure on agricultural products, as well as help to protect the environment, he added.

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