China cracks down on award-related profiteering

Updated: 2011-09-26 19:00


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BEIJING - Event organizers who try to turn profits by collecting fees in exchange for special award nominations may have trouble raking in more money, as the Chinese government has eliminated more than 97 percent of the award titles that are commonly used by award ceremony organizers.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection cut the total number of award titles from 148,400 to 4,218, forbidding event organizers from handing out awards with the words "China" or "National" in their name without approval from related authorities, according to an official from a national award assessment team.

The excessive number of awards and the shoddy practices used by event organizers to promote their award ceremonies have been effectively curbed under the government's tight supervision and regulation, according to the official, who requested anonymity.

The government will strictly control the number of awards and will not set up permanent awards, the official said, adding that any change to the existing awards should be approved by central authorities.

Organizers are encouraged to give "spiritual awards" rather than "material awards" to winners, the official said, adding that organizers are not allowed to ask candidates for service fees during the nomination process.

In one prominent case, the China Federation of Patriotic Projects came under fire in July for promoting its "Backbone of the Republic" award. Each candidate for the award was required to pay a service fee of 9,800 yuan ($1,531) in order to qualify for the title, according to previous media reports.

The general offices of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, or China's cabinet, set up a  national award assessment team in October 2010 to curb the practice of award-related profiteering.