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China bans gift commercials

China has banned broadcast advertisements that encourage extravagant gift-giving.

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China’s export sector has been crucial to its economic growth over recent years, with international firms taking advantage of the country’s low-cost manufacturing. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chinese government today ordered all radio and TV channels to ban advertisements for "gift giving."  The ban, issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, is meant to stop ads for expensive gifts, such as luxury watches, rare stamps and gold coins. The move is part of the government's effort to make people be more thrifty, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The ban could hurt luxury product manufacturers who advertise on Chinese television and radio, Reuters reported

The ban comes just as the one-year anniversary of the Bo Xilai scandal approaches. 

More from GlobalPost: China's bridges and dams crumble under corruption

Indeed, the ban seems to be part of new Communist party leader and president-in-waiting Xi Jinping's attempts to end corruption (or at least the appearance of corruption), BBC News reported. The new restrictions also come as the government is trying to address China's growing gap between the rich and the poor.

For example, the New York Times reported in 2011 that luxury Audi cars were becoming the vehicle of choice for many Chinese officials. “Audi is still the de facto car for government officials,” a taxi driver told the Times.  “It’s always best to yield to an Audi — you never know who you’re messing with, but chances are it’s someone self-important.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130206/china-bans-gift-commercials