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China's luxury food suppliers take a beating

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[February 20, 2013]  BEIJING (AP) -- China's suppliers of shark fin, abalone, pricey liquor and other luxury foods are taking a beating after new leader Xi Jinping ordered officials to cut out lavish living.

The Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday business for high-end caterers in Beijing has plunged 35 percent since Xi's order in December.

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. Sales of abalone and bird's nest soup fell 40 percent.

Makers of expensive liquor have seen sales weaken and some have cut prices by up to 30 percent.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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