Flower sales have decreased sharply since Party authorities forbade displaying flowers at government meetings. In Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong province, flower sales dropped by more than 40% in recent weeks [Nov-Dec 2012] compared with the same period in previous years, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Wednesday.

Many shop owners at a major flower market located on the city’s Longxi Avenue said their business used to boom at the end of the year when there are many government conferences, but they failed to receive any orders from the government this month. Some flower sellers said their sales had slumped by 90%.

There were similar reports in Beijing — a flower seller at Laitai Flower Market in Chao-yang district said he received 20 big orders last December, but received only two orders this year, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.

A manager surnamed Ye said her company sold an average of 150,000 roses and lilies in the final months of previous years, but she expected sales to be less than 110,000 this year, said the report. It can cost as much as 30,000 yuan ($4,800) to buy flowers for some conferences, said the report.

The ban on flowers originated from the eight measures put forward on Dec 4 [2012] by the Party’s central leadership, which stated that in an effort to cut costs, flowers should not be displayed at official occasions.

There were no flowers, towels or fruit on the desks when Liu Yunshan, a member of the Party’s top leadership body, attended a conference in Xicheng district in Beijing on Dec 10, The Beijing News reported. At the Central Economic Work Conference held on Dec 15, there were no flowers or green plants on the rostrum, according to the People’s Daily.

Feng Chunqiu, deputy director of the publicity department of Chaoyang district in Beijing, said the district government withdrew flowers from a news briefing about the Beijing Culture Expo last week. The Beijing municipal government has put forward 15 measures to improve working style, including banning flowers at government events, he said.

At the celebration of the opening of the No 4 Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge on Monday, there were no flowers, fireworks, ribbon-cutting or musical performances, according to a report in the Modern Express.

The total cost of the ceremony was less than 2,000 yuan [US$321]. Such a ceremony used to cost at least 500,000 yuan [US$80,333] to set up an exhibition platform, said the report.

Source: China Daily Dec 2012

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