Lawmaker calls for Moutai ban at official banquets

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, January 17, 2012
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A Shanghai legislator has proposed to prohibit Moutai, arguably China's most renowned liquor, from being served at government dinners in response to recent public criticism of the practice.

Moutai is arguably China's most renowned liquor.

"The price of Moutai keeps soaring and drinking the liquor is considered a luxury," said Shen Haixiong, a deputy to the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress. "To consume the liquor is actually an abuse of public funds."

Shen, editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency's Shanghai branch, raised the proposal on Sunday.

His proposal came days after Moutai was listed by Hurun Research Institute as the fourth most valuable luxury brand of the world and one of the top 10 gift brands preferred by multimillionaires.

"The local discipline authorities should launch routine inspections to avoid expensive liquor from being consumed at official banquets," Shen said.

"Moutai was recently chosen as one of the world's most valuable luxury brands by Forbes business magazine. And as far as I know, the government is prohibited from luxury consumption. It is also not acceptable that a national brand that was once close to the grassroots now costs more and more," Shen said.

A bottle of 53 percent proof Flying Moutai - the brand's bestseller - costs 2,100 yuan ($330), up from 200 yuan in 2000.

Share of Shanghai-traded Kweichow Moutai, producer of the liquor, slumped nearly 6 percent to 177.48 yuan on Monday.

The reporter from China Daily was unable to contact Moutai on Monday.

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