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Shaolin launches online shop amid controversy
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"They mainly tell about exercise techniques and the medical knowledge of keeping fit," she said.

"Some medical prescriptions and exercising methods in the books were passed orally from generation to generation in the temple."

Only a handful of inexpensive items listed on the website have been sold since it opened.

Shaolin is no stranger to criticism of its commercial activities. The virtual business is the latest commercial venture in which abbot Shi has spared no efforts in exploiting the Shaolin legend.

He has earned the nickname of the "CEO monk", since many people have accused him of running Shaolin like a business. Under his leadership, the 1,500-year old temple built up its own website, delved into film production and sent its monks on world tours, performing feats of agility and balance.

But his supporters said it is a good way to develop Shaolin in such a brand-oriented society because commercialized operation helps to protect and spread Chinese kung fu further.

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