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Semafor LogoKarina Tsui
newsEast Asia

China bans celebrities from endorsing e-cigarettes and health food

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Chinese entertainers and influencers have been banned from endorsing a raft of health and educational products, under new regulations that aim to promote "socialist core values" and "common prosperity."

An advertisement promoting Alibaba's Singles' Day shopping festival is pictured, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China
REUTERS/Aly Song
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On Monday authorities announced new restrictions on endorsing products including e-cigarettes, health foods and medical devices, as well as services such as private tutoring.

"The disorder within the field of advertising endorsements has seriously infringed upon the rights and interests of consumers, disrupted the market order, and polluted the social atmosphere," said a joint notice from seven agencies including the State Administration for Market Values, China's top market regulator.

The new regulations come as Chinese leader Xi Jinping consolidates his power with an unprecedented third term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

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During a recent trip to central China's Henan province, Xi cautioned the younger generation to “abandon the finicky lifestyle and complacent attitude," reported the Financial Times.

He said that though "material life" in the country had improved tremendously over the years, "the hard working style must not change" — alluding to the founding principles of the Communist Party.

The new advertising restrictions also call for "common prosperity," which some analysts interpret as a call to manage excessive wealth.

The yuan fell against the dollar after China's Communist Party congress last month, as investors predicted a skeptical outlook for the country's economy. During the weeklong meetings Xi signaled an important shift in priorities — with national security taking central focus over restoring the economy.

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