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China cracks down on funeral striptease

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China cracks down on funeral striptease

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — In rural China, funerals often feature young women performing a striptease for the guests, seen as a way to get more people to attend. But as common as the practice is, the government isn’t happy about it.

The Ministry of Culture announced Thursday on its website that it will launch a strict crackdown on the “illegal but common” strip shows at countryside funerals, as such shows “degrade social values.”

The ministry said its push had already resulted in two raids on such funerals, with police detaining the events’ managers and charging them with “organizing obscene shows,” punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

A Wednesday report by the Beijing News newspaper said in some rural areas, people use “sexy and stimulating” entertainment to draw more guests to the funeral and as a way to indicate family prosperity.

Nor are such shows tame — funeral striptease services typically cost over 2,000 yuan ($320) per show, often a high price for a rural family, and the groups offering these shows compete with each other by “pushing the limit” in order to drum up future business, according to a 2006 special video report by China’s Central Television.

A report by the Tencent Holdings news-portal site earlier this week criticized the practice as representing a “culture deficit” in rural China due to a lack of other cultural and recreational activities. It also blamed local officials for giving “tacit permission” for such illegal shows.

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