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Mao’s $300 Red Army Liquor Suffers Before China Congress: Retail

Kong Guoqing hasn’t seen a quieter Chinese New Year in the 12 years his family has been running their small liquor and tobacco shop in downtown Shanghai.

They didn’t sell a single bottle of the high-end spirit made by Kweichow Moutai Co. that has become synonymous with banquets and gift-giving during China’s national holiday. Kong blames the vanished sales on incoming President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on extravagant spending by officials: Moutai’s sorghum spirit can fetch $300 a bottle -- about half the average monthly disposable income in China’s financial hub.