Shanghai May Ban Sexy Car Girls at Auto Show

Shanghai may ban sexy models from posing at its auto show this year so that visitors to the biennial event can focus on the machines on display.

“Organizers are considering related measures to ensure that the show returns to its original spirit of showcasing auto technology and products,” the organizing committee of the Shanghai Auto Show said in a statement. “We’re not ruling out banning car show models.”

While female models are a staple for major auto shows globally, China’s car expos have challenged the country’s morality guardians by featuring models with plunging necklines and ultra-short hemlines. China Central Television, the state broadcaster, renewed the criticism with a report last month castigating the use of racy models at another auto show.

The criticism follows reports that television regulators ordered the cropping of scenes featuring revealing costumes in a period drama about the seventh-century Tang dynasty woman emperor Wu Zetian.

In 2012, the Beijing government reprimanded organizers of the city’s auto show for allowing scantily clad models to pose beside cars in 2012.

The Capital Ethics Development Office criticized the “vulgar publicity” surrounding the models after photographs circulated on the Internet of Gan Lulu, a celebrity who wore a “deep V-cut top,” and Li Yingzhi, a model who posed in a “skimpy diamond-studded dress,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Gan has been photographed wearing pasties at other events.

Shanghai alternates with Beijing to host the annual auto expo, which has become the most important event for automakers to showcase their products to consumers in the world’s largest car market.

The previous show in 2013 drew 813,000 visitors. Shanghai authorities are investigating a stampede on New Year’s eve at its historic Bund waterfront district that killed 36 people.

This year’s edition opens to the public in Shanghai from April 22 to 29.

— With assistance by Alexandra Ho

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