Unlike many foreigners, I am a fan of baijiu (the very strong Chinese liqueur). It's certainly not the easiest alcohol to ingest, but drinking it with new acquaintances can lead to life long friendships. It's the alcohol you drink both with friends and at formal business dinners and it almost always leads to Karaoke. Above it seems even Nixon toasted with it. As Reuters puts it, Baijiu producing companies such as Maotao and Wuliangye have thus far be immune to downturns in the Chinese economy. But possible bans on using public funds to purchase luxury goods (which include Baijiu) is causing their stocks to fall. From Reuter's article:
Moutai posted a 43 percent increase in first half net profit late on Thursday, yet its shares fell almost 4 percent on Friday as the growth fell short of what some analysts had predicted. Wuliangye is expected to announce its interim results after markets close on August 19.
Premier Wen Jiabao pledged in March to ban the use of public funds for luxury items including baijiu, which retails for about $300 per standard bottle and well into the thousands for rare, aged varieties...
At the five-star Okura Garden Hotel in Shanghai, a top banquet venue, the beverage manager, surnamed Liao, said baijiu sales had dropped more than 20 percent since March.
In Tianjin, a bustling port city near the capital Beijing, Moutai sales were down by as much as 50 percent over the past half year, the official China Daily reported in late July.
Some localities have introduced their own rules, like prohibitions on drinking at lunch, to improve the image of government officials. In Jiangsu province's Siyang county, public expenditures on receptions had been cut by two-thirds, the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported.
Which do you think will come first... the complete abolishment of public funds for baijiu purchasing or the abolishment of shark fin soup at official functions? I think the latter.