This is an important stat: There’s been a 90% plunge in exports of shark fins from Hong Kong to mainland China.
Shark fin soup has long been considered a Chinese delicacy, but in recent years there’s been a pretty big campaign to discourage its consumption on account of cruelty to animals.
But the moral argument against shark fin soup is only part of the story. One of the primary campaigns by Chinese President Xi Jinping is to crack down on ostentatious consumption by party leaders, as part of an anti-corruption drive.
Last year, the government tried to ban official extravagance, a move that hurt many luxury companies and banquet halls. And so the shark fin plunge is a story about that as well.
Attempts to prevent Chinese officials from eating extravagantly and accepting expensive gifts is clearly working.
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