SHANGHAI – The Shanghai Auto Show banned female models and automakers responded with dancers and fresh-faced young women holding tablet computers.
Organizers of China's biggest auto show announced in February that models in slinky dresses who usually adorn the stands of some auto brands would be banned. It said it wanted visitors to focus on cars.
The use of female models at Chinese auto shows already had dwindled as automakers tried to set themselves apart. But the show's decision comes as China's government under President Xi Jinping increases efforts to crack down on prostitution, online pornography and what it considers racy or improper programming on TV.
In December, the broadcaster of a historical drama that included women in low-cut dresses took it off the air temporarily and returned with images cropped to conceal actresses' cleavage. The change prompted mockery by members of the public and complaints about the prudishness of government censors.
On Monday, Luxgen, a joint venture between state-owned Dongfeng Motor Co. and Yulon, a Taiwanese partner, opened its display with a performance by a chorus line of dancers.
At other stands, young women in sleeveless but more business-like dresses carried tablet computers to show visitors the details of cars.
Auto brands have had rock bands perform at their displays. At the Shanghai show in 2011, a Chinese automaker, Chery, had a modern dance troupe perform.