BEIJING — With China’s new leadership pledging to toughen up on corruption, luxury brands that have been thriving in this country — often thanks to the massive gray market in currying official favor with expensive gifts — may be in for a bit of a slowdown.
Since Xi Jinping was anointed head of the Chinese Communist Party in November, paving his path to the presidency in March, Xi and others have sent a series of signals that they intend to clamp down on corruption, the systemic and unavoidable facet of China’s economic model. In the past week, two key points were revealed. First, Xi himself spoke openly of the need to punish corrupt officials, everyone from “flies” to “tigers,” a metaphorical reference to going after top government leaders who are corrupt as well as the lowly ones often used to make a point.
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