PARIS – Amidst prickly relations between France and China over Tibet and the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Louis Vuitton has postponed its high-profile “China Run” car rally scheduled for May 25 to 31 between Chengdu and Kunming.

A Vuitton spokeswoman said a new date has yet to be fixed, and declined further comment. Participants in the rally, which were to include Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, were informed of the change this week. It is understood Chinese authorities and organizers also support a postponement to ensure a successful, high-quality event at a later date.

Vuitton executives, sponsors and Chinese officials announced the rally at a plush press conference here last month, describing an event likely to attract millions of Chinese spectators eager to catch a glimpse of 45 vintage cars worth north of $125 million. But disruptions to the Olympic torch rally in Paris, and statements of support for the Dalai Lama by French politicians, have fuelled anti-French sentiments in China, leading to protests at Carrefour stores and steps by the Chinese government to quell rising nationalist fervor.

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