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Florists struggle as orders fail to bloom

By Huang Ying  (China Daily)

08:40, January 31, 2013

Florists and horticulturalists are finding it hard to cope with grim market conditions.

In previous years, Spring Festival has always been a busy season for them, with a wide range of conferences and ceremonies resulting in a flood of orders for flowers.

But now, new government regulations have resulted in a dramatic fall in business.

A shopkeeper surnamed Wang for a Beijing-based gardening company said: "Over the past two months, I haven't received any call for orders from our regular clients - units of the armed forces, government departments and public institutions.

"Clients from the armed forces and government departments used to account for about 60 percent of our business and now the proportion has suddenly dropped to almost nothing," he said, without elaborating.

The new regulations, passed in December by China's top leadership, ordered curbs on government extravagance, such as holding banquets. The number of meetings should be cut and spending on conferences, ceremonies and formalities reduced.

Flowers and potted plants used to be the main decorations for halls and chambers where meetings were held, and the large number of conferences at this time of year always brought increased demand, creating a peak season for flower dealers and wholesalers.

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