The usually mild Chinese press is breathing fire at officials who canceled an exhibit of shoddy Chinese goods for which they had solicited contributions. "Farce and deception," the Xinhua news agency called it.
The Economic Daily said it was a "humiliating disgrace" for consumers, who were asked last summer to send the Light Industry Ministry items that didn't work and letters of complaint about those too large to ship.
The newspaper said a ministry spokesman, who was not identified, appealed to the journalists to cooperate in upholding the reputation of Chinese products so exports would not suffer.
When it announced the cancellation, the ministry said it had received more than 4,000 complaint letters from consumers but managed to settle most cases. Officials said there were fewer than 70 items left to exhibit, which they maintained was not enough for a proper show.