Steve's China Blog

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Got a smoke?

Back around the beginning of May I noticed that stores here in ChengDu were starting to run out of foreign cigarettes. More than six weeks later, and there aren't any foreign cigarettes to be found here. You can sometimes find them on street vendors, but those are just stale counterfeit ones. Some friends and co-workers that have traveled to other cities have been able to find foreign cigarettes without any problems, and since this started before the earthquake I do not think it has anything to do with that.

At first I was thinking it was just a distribution problem, but since it started at around the time all the torch relay protests were stirring up xenophobic feelings more than normal, I think it is probably a result of some distributor here got a nationalistic burr up his butt and decided he wasn't going to sell foreign cigarettes in ChengDu anymore. Hopefully he'll lose a lot of money.


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