Taiwanese dancers introduce a new car from Luxgen, a joint venture between state-owned Dongfeng Motor Co. and Yukon, a Taiwanese partner in Shanghai, Monday, April 20, 2015. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
China's biggest auto show opened in Shanghai on April 22–29, 2015 and the only models on display were the ones with four wheels.
Gone were the scantily-clad “car babes" that in previous years have posed provocatively on car hoods and sashayed through the aisles to draw crowds to the 9-day event – part of a morality crackdown by China’s President Xi Jinping.
Automakers replaced them with dancers and fresh-faced young women holding tablet computers.
And the now-out-of-work beauties staged a protest. The unemployed models dressed up in their most fashionable rags and pretended to beg on the curbside outside of Metro City at the Xujiahui Station (part of the Shanghai Metro).
They carried signs declaring "We want to survive!" and lamenting that their starving themselves had all been for nothing!
Auto manufacturers pulled out all the stops to compete for Chinese customers in what since 2009 has been the world's largest car market. Vehicle sales in China totalled 23.5 million units last year, almost a third more than in the United States of America.
I was the Table Topics Evaluator at the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting on Tuesday evening. All I can say is that the Table Topics session drew out the senior Toastmasters and that was the highlight of the evening. Otherwise, the speeches were just so-so. I didn't stay on for the evaluations though. Maybe a case of an overdose of Toastmastering? After all, I was at three Toastmasters meetings in one day, i.e. April 28, 2015!