Shanghai auto show may shut door on model girls

Updated: 2015-01-10 06:03


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Shanghai auto show may shut door on model girls

Scantily-clad models could become a thing of the past as the organizing committee of the Shanghai auto show says it is considering barring them. Jing Wei / For China Daily

Models in over-revealing costumes are disappearing quickly in China - first in TV dramas and now probably from trade shows.

Female models may no longer be seen at one of the country's most important auto shows, the biannual Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, scheduled for April.

Market industry sources say Shanghai may set an example for all future car shows and even for all trade shows in China.

The organizer of this year's Shanghai event said on Friday it is considering ending the presence of all glamour models at the show to "restore the essence of the exhibition and provide a more civilized atmosphere".

Car shows in China have become notorious for scantily dressed models and have sometimes been described as "flesh shows".

Yang Xueliang, spokesman for Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, told China Daily it had been told by the organizer that the girls will not be at this year's Shanghai automobile show. Yang said this was the right decision to make.

Chinese car shows in recent years shared one problem, he said. Companies vied for consumer attention, especially that of younger consumers, not through the quality and value of their products but by parading over-revealing models.

"We want to see a new order established for car shows in China," he said, "so that product quality and technology become the focus."

Gong Guangjun, corporate communications and media relations manager at Shanghai General Motors, said it had not yet been told about the models' withdrawal.

Yu Hai, a Fudan University sociology professor, also said he is in favor of ending the appearance of glamour models at car shows, because they cannot represent product quality.

But Lyu Sixian, an agent at a 20-year-old modeling company in Shanghai, said it had only just been told by one carmaker that the 10 models booked by the company for the Shanghai car show may not appear this year.

"As this kind of policy change is defined as 'God's will', the models will not get any compensation, he said.

"It is not only a huge loss for agents but also for models themselves. Most of the models live only on the car show every year. ... Some of them came to me this morning saying they do not know what to do next if their jobs at the car show are canceled.

"As most of the models do not have any other skills or expertise, the elimination of their jobs is totally unfair to them. The organizer could come up with more detailed regulations, such as the length of dress they should wear and which parts of the body should not be shown.

"More important, it is not the models who want to wear the over-revealing clothing, but the companies that hire them."

An Ran, 20, has worked as a model for two years and appeared at the Shanghai auto show in 2013.

An was shocked by the news, saying she may have to change her job or become unemployed if the Shanghai show stops using models, because other auto shows will probably follow suit.

"Some people have disrupted the industry and ruined our reputation," she said.

An said 80 percent of auto show girls dress normally when they work. Only some are dressed outrageously - "and that is not our idea."

She said her company has strict standards when selecting girls for auto shows. For instance, they must be 1.75 meters tall and weigh a maximum of 55 kg.

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