Selfie sticks banned from Great Hall of the People

A visitor to Tiananmen Square on Thursday using a smartphone on a selfie stick to capture a shot with a paramilitary police officer after the daily flag-raising ceremony there.
A visitor to Tiananmen Square on Thursday using a smartphone on a selfie stick to capture a shot with a paramilitary police officer after the daily flag-raising ceremony there. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING • Selfie sticks have been banned from the Great Hall of the People, the venue for China's largest political gatherings.

Reporters have received messages from the Press Centre of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) telling them that no selfie sticks will be allowed into the Great Hall.

Press centre director Zhang Jingan was quoted by state media as saying it is inappropriate for delegates and members to use selfie sticks. Their main task at the meetings is to perform their duties, he said.

The ban was welcomed by the official People's Daily in a commentary yesterday. It said taking photographs with a selfie stick would hurt the delegates' image and distract them from their work.

Last year, delegates of the CPPCC and the National People's Congress had a field day snapping photos with the aid of selfie sticks during parliamentary sessions. The China Daily published a photo essay headlined "Season of Selfie at Two Sessions" in March last year.

The devices have also been banned from Beijing's Forbidden City, the South China Morning Post reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2016, with the headline 'Selfie sticks banned from Great Hall of the People'. Print Edition | Subscribe