Chinese auto shows put the brakes on scantily clad "car babes"

CHINA'S upcoming auto show on Wednesday will be a buttoned-up affair, with cars at the centre of attention for a change.

That's because the 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition has put the brakes on having skimpily dressed models present the latest four-wheelers.

"Car babes" are a staple at most major car shows around the world, where they attract eyeballs and shutterbugs.

The event organisers hope that the ban will focus visitors' attention on the cars on offer in the world's largest car market. As many as 23.5 million vehicles were sold in China last year, a third more than that in the United States, reported CNN.

In January, Mr Yang Xueliang, director of public relations for Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said such a ban would be for the best, "so as to let visitors enjoy a quiet exhibition", according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Auto show models have come under fire in the past for their revealing attire, or lack thereof.

The People's Daily called the events "vulgar" in a commentary last year, saying they are a "very bad social influence".

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