Province gets personal to end pyramid selling

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 February, 2004, 12:00am

Wipe out pyramid selling or you could lose your jobs, district government officials in Guangdong have been told.

A three-month campaign targeting the outlawed activity was launched by the Guangdong government recently.

Panyu and seven other districts have been identified for priority treatment by specially appointed police, Xinhua reported.

Guangdong Vice-Governor Xu Deli said pyramid selling would be stopped as part of a nationwide crackdown. He said particular attention would be paid to organisers of big pyramid operations.

Leaders of the eight districts would be assessed by campaign officials as part of on-going performance appraisals, Mr Xu said. He said if the districts' crackdown on pyramid selling did not show results, local officials would be penalised.

Guangdong Public Security Bureau chief Liang Guoju said the ability of local officials to tackle pyramid selling would be a big factor in determining their future.

Mr Liang said many of Guangdong's pyramid sellers had acted like gangsters, using violence to fight off police and security officials.

Pyramid selling, which has operated on the mainland since the 1980s, was banned in 1998 in a circular issued by the State Council. It was viewed by many as having disrupted market economic order and caused social instability.

Last year in Guangdong, 469 organisers of pyramid selling were reportedly arrested, but pyramid selling remained rife in the province, Xinhua reported.