Business enterprises have been told to enforce the State Council ban on direct sales practices. A conference organised by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce on business opportunities in the wake of the ban was urged to adhere to the order 'at all levels'. The outlawed schemes include internationally banned 'pyramid sales' methods. A circular issued earlier by the administration called on local officials to 'resolutely eliminate interference from regional protectionism and implement the law strictly, fairly, without corruption and increase the intensity of enforcement'. Companies employing pyramid selling schemes endangered the economic and social order, the conference was told. With market education still in its infancy, unsophisticated consumerism and incomplete regulations made monitoring difficult and warranted the ban. The conference stressed the ban did not seek to target foreign or joint-venture companies and it applied equally to domestic firms.