All Falun Gong publications were out of stock yesterday at three mainland-backed book chains. The Commercial Press, Joint Publishing (HK) and Chung Hwa Book said all books, videos and audio tapes on Falun Gong and founder Li Hongzhi were sold out and they would not be restocking them soon. 'The distributor has not notified us when they will be getting new books so we will not be selling Falun books and other related materials for now,' a Commercial Press spokeswoman said. But she admitted the bookstore has not asked for new supplies. The other two book chains gave similar replies. All said there was no question of censorship but simply that they had run out of stock. They refused to give sales figures. Mainland state-run media reported authorities had burned more than two million Falun-related publications since last week after the sect, which claims to have up to 100 million followers, was outlawed. There are seven books by Mr Li, costing $40, previously sold at the book chains. The main text setting out his teachings is Zhuan Falun. Sect spokesman Kan Hung-cheung questioned why the book chains would not try to restock publications that had been on their bestseller lists for months. 'The books were selling extremely well so if this is a commercial decision, it's a very bad one,' he said. He said followers would try to share or sell at cost the key texts to help spread Mr Li's teachings. Falun Gong has its own publishing house in Hong Kong but Albert Kwok Yau-yan, a sect member associated with it, declined to comment. 'The publishing house is independent of the sect and I can't say anything about its commercial operations,' he said.