WESTERN manufacturers of high quality spirits boast of quenching the thirst of China's new moneyed class with their premium products. With the developed markets full of health-conscious Perrier-drinking types, the consumption of hard liqueur is declining, and so the enthusiasm for big-spending mainlanders who have been booked in as a major growth source. But a spanner has been thrown in the works, according to industry sources, who said Beijing is planning hardline rules to ban the use of advertising on all drinks with more than 40 per cent alcohol content: a move which covers most spirits. Similar rules apply to the cigarette companies which blatantly abuse the intention of the law by blanketing the country with advertising without actually ever mentioning cigarettes. Looks like China could be set for wall to wall coverage of the Remy Martingirl (above) . . . standing outside a club maybe. TOY maker Harbour Ring is to be the subject of some high-level corporate shuffling this week when Cheung Kong sells its stake in the company to its sibling Hutchison Whampoa. Cheung Kong holds redeemable convertible notes in the company which on conversion add up to between nine and 10 per cent of Harbour Ring's enlarged share capital. Hutchison will apparently convert the notes immediately and has already cut a deal with the Luk family - who are the controlling shareholders - to buy more stock, taking its stake in Harbour Ring to about 25 per cent. Quite what is the motivation for Group chairman Li Ka-shing is unclear. Cheung Kong and Harbour Ring had been thought natural partners for engaging in China property development projects - whereas Hutchison and the toy maker, which announced the previousweek that it is building the largest toy factory in China, appear to have less reason to tango. The suggestion is that the synergy is retail rather than industrial. RESIDENTS of Fuzhou, in Fujian province are said to be mighty fed up with their long-lost cousins, the Lippo Group, who returned from Indonesia to take part in the development of the city some years ago. Chinese tradition paints a romantic picture of the prodigal son who left penniless and returned years later clad in gold and bearing gifts, but in Lippo's case things seem to have turned sour. A number of residents apparently took umbrage at being re-settled from their hometown to make way for a property development being undertaken by the group. In fact, they were moved 10 years ago - but what really seems to be annoying them is that a decade later the site is still sitting empty without so much as a digger in sight. Back in Indonesia local Chinese companies which are investing heavily in China are facing an increasing political rap from the majority Muslim population for investing outside of the country. And, in Fuzhou, sources say a song now makes the rounds which is less than complimentary of Lippo.