SHANGHAI (Reuters Life!) - Hemlines are a little longer at this year's annual online gaming fair in Shanghai, as companies take to heart a government directive against "vulgarity," a Chinese newspaper reported on Friday.
The ChinaJoy Expo, an annual online game showcase, is well-known for its "spicy girls" who dress up in hot pants and bras to dance and pose at company booths.
But a recent government crackdown on "vulgarity" in the online games sector is forcing the girls to cover up, the Shanghai Daily said.
"The length of my dress is longer than before," said Zhou, a model who has been a ChinaJoy showgirl twice.
The new policy prohibits costumes that show more than two-thirds of a showgirl's back and bans the girls from sticking printed logos on "sensitive positions" like over their breasts, the paper reported.
Some online games companies feared the change would lessen the attractiveness of the expo given that the girls are as much a draw for men as are the games on display, reported the paper.
"To be honest, I came here largely for spicy girls," said Xaiver Du, a college student and online gaming fan.
"I'm satisfied with the female models for this year's ChinaJoy ... I care more about them rather than only sexy clothing," Du said.
The government frequently launches campaigns against what it sees as obscene and base behavior -- including once banning "sexually provocative sounds" on television -- but to little apparent effect.
Scantily-clad women promoting drinks are a feature of many bars in cosmopolitan Shanghai and capital city Beijing, and pornography is widely available online and on pirated DVDs.
Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Ben Blanchard and Daniel Magnowski