According to the South China Morning Post, there is an ‘apparent ban’ on the sale of feng shui and fortune-telling books, part of ‘a campaign against superstition ordered by President Xi Jinping.’ While there has been very little official chatter about such a ban, superstitious books have, nevertheless, proved more difficult to come by, and have created a black magic black market.
Many feng shui “masters” (i.e. scam artists with credulous and wealthy clients) are based in Hong Kong and have seen their book sales drop off in the mainland. Bootlegging and faking have become rampant, as the SCMP reports:
Popular Hong Kong fung shui masters, including Mak Ling-ling and So Man-fung, have complained that they can no longer get permission to publish books on the mainland. […]
The books offered online by mainland merchants were most likely pirated copies, said a newsstand operator in Cannon Street, Causeway Bay.
“They can’t be authentic. Their prices are even lower than the wholesale price [of HK$40] here,” said Wong Bing-shun.
Wong said bootlegging was ruining his business. Fortune-telling books used to be popular among mainland tourists, who are now turning to the cheaper knock-offs available online.
Forgive us for not shedding a tear over the lost profits of Hong Kong-based feng shui hawkers, but the “apparent ban” does serve as an unpleasant reminder that a great many texts aren’t permitted for import to the mainland, with wonky fortune-telling pamphlets hopefully composing only a small portion.