CHINA — Chinese students are learning to perform traditional Chinese medicine practices with exercise-book-like books that can be purchased online for less than $50.
The move by a Chinese government agency to allow the books to be sold online was announced Thursday by the Ministry of Education and Science.
For more than a decade, the ministry has allowed the sale of exercise books to students in China, but the practice has largely been restricted to the provinces.
To promote the sale, the government is encouraging local governments to set up “public-health departments” that will sell the books online.
Some online booksellers have said they have had difficulty getting the books into Chinese-language bookstores.
But the ministry said that while it does not encourage the practice, it has no plans to ban the sale.
One of the books, titled Pu-shih-jui, means “the Tao,” or the Way of the World, said Zhang Zhaofeng, a deputy director at the ministry.
“It’s a very important book to know and it is very popular,” Zhang said.
Other popular books include “Dying for the Dream” by Guo Hui, and “A Tale of Two Cities” by Li Hongliang.
While the books are not officially approved for sale in China as health products, Zhang said, “we are trying to encourage them to go out and sell them.”
“There are other options,” Zhang added.
“It would be better for us to take a more relaxed approach.”
The ministry did not specify which products were being offered online.