China's national state-run television network has banned all images of pigs from advertisements to avoid offending Muslim minorities, a company official said.
As Chinese prepare to celebrate the advent of the year of the pig, images of the animal are proliferating on billboards, print ads and as giveaways.
China Central Television (CCTV) said it was keeping images and spoken references to pigs off the screen to avoid arousing ethnic tension.
"CCTV is a national television network ... Due to concern over ethnic and cultural habits, we will keep the pig image away from the screen," said a program department official, who declined to give his name.
"We do not want to cause unnecessary bad influence or hurt the feelings of ethnic groups," he said.