China’s State Council announced a plan to “clean up and consolidate” a spate of unregulated exchanges that have arisen in the country for everything from art to commodities, the Financial Times reported. Analysts say that over 300 exchanges exist today, apart from the two official stock exchanges (in Shanghai and Shenzhen), three commodities and one financial futures market. Many such bourses are promoted by local governments, with an aim of drawing and cultivating business. The central government said that “serious speculation and price manipulation has occurred,” at some of the exchanges, including fraud and embezzlement. A task force has been established by the State Council to shut down exchanges engaging in “unauthorized and illegal” activities. Already one exchange, the Beijing-based Hantang Artworks Exchange, which deals in fine art, said that it would halt all trading “in the spirit” of the State Council announcement.