Gold and silver mooncakes sell out in China, raising specter of corruption

Mooncakes made of gold and silver are selling like hot cakes in China as gifts during the Mid-Autumn Festival, reported the Chinese-language Xinhua news agency last week.

Sold in various weights of gold or silver, many of these mooncakes have reportedly sold out in the run-up to the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 30.

Mooncakes, a traditional Chinese delicacy made of lotus seed paste, are commonly given to family and friends in China as gifts to celebrate the centuries-old Mid-Autumn harvest festival.

The Bank of Communications is reportedly selling a 500-gram gold mooncake at over 21,000 yuan (US$3340) while ICBC Bank is offering a gift box of two 50-gram gold mooncakes, inscribed with auspicious motifs and Chinese characters, for 47,620 yuan (US$6,820). The cheapest of ICBC Bank’s range of mooncakes is a mooncake made of silver that is priced at 850 yuan each (US$135).

Other banks that have also jumped onto the bandwagon include the China Merchant Bank, Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China.

These gold mooncakes are usually purchased as gifts and customers must order at least two week in advance, a bank manager from a China Merchants Bank in Beijing told the Global Times last week, adding that the gifts are "usually not for families or friends."

The Chinese are among the top consumers of gold in the world in recent years. Over the past year alone, the ratio of Chinese rich investing in gold jumped from 0.1 percent in 2011 to 11.5 percent in 2012, based on a report by China-based wealth research firm Hurun on the spending habits of some of China's richest consumers earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the popularity of the gold and silver mooncakes once again raised suspicions of the scourge of corruption in China in the wake of the recent spate of government bribery scandals. 

Netizens have taken to China’s Sina Weibo microblog to express their anger.

"Who will put gold mooncakes on the dining table? It is just to hide corruption," said a netizen Lantianbaiyun3215 on Sina Weibo while another remarked: "The government authorities should take it as a clue in fighting corruption to trace both the buyers and the receivers.”

China’s huge gift market has an estimated value of 768.4 billion yuan (US$121.90 billion), which includes 505.5 billion yuan (US$80.20 billion) for individual needs and 262.9 billion yuan (US$41.71 billion) for group needs, according to a survey by the Chinese Gift Industry Research Institute earlier this year.

EW

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Snoop Dogg 'drips' it like it's hot at Etam Paris pool show Associated Press - Thu, Mar 5, 2015 4:39 AM PHT
    Snoop Dogg 'drips' it like it's hot at Etam Paris pool show

    PARIS (AP) — Snoop Dogg raised the pulse at Paris Fashion Week with a surprise concert and DJ set at Etam's bikini-themed lingerie pool collection that went on into the early hours of Wednesday — heralding competition for the famed, celebrity-filled Victoria's Secret shows. …

  • Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections Associated Press - 23 hours ago
    Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" linked to a type of medical scope that's used on more than a half-million people in the U.S. every year, the hospital said Wednesday. …

  • Last Ebola patient is released in Liberia Associated Press - 9 hours ago
    Last Ebola patient is released in Liberia

    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia released its last Ebola patient, a 58-year old teacher, from a treatment center on Thursday, beginning its countdown to being declared Ebola free. …

  • 7 Diet Hacks You Need To Try Now Realbuzz - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    7 Diet Hacks You Need To Try Now

    Dieting is tough. There’s no shortcut to shredding the pounds – it takes every trick in the book (not to mention bags of motivation). If you’re short of new weight loss solutions, we might be able to help. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here are 7 diet hacks to get you back on track. …

  • 5 stunners from the Geneva car show Associated Press - Thu, Mar 5, 2015 3:25 AM PHT
    5 stunners from the Geneva car show

    GENEVA (AP) — Forget driverless cars, electric power or even green technology. There is no doubt what visitors are coming to see at the glamorous Geneva motor show: supercars. …

  • For taste of the Middle East, try za'atar on any meat or veg Associated Press - Thu, Mar 5, 2015 2:06 AM PHT
    For taste of the Middle East, try za'atar on any meat or veg

    When I was growing up in Dubai, my favorite afterschool snack was "manaeesh bi za'atar," a warm flatbread smeared with a deep green paste made of olive oil and the beloved Middle Eastern spice blend, za'atar. Rolled up with some creamy lebneh (thick yogurt) and fresh tomatoes, it's still the snack I crave today. …

  • Nurse who survived Ebola sues Dallas hospital system Associated Press - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 7:20 AM PHT
    Nurse who survived Ebola sues Dallas hospital system

    DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas hospital that treated the first patient to be diagnosed in the U.S. with Ebola lied to Congress when it said its staff was trained to handle the deadly virus, a nurse who contracted the disease contends in a lawsuit filed Monday. …

  • 8 Things To Do Before You Hit 30 8list - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 6:41 PM PHT
    8 Things To Do Before You Hit 30

    Putting on big boy/girl pants! …

POLL

My New Year's resolution is to:

Loading...
Poll Choice Options