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Mooncakes: Now in Silver and Gold Varieties

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Published on Sep 25, 2012

These mooncakes are selling like hot cakes, even with a price tag of more than 7,500 US dollars a case. That's right, 7,500 US dollars. That's because these aren't your ordinary mooncakes, which are themselves flying off the shelves as the Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up on September 30th. These mooncakes are made of gold.

And not just gold. They come in silver too. Despite the hefty price tags, the company who makes them, Beijing Kingee Culture Development Co Ltd, says they're selling out.

So who are buying up these expensive, non-edible mooncakes? A company executive told China Economic Weekly magazine that most of their gold and silver moon cakes are bought by nearby government officials, who then use them as gifts.

These expensive items are part of a new breed products that have appeared on the market in recent years. They're created specifically for gifting, and boast sky-high prices. This one mooncake is selling for 1880 yuan, or, just about 300 US dollars.

A former professor at Shandong University, Sun Wenguang, explains why he thinks this particular market has grown.

[Sun Wenguang, Former Professor at Shandong University]
"Gifting, well, what can you give? If you give money, it may leave a trial. A house won't do either. So you might as well send something very high class, like expensive mooncakes made from gold and silver. This is another sign of corruption."

The practice of giving mooncakes as presents has been a tradition amongst ethnic Chinese, who celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Usually, the baked desserts are made of more modest ingredients like red bean lotus seed paste, and are enjoyed in the company of family and close friends.

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