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Mooncake and mitten-crab eclipsed in luxury ban

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-09-13 21:57

"It seems that the mooncake has returned to its essence of being a pastry for common families," said He Yikui.

He blamed the soaring price in past years on excessive packaging and tie-in sales. For instance, a bulky mooncake gift box quoted at 5,000 yuan might include a combo of pastries, red wine and even watches.

He said the authorities' extravagance crackdown will spur the official-oriented mooncake industry to turn back to the ordinary people, which is, in fact, conducive to the long-term development of the industry.

The demise of super-luxury mooncakes and crabs following the austerity order reveals their relations with public spending, according to Xia Xinping, associate researcher with the Guangxi University of Science and Technology.

Xia warned of some "covert" gift-giving using public funds, such as buying other things instead of mooncakes, or buying luxury gifts online and giving them via express delivery.

Indeed, gifts are not only mooncakes and crabs. Searching key words like "high-end gifts, mid-autumn" on, thousands of commodities popped up including diamonds, mink coats and teas with prices varying from 50 to about 28,000 yuan.

At a booming online tea shop, the vendor said his 297-yuan "Tie Guanyin," a popular variety of oolong tea, is packaged in a porcelain box decorated with red gold thread.

After purchase, he will seal the gifts in a carton and mail them to the exact addresses the customers offered. "That's 'safe' and low-profile," he said.

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