The mid-autumn festival is coming soon. In China, high-priced mooncakes are sold on the black market. Mooncakes that are expensive and can’t be bought online are said to be available through private chat.
On Friday, August 26, a reporter from “Times Weekly” posed a question as a customer to an online store that sells mooncake gift boxes. When asked if there were mooncakes with higher-quality ingredients, the store said yes. But they needed to add a Chinese social media WeChat account to send information because the rules say that some products over 500 yuan ($72) cannot be listed on the e-commerce site.
According to the report, the merchant’s WeChat account suggested more than ten mooncake gift boxes with fillings like bird’s nests, abalone, truffles, sea cucumbers, and other high-end ingredients. Prices range from 688 to 999 yuan, or $100 to $145. There are six kinds of mooncakes in the gift box, including Haojiao, Tianlun Zhile, and Hibake.
Besides this store, there are expensive mooncake gift boxes at Haojiao official flagship store and the Hibake mooncake store. When asked why there was no product link, the other party either said that the link wasn’t finished, that the price couldn’t be more than 500 yuan ($72), or that it wouldn’t be listed on Taobao.
In June, China said they would focus on monitoring boxed mooncakes that cost more than 500 yuan ($72) each.
But the expensive mooncakes are still around, especially the costly liquor that is sold in mooncake gift boxes.
People who work for “scalpers” heard that the Yuhu Yingyue and Liuxin mooncake gift box sets sell for 220 yuan and 260 yuan ($32 and $38), respectively. This is less than the official shipping price, but they are sold with wine. For 1,450 yuan ($210), you can buy a bottle of Feitian Moutai and ten boxes of mooncakes.