Outrage over 24-carat crabs | Shanghai Daily

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September 9, 2009

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Outrage over 24-carat crabs

A PAIR of hairy crabs in two gold cages with a price tag of 99,990 yuan (US$14,645) - the idea of a businessman in eastern China's Jiangsu Province for the Mid-Autumn Festival - has sparked nationwide controversy.

Comments by Netizens at major Web portals linked the high-end crabs with graft since such extravagant gifts were often given to corrupt officials.

The crabs in question are available at a jewelry store in Jiangsu's Gaochun County.

A bigger cage with two Chinese dragons on its surface has a male hairy crab, weighing 300 grams, in it while the other cage, decorated with two phoenixes, holds a female of 200 grams, Beijing-based Legal Daily said yesterday.

The bigger cage, which weighs 200 grams, was worth 52,600 yuan and the smaller one of 130 grams was about 34,200 yuan in accordance with today's gold price.

Buyers receive a box of eight traditional crab-cracking tools made of silver, which means most money is spent on packaging and accessories.

Shi Tuanjie, creator of the idea, said his gold-caged crabs were more to do with culture than people thought and he never imagined they could be linked to corruption.

Shi, chairman of a local crab company and agricultural products cooperative, said his package had been granted a patent and he expected the label "Gold Armor" would be approved soon. Shi said he had tailored 50 pairs of gold cages.

A woman asked for a pair as a gift for her daughter, while a local businessman ordered 11 pairs for "very important clients."

An official from Gaochun's press office, who wished to remain anonymous, said the government never encouraged "over-packaging" but they would not interfere with enterprises' commercial activities.




 

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