The Moon Festival, or the Mid-Autumn festival, the second grandest festival in China falls on the 19th of September this year. Mooncakes, a traditional gift at this time of year, are reportedly falling in sales this year. According to the article, sales are expected to fall by at least 20% this year. The fall in sales are thought to be in part due to President Xi Jinping’s campaign of fighting corruption. The aim is banning companies such as state-owned companies under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration (a special commission under the State Council, which manages and regulates many aspects of state-owned enterprises) from using public money to be used to buy these mooncakes. Concern of bribery have risen as mooncake prices have been rising in the recent years, as coupons that can be exchanged for cash are often given.
If the custom of gifting mooncakes is anything like gift giving culture in Japan, fewer companies sending such gifts is not a loss of a small part of the market. In Japan, gift giving is nearly compulsory on an individual and company level at certain times of the year as a token of appreciation and courtesy. A lot of money is dedicated to gifts and that part of the tradition every year by families as well as companies.