New Shanghai Borders Aim to Pour Cold Water on China’s ‘Mystery Box’ Frenzy

The Shanghai Chinese Mall on Friday put in place new rules to limit the price of “mystery boxes”, which are very popular among young people, just days after similar promotions from KFC and Pop Mart drew criticism for having triggered a buying spree.

The “mystery box” phenomenon – in which consumers can purchase unlabeled packaging containing random novelty gifts from retailers – has become popular in China. Companies like Chinese toy seller Pop Mart International Group have built their business on the mystery box trend with an element of surprise: Consumers don’t know which toy figure they’ll get until they open the box. .

But the Shanghai market regulator has now introduced a series of regulations aimed at controlling this niche industry. Regulations will limit the price of these “mystery boxes”, which have been a big trend in the country, especially among its young people, to 200 yuan ($ 31.49) a box. Previously, there was no price cap on items in mystery boxes. The regulation also stipulated that companies should not encourage excessive buying, marketing and speculation, or selling boxes to children under the age of eight.

It comes after a leading Chinese consumer rights group on Wednesday urged the public to boycott a “mystery box” meal promotion by KFC restaurants operated by Yum China, saying it encourages customers to buy many. meal in order to get the toy figure, causing food waste. . KFC launched the promotion last week with Pop Mart, which allowed customers to collect limited edition versions of Dimoo dolls with big eyes and round faces when purchasing select KFC meals. This led at least one consumer to spend 10,494 yuan ($ 1,649) to buy 106 fixed meals at one time to collect the toys, the China Consumers Association said in a statement, calling it “impulse consumption. “.

This isn’t the first time the mystery box trend has come under scrutiny. In May, the practice faced numerous calls for regulation after local media reported that 160 puppies and kittens destined for mystery surprises were rescued from a warehouse in Chengdu City.

The Shanghai market regulator posted the guidelines on its official WeChat account, adding that items such as medicines, live animals or flammable items should not be offered in such boxes. ($ 1 = 6.3646 yuan Chinese renminbi)

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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