China state-contingent markets in everything


China stopped handing them out to foreign dignitaries 30 years ago, having spotted their potential as currency earners. These days all pandas are leased out, typically for 10 years at a time. The standard fee paid by the four US zoos that hold pandas – Memphis, San Diego, Zoo Atlanta and the National Zoo in Washington DC – has been $1 million a year for each pair, plus roughly the same again in sponsorship for panda research and conservation projects, plus an annual premium of $600,000 if the pandas mate and produce cubs (only the Memphis pandas have failed on this score)…

The article is here and hat tip goes to The Browser.


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