Recently, a notice appeared at the cafeteria of Communication University of China in Beijing, saying that each student is only allowed to purchase up to two eggs and five stream buns per meal. It sounds like China is going back to planned economy.
Why? The University actually has a good reason. In China, to make food more affordable to students (urban or rural), cafeterias within universities are heavily subsided and generally sell at a much lower price compared with food outside the university. As a result, many non-students, especially farmer workers, take advantage of the system and also buy from university cafeterias. According to Communication University of China, “We sell a boiled egg for 5 cents, compared with 9 cents outside, and a steamed bun for 4 cents, compared with at lease 5 outside. Many non-students come in and buy ten or twenty of them at once. Our cafeteria had big deficits for years and with food price going up, the university cannot afford to let things go any worse.”
Luckily, students are OK with the food purchase limit. After all, who can finish two eggs plus fice steam buns in a single meal.