From The Times Of India (link):
For years, gifting of “golden books” have remained a popular form of social exchange as well as bribery in China. The Chinese government has finally clamped down on the production and sale of such books made of gold and silver foils.
Much like the Indian practise of presenting gold and silver idols of Gods during Diwali and other festive occasions, the Chinese have perfected the art of gifting “golden books” that are sometimes inlaid with jewellery or rare wood.
These gifts are exchanged among friends during occassions like the Spring festival as well as used by businessmen as a form of bribery, sources said. There are several other forms of bribery in vogue including the popular mahjong trick.
Businessmen deliberately lose to government officials on mah-jong, the Chinese checker game. Losses could go up to a few hundred thousand dollars.