China, already the world’s second largest bullion consumer, has installed the country’s first gold vending machine in a busy shopping district in Beijing, state media said on Sunday.

Shoppers in the popular Wangfujing Street can insert cash or use a bank card to withdraw gold bars or coins of various weights based on market prices, the People’s Daily said on its website.

Gold vending machines already exist in Britain, the United States, the Middle East and Europe.

Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation and the machines could prove popular among Chinese consumers looking for a convenient way to safeguard their cash amid rising prices.

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