Concerns about high debt and an overvalued currency are sucking gold imports into China, according to a new report from Lombard Street Research.
It adds that the authorities may possibly be moving in the direction of using gold in a plan to make the yuan an international currency.
Beijing has said that it does not view gold as a useful asset for diversifying the country's $3.8 trillion worth of foreign exchange reserves, according to media reports.
(Read more: China posts blowout trade data, exports jump 10.6%)
China's official reserves of gold stand at 1,054 metric tons, that's worth about $45 billion. This figure has not been updated since 2009 and Lombard says the number may not be accurate because since that last update imports of gold and domestic production amount to over 4,500 metric tons.