China offers spending incentives

21 May 2009

BEIJING: The Chinese government is offering to pay 10% of the price of electronic goods like televisions, computers and washing machines if consumers trade in old models when making purchases, as it attempts to stimulate spending levels in the country.

Under the terms of the government's new plan, residents of nine different cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, will be eligible to take part in the programme, which has a budget of 2 billion yuan ($292m; €215m; £189m).

This builds on an existing initiative that attempted to encourage consumers in rural areas to buy electronic consumer goods, although this applied to a more limited range of products and was subject to a number of conditions.

One of the key elements of the new set of proposals is that they will be aimed at high-income consumers in wealthy cities which have a strong retail presence, and it is also free from restrictions.

China's export levels declined by 22.6% in April on an annual basis, following on from a slide of 17.1% the previous month, meaning the country is looking to boost domestic spending.

The government has previously launched a similar "trade-in" scheme, backed with funding of 5 billion yuan, giving consumers a financial incentive to trade-in old cars in exchange for new models.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff