Chinese cities, provinces adopt measures to bolster consumption recovery
Many cities across the country have begun issuing coupons worth millions of yuan to boost consumption affected by an outbreak of Covid-19 cases on the mainland.
Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, has worked with many companies to issue coupons worth 60 million yuan ($9 million) since Sunday. The city government itself gave out coupons worth 5 million yuan on that day at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Zhenjiang Gold Mountain Consumer Festival, which will run until September.
Yu Jun, deputy director of the city's commerce bureau, said the distribution of coupons will encourage consumption worth about 120 million yuan.
"Eight consumer-themed special activities to spur consumption will be held in the city," said Yu. "Another 100 activities will be held in large shopping malls and supermarkets."
Suzhou will issue coupons worth 100 million yuan, while the provincial capital, Nanjing, has implemented several measures to spur consumption.
The Hongshan Forest Zoo in Nanjing, for example, has made moves to attract more tourists, who can now sleep in tents near the Tiger Mountain attraction in the area.
The zoo is offering 50 tents at Tiger Mountain and 15 more beside a lake near the north gate. The "camping in the zoo" program has been popular since it was introduced to the public.
"The measures, including distributing coupons, will lure me back to shopping malls," said Rui Yang, a piano teacher in Nanjing. "Though I'm under some financial burden, having brunch or dinner with friends and family members are important to me."
As of late May, many provinces across the country, such as Guangdong, Shanxi and Guizhou, had also issued coupons to boost their economies.
Guangzhou, Guangdong province, began issuing its fourth round of shopping coupons on Saturday to encourage consumption. Residents can make appointments online for more than 1 million consumption vouchers worth up to 1,000 yuan each and allocated by lottery before the end of the month, according to a statement issued by the city government over the weekend.
In addition to shopping coupons, coupons have also been issued for a range of services including travel, the statement said. Previously, Guangzhou had rolled out a series of stimulus measures and promotions, including three rounds of government-issued coupons, to help spur consumption and restore business vitality.
More than 4,000 companies in 11 districts of the city organized around 10,000 promotional events in May to promote the city's commerce, said Lin Guoqiang, deputy director of the Guangzhou commerce bureau.
"Residents can now receive several thousand yuan in government subsidies if they buy a car," he said, adding that Guangzhou's retail sales volume would continue to rebound in the coming months. "Major companies are providing better services for consumers to meet their diverse needs."
Guangzhou is not alone in issuing government shopping coupons in the province.
Earlier this month, the commerce bureau of Foshan, a major household appliance and building materials production base in Guangdong, issued more than 81 million shopping coupons to encourage residents to buy household appliances and building materials.
Shenzhen and Zhongshan have issued special car shopping coupons, while Jiangmen issued special coupons valued at 37 million yuan to help people buy property.
In Southwest China, Guizhou province has distributed coupons totalling 140 million yuan since Monday, which can be used at restaurants, cultural attractions and sports venues.
Taiyuan, Shanxi province, which had issued 120 million yuan of coupons, will issue another 420 million yuan of coupons for catering, home appliances, tourism and cars.
"Spurring consumption is crucial when shopping is limited, fewer people are employed and small and medium-sized enterprises are having trouble in production," Yi Bin, chief strategist of Western Securities Research Institute, told China News Service.
"Besides regular coupons for catering, tourism, entertainment and department stores, many provinces and municipalities have begun to issue coupons for durable goods, such as cars, home appliances and real estate," Yi added.
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