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Subsidy program ups China's rural home appliance sales in Feb.

(Xinhua)

08:56, March 07, 2012

BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Tuesday that home appliance sales under the country's rural subsidy program climbed 19.1 percent year-on-year to 18.2 billion yuan (2.88 billion U.S. dollars) in February.

During the period, 6.97 million units of subsidized home appliances were sold to rural consumers, up 6.4 percent from the previous year, the MOC said in a statement on its website.

The statistics excluded the provinces of Shandong, Henan and Sichuan, and the northern coastal city of Qingdao, where the subsidies ended last year.

Sales in the provinces of Anhui, Hebei and Jiangsu ranked the top three, taking up one-third of the total.

Major home appliance makers Haier Group, Hisense Group and Midea Group led the growth, realizing sales of 2.5 billion yuan, 1.63 billion yuan and 1.3 billion yuan, respectively, and taking 30 percent of the total sales.

Under the subsidy program, farmers may receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated types of refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, mobile phones, water heaters, microwave ovens and traditional ovens.

China first introduced the program in Shandong, Henan, Sichuan and Qingdao in December 2007 on a trial basis, and expanded it to the whole nation in February 2009, with an aim to spur rural consumption amid the global economic slowdown.

The program had expired in the four trial areas by the end of November 2011, and its expiration date for other areas is scheduled for the end of November this year.

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