Private Retailers Claim 50 Percent Market Share

Chinese citizens are celebrating the Lunar New Year as they rush to make special and last-minute purchases for the Spring Festival, which falls on January 24.

Nowadays they have more choices than ever before, going to traditional department stores, shopping in foreign-funded malls like Carrefour from France or Wal-Mart from the United States, or dropping in chain stores scattered around Beijing.

"The municipal government is no longer the biggest buyer," said Chen Wen, a merchandise distribution official, referring that the government had to dispatch procurement teams to other provinces in order to make sure local citizens can enjoy a loaded table at the festival.

The government has changed their role into a director, guiding the city's retailers to ship in goods the citizens need. And the team of retailers has seen the increasingly important role of the non-government sector, which raised its market share up 50 percent, or 14 percent higher than five years ago.

Roaming the streets, crowds of enthusiastic buyers go to stores in droves to do their shopping. A competitive retail market has taken shape, according to sector insiders. State-run, private and overseas-funded enterprises all have a role in the market to expedite the circulation of merchandise, they added.

China has bid farewell to the long-lasting shortage economy when people were not able to buy what they needed or wanted. The market-oriented reform revives economy and also benefits the people to have more choices in a competitive market.

People's Daily Online ---