BEIJING, Aug. 18 -- China's government vehicle reform has boosted car auctions in the country, with the auction value reaching 3.57 billion yuan (580 million U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, up 44.3 percent year on year, latest data showed.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said on Monday that government-entrusted car auctions rose most noticeably, totalling 1.13 billion yuan during the first half, up 79.4 percent year on year.
Shen said that the increase has primarily come from government vehicle reforms in different regions.
China's central authorities released a guideline in July to reform the supply and use of government vehicles in an effort to cut hefty spending amid mounting public complaints over misuse of public money.
Under the guideline, China will scrap vehicles for use in regular government affairs and keep only those for special services, such as intelligence communication and emergencies. The central government will instead allocate a "proper amount" in subsidies to public servants to allow them to choose their own means of transportation.
Shen said cities including Wenzhou and Shanghai in east China have piloted such reforms since 2011 and auctions of government vehicles have climbed since then.
Data showed that between 2011 and June of 2014, government vehicle auctions totalled 4.66 billion yuan, with Shanghai Municipality, the provinces of Shandong, Guangdong and Zhejiang as well as Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region accounting for more than 43 percent of the auction value during the past three years.