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China's consumption market witnesses drastic changes, keeps expanding

(People's Daily Online)    13:33, August 26, 2019

With remarkable progress in China's market-oriented reforms and innovative circulation development, the country has experienced historical changes in its consumption sector over the past 70 years.

The market is playing an increasingly decisive role in resource allocation, while consumption has become a significant force that powers economic growth, which can be explained by data recently released by China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to NBS, China's total retail sales of consumer goods stood at 27.7 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) in 1952, reaching 150 billion yuan 26 years later. It crossed the 20-billion-yuan mark in 2012 and then reached a new high of 38 trillion yuan last year.

The total retail sales of consumer goods in China grew an average of 11.6 percent each year from 1952 to 2018, witnessing China's great leap in consumption over the past 70 years.

Urban Chinese residents owned 121.3 TVs, 97.7 washing machines and 100.9 refrigerators per 100 people by the end of 2018, while the figures in 1981 were only 0.6, 6.3 and 0.2, respectively.

The number of entities in China's real market hit 100 million last year, and 18,400 new enterprises were established every day. Before the reform of the business system in 2013, the country had 11.4 enterprises per 1,000 people, while the number has now more than doubled, reaching 23.9.

"The robust supply and demand in the consumption market comes from the in-depth development of reform and opening up," said Dong Chao, director of the circulation and consumption department under the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Marching along with market-oriented reform, China has adopted gradual measures that suit its reality regarding administration, ownership, purchase and sale strategies as well as enterprise operation systems, said Dong, adding that the country has basically established a pricing mechanism determined by the market, and gradually formed a business pattern that is diverse in both entities and modes for open competition.

Jing Linbo, dean of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Evaluation Studies, noted that by establishing a market economy mechanism and attracting foreign capital, China has not only enriched supply in the domestic market, but also introduced global competition and injected energy into the quality development of its consumer market.

Experts predicted that China's population of nearly 1.4 billion, which includes the world's largest group of middle-income earners, would bring continuous energy to the country's economic development.

According to Lin, new technology and new business modes would also make consumption more convenient. He said that China had more than 800 million internet users by the end of the last year, making up 59.6 percent of the country's total population. He believes that with the advancement of internet technologies and further expansion of internet coverage, as well as the robust development of mobile payment and online shopping, consumption will become even easier for Chinese people. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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