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China issues coupons to stimulate consumption

By Yang Yang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-09 14:08

A citizen check electronic coupon on a mobile phone in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on March 26, 2020. [Photo/Sipa]

China has issued coupons to stimulate consumption and hedge downward pressures brought by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Thursday.

Nearly 50 cities from 16 provinces and regions issued coupons with cumulative value ranging from millions to hundreds of millions of yuan by April 8.

In terms of scale, Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province issued the most coupons among all 47 investigated cities, 10 of which issued more than 100 million yuan in coupons.

The total amount of coupons issued by Hangzhou reached 1.68 billion yuan ($240 million) on March 26, including 500 million yuan in government subsidies and 1.18 billion yuan in business discounts. The city also issued an additional 50 million yuan in coupons to further stimulate consumption on April 1.

In terms of industry, over 80 percent of consumption coupons are related to the catering industry and 42.5 percent are related to the tourism industry, according to statistics from 21 Data News Lab.

Moreover, this consumer coupon boom also provided strong support to retail, accommodation, sports and book selling.

In terms of payment platforms, WeChat and Alipay are the two major platforms to apply for and use these coupons in electronic form.

WeChat has diversified distribution channels, including WeChat wallets, card packages, public accounts and applets.

It's notable that many cities are choosing Alipay for their second round of coupons, and Meituan as another important platform for issuing coupons, the report said.

China's total retail sales of consumer goods fell by 20.5 percent from January to February, among which revenue in the catering, automobile and home appliance industries decreased 43.1 percent, 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Distributing coupons has been effective in stimulating consumption and boosting confidence in the stock market at the same time.

About 453 million yuan in consumption was stimulated and 28.93 million yuan in government subsidies were redeemed within 56 hours after the issuance of consumer vouchers in Hangzhou alone.

Entertainment and service sectors led increases in early trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, with two stocks, including Yunnan Tourism and Xi'an Catering, hitting their daily limits on April 8.

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