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China unveils air conditioner producers eligible for subsidized promotion
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China announced Tuesday that 1,140 models from the country's 19 air conditioner makers are eligible for state subsidy in the country's massive promotion of energy-efficient air conditioners, a move aimed to increase consumption while saving energy.

The list, which is the first batch of firms eligible for state subsidy, includes the country's best-known domestic brands Hai'er, Hisense, Chonghong and Midea, according to a joint announcement from the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Buyers of the selected air conditioners will enjoy price cuts of up to 850 yuan (about 125 U.S. dollars), according to the announcement.

Prices of such products will be cut by different amounts based on their energy-efficiency level.

The loss caused by the reduction will be compensated by the Ministry of Finance, said the announcement.

The policy does not cover sales of air conditioners that have already been included by the country's rebate policy to promote home appliance sales in rural areas, it said.

The move is expected to increase the market share of energy-efficient air conditioners from the present 5 percent to over 30 percent in two years, helping save 6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and boost consumption by 60 billion yuan, said NDRC in a report on its Web site.

The NDRC and Ministry of Finance kicked off the program to promote sales of energy-efficient home appliances by price reduction last month, including air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators and flat panel TV sets.

(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2009)

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