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Appliance rebate program helps TCL work way out of slump
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Buoyed by the central government's policies, TCL(SHE:000100), a leading Chinese television and mobile phone maker, reported an increase in sales of nearly 25 percent in the second quarter of this year.

"With a looming US recession threatening to curb the overseas demand, the sales coming from exports dropped about 20 percent in the first half year," Chief Operation Officer Bo Lianming said. "The total sales were 17.5 billion yuan in the first half of this year, down slightly year on year."

As the overseas market has shrunk, the domestic market has taken on a greater importance for TCL.

As TCL is one of the fifteen Chinese manufacturers that is participating in the government rebate program, its performance has been given a great boost.

"Due to the rebate program called 'home appliances go rural,' 25 percent of domestic sales now come from the rural market," said Bo.

"As the programs cover more places, TCL will benefit more," he added. The concept is to offer farmers the same tax rebates long given to exporters of home appliances, removing dependence on exports and helping manufacturers tap a potentially huge pool of consumers in rural China.

A bright spot in TCL's performance is LCD TVs. In the first half of this year, LCD TVs rose 248.9 percent in sales.

"The situation is getting better and TCL is gaining an upper hand in the economy's recovery," said Bo.

(China.org.cn by He Shan, August 21, 2009)

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