China's old-for-new home appliance sales top 300 bln yuan

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China's old-for-new home appliance subsidy program had stimulated 300.4 billion yuan (47.68 billion U.S. dollars) in sales by the end of November, the Ministry of Commerce said Friday.

The sales volume of five types of home appliances under the government subsidy scheme -- televisions, air conditioners, computers, refrigerators and washing machines -- reached 81.3 million units by the end of last month, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Meanwhile, 83.73 million units of home appliances were recycled during the same period.

To stimulate consumption, China began a subsidy plan for home appliance buyers in 9 cities and provinces in June 2009, and expanded the pilot program to 23 cities and provinces in June 2010. In April this year, the program was expanded to the entire country.

The central government allocated around 30 billion yuan in subsidies for the program during the last three years. The program helped boost the country's employment because many of the 400,000 people it employed are migrant workers and laid-off workers, the statement said.

"The program has played a significant role in coping with the financial crisis, boosting domestic consumption, generating jobs and promoting energy conservation," said Xiang Xin, director of the ministry's circulation industry development department.

The ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said Thursday the program will end by the end of the year as it has achieved its intended goals.



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