04-22-2009 19:25

Special Report:   Global Financial Crisis

Since the end of 2008, China has seen a wave of consumption coupons, designed to stimulate the economy. More and more cities, including Chengdu, Hangzhou and Changsha, have joined the stream.

In December 2008, the southwest city of Chengdu started it all by issuing nearly 38 million yuan worth of consumption coupons. Around 380-thousand low income people in the city were the beneficiaries.

The eastern city of Hangzhou immediately followed suit. The city government issued 100 million yuan worth of coupons to boost its tourism industry.

More and more cities, including Changsha, Qingdao, Nanjing and Beijing, have taken similar measures.

The idea has caught on with many businesses. In February, a major domestic property web wite launched nearly 200 million yuan worth of home-purchasing coupons in over 100 cities.

A month later, retail home appliance giant Suning said it was issuing 400 million yuan in coupons to expand rural markets.

But experts distinguish between companies' coupons and government ones. For companies, they're just a form of promotion.

Local governments issue coupons to help ease the financial load. These coupons can cover training coupons, health care, and education.

Experts say the stimulus impacts of coupons are more effective and direct than other measures. But in the long term, boosting domestic demand requires increasing people's incomes and improving the social welfare system.


Editor:Xiong Qu