China promotes retail, health, travel and sports to boost consumption: private and overseas capital welcome to invest in aged care industry

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 November, 2015, 11:28pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 November, 2015, 11:42am

China will promote the development of its retail, health, travel and sports sectors to boost domestic consumption, the cabinet said on Sunday.

The State Council said it would encourage financial institutions to accept a broader range of collateral for extending loans to “lifestyle-related businesses”.

It also highlighted service sectors related to families and the elderly, culture, law, accommodation and catering as well as education and training.

The State Council said the government would expand consumer credit, improve the system of internet payments and study the management of credit card fees “to further reduce overall expenses” related to their use.

Consumer services would be encouraged to expand into rural areas; information infrastructure construction in rural areas would be accelerated; and private and overseas capital was welcome to invest in the elder-care industry.

More land and price support would be provided, including favourable land policies for elder care, health care and household services, as well as lowered transaction card fees in services such as catering.

The government would also crack down on price-gouging and the sale of counterfeit goods, and prosecute monopolies and businesses engaged in unfair competition, the State Council said.

The Chinese economy is growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades. Growth dipped to 6.9 per cent in the third quarter – the weakest since the global financial crisis – hurt partly by cooling investment.

Authorities have pinned their hopes on domestic consumption to boost the sputtering economy.

E-commerce giant Alibaba, which started an online Singles Day shopping festival on November 11 seven years ago, said total sales on the day this year came up to 91.2 billion yuan (HK$111 billion) – more than four times the United States’ earnings last year from its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events combined. The Singles Day sales surged nearly 60 per cent from last year.

Alibaba’s competitor, JD.com, said its aggregated sales from November 1 to 11 rose 140 per cent from last year. Transactions during this period also rose 130 per cent from last year to over 100 million orders.

Revenue of travel agencies across the country last year increased 12 per cent year on year to 403 billion yuan, with outbound business rising 15 per cent, according to the National Tourism Administration.

Additional reporting by Reuters