BUYERS from all over China are flooding Zhongshan and other Pearl River delta cities for imported television sets in anticipation of a price increase next year when a consumption tax is introduced. Beginning in 1994, China will levy taxes on high-grade or high energy-consuming merchandise such as tobacco, alcoholic drinks, cosmetics, video products, cars and air-conditioners. Officials from the State Administration of Taxation said the new tax was designed to curb excessive spending and assured consumers that it would not trigger price rises as it was aimed at high income earners. But Zhongshan vice-mayor Jian Qinghua said buyers from northern China had flocked to major TV retailers in the past few days in anticipation of higher prices next year. Mr Jian said although prices had been increasing at a rate of 100 yuan (about HK$134 at the official rate) a day, buyers were snapping up every imported set on the shelves. Zhongshan has a stock of television sets worth about 100 million yuan.