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An attendee tries Oppo’s Find N foldable smartphone at a trade show in Barcelona in February 2022. Photo: Bloomberg

Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi left out of Shenzhen’s 100-million-yuan subsidy even as China’s tech hub expands eligible product list

  • The government made an additional 1,158 products eligible for 100 million yuan (US$15 million) in purchase subsidies as it seeks to stimulate spending
  • Consumers can get a 15 per cent break on 9,407 gadgets and appliances, but none from Apple, Samsung, or Beijing-based Xiaomi
A subsidy programme rolled out by the Shenzhen government to boost consumer spending on home appliances and electronic gadgets has expanded its list of eligible products, excluding big global names Apple and Samsung in favour of Chinese brands that call the nation’s southern technology hub home.

The 100 million yuan (US$15 million) programme, announced in April to boost consumption, now offers consumers 15 per cent subsidies on purchases of 9,407 qualified products.

Authorities on Wednesday updated the product list, initially released in late April, adding more electronics devices and home appliances, including more smartphone models from Huawei Technologies and Honor as well as computers from Lenovo. Local and regional companies dominate the list, while foreign smartphone brands Apple and Samsung, as well as Beijing-based Xiaomi, remain absent.
The list now includes thousands of Huawei products from backpacks to smartphones, hundreds of products from Honor, and smartphones from Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo and ZTE. Also on the list, drone maker DJI, Shenzhen-based smart-home brand Orvibo, and home-appliance brands Midea, TCL, Hisense, Konka, Gree and Skyworth.
Huawei’s foldable P50 Pocket smartphone. Photo: Handout

The enticement campaign runs until the end of August or until the budget is used up, according to the Shenzhen government. It remains unknown whether Shenzhen will expand the list to cover more products.

The campaign has updated its rules to allow consumers to fill out application forms online through a mini-program on WeChat, the ubiquitous social app run by Tencent Holdings, instead of obtaining and submitting paper forms in designated offline stores. The government also said it will soon allow instant reimbursement on-site for certain stores, with details to be announced later.
The stimulus initiative is in line with Beijing’s call for purposeful action to spark economic recovery after the country locked up several major cities – most notably the commercial and financial hub Shanghai – to fight the latest wave of Covid-19 outbreaks. Total national retail sales plunged 11 per cent in April, according to official government data.

01:16

Shanghai erupts in celebration as two-month Covid-19 lockdown comes to an end

Shanghai erupts in celebration as two-month Covid-19 lockdown comes to an end
Late last month, Shanghai also announced a number of policies to repair its economy, which came into play after the financial hub formally lifted its lockdown on June 1, freeing 22 million people – 90 per cent of the city’s population – from two months of confinement. The stimulus tactics include a 10,000 yuan subsidy for electric-car purchases, and the local government said it will encourage e-commerce platforms to offer discounts.
In addition to the subsidy plan, Shenzhen announced on Tuesday that it will hand out e-CNY vouchers worth 30 million yuan in a lottery via local service giant Meituan. The digital currency will come in virtual red packets containing 88, 100 or 128 yuan, for use on groceries, food deliveries and bike rentals.
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