China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has flagged the launch of a slew of measures to help drive a rebound in Chinese consumption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ning Jizhe (宁吉喆), deputy-chair of the NDRC, said at a press conference held on 24 May that the authority will launch “multiple measures to drive a rebound in consumption in accordance with the requirements of the (2020) government work report.”
Ning pointed out that China’s national consumer good retail sales fell 7.5% in April, for a deceleration of 8.3 percentage points compared to the decline in March.
Measures slated for launch by NDRC will focus on areas including:
- Vigorously driving optimisation and upgrade of commercial goods consumption.
- Comprehensive drive for quality improvements in services.
- Accelerating the cultivation of new forms of consumption.
- Actively expanding green, energy efficient and environmental protection consumption.
- Strengthening consumption infrastructure and services network development.
China has already made extensive use of the deployment of consumption vouchers to help spur economic activity following lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Leading tech and finance companies including Alipay, UnionPay and Agricultural Bank of China have worked with the Chinese government to issue the vouchers.
Over 19 billion yuan (approx. USD$2.68 billion) in consumption vouchers have already been issued across 170 Chinese cities, with some estimates putting the total value of the vouchers scheduled for issuance at over USD$7 billion.