Beijing authorities will give residents $1.7 billion for shopping and restaurants



Beijing authorities will give residents $1.7 billion for shopping and restaurants

These funds will be issued in the form of vouchers through the online trading platform JD.com. Coupons will be distributed in four stages, and each of them can be used within 14 days.

Beijing has joined dozens of other Chinese cities in supporting the population and the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The city authorities decided to give citizens vouchers that can be used for shopping. About this writes Bloomberg.

According to the agency, the Beijing municipality government plans to issue vouchers totaling 12.2 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) to stimulate consumption.

The issuance of vouchers began at 10:00 local time through the Chinese online trading platform JD.com. Citizens will be able to use the coupons received both in ordinary stores and on online platforms for shopping in the field of tourism, education, culture, sports, and catering. Vouchers will be issued in four stages: June 6, 13, 20, and 27. Each voucher can be used for 14 days.

In Beijing, sales of retailers in the first four months of this year fell by 20.4%, in the country this figure was 16.2%, Bloomberg notes, citing Chinese statistical offices. Earlier, vouchers worth more than 6 billion yuan ($846 million) were distributed to residents of at least 50 Chinese cities, the agency said.

In mid-April, the National Bureau of Statistics of China published data according to which in the first quarter of 2020, China's GDP fell by 6.8%, which was the first decline in this indicator since 1976. Reuters noted that such a reduction for China is the first since 1992 when the country officially began to calculate GDP on a quarterly basis.

During March, according to the bureau, the Chinese economy was under strong pressure, and the industrial sector, retail trade, and investment in fixed assets suffered the most. Retail sales decreased by 15.8% after a record collapse of 20.5% in January and February 2020, while investment in fixed assets decreased by 16.1%.

Against this background, the Chinese authorities refused to set a benchmark for the country's GDP growth rate in 2020. “We did not set a specific target primarily because of the global pandemic and the great uncertainty in the economy and trade,” said Li Keqiang, head of the State Council of the PRC.

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