China to create new consumption scenarios to tap consumer demand


Pedestrians along the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China on Thursday, May 2, 2024. - Photographer: Raul Ariano/Bloomberg

BEIJING: China is moving to foster new consumption scenarios in multiple sectors, including tourism, automobiles and electronics, aiming to boost consumer demand and promote the steady growth of consumption.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, China will expand its visa-free transit policy, loosen vehicle purchase restrictions and spur intelligent, AI-powered electronics consumption.

The country will include more countries in the visa-free transit policy and increase inbound flights from major passenger source countries to optimize its entry and exit measures, stated a circular jointly issued by the NDRC and four other government bodies on Monday.

To further facilitate the travel experience of overseas tourists, China will launch additional high-quality inbound travel products and services.

Efforts should be made to improve street signs in foreign languages in public places such as popular tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and airports, the circular noted.

It suggested incorporating multilingual services into map and navigation applications and enhancing ride-hailing services.

In terms of payment services, China will promote the acceptance of overseas bank cards in various venues and stores, enabling easier access to dining, accommodation, transportation, ticket purchases and reservations for international visitors to the country, according to the circular.

Chinese cities with restrictions on vehicle purchases are encouraged to ease these limitations and provide additional quotas for vehicle purchases. Local governments are encouraged to support vehicle replacement and renewal when conditions allow.

The circular noted that efforts will be made to steadily promote the commercialization of autonomous driving and new scenarios for advanced smart driving.

Automobile-related products and services will be enriched in diverse scenarios, such as car races, camping and car modification. The country will also further enhance the safe and convenient trading of used cars.

Furthermore, China will support the consumption of new-generation high-tech electronics, such as smart wearable devices and AI-powered humanoid robots.

The circular said that efforts would be made to facilitate human-computer interaction by promoting the development of technologies like flexible displays, supercharging, AI assistants and on-device large models.

Support will be given to the application of smart wearable devices in areas such as communication, entertainment, sports, health monitoring and mobile payments.

The country will also explore the development of humanoid robots based on AI models, and expand the application of intelligent robots in cleaning, leisure and recreation, care for the elderly and the disabled, as well as education and training.

New production models such as reverse customization, personalized design and flexible production will be encouraged, and promotional activities should be held to increase consumer awareness and market penetration of smart products.

The circular also detailed measures on creating new consumption scenarios in the catering and healthcare industries, among others.

Consumption has played a vital role in bolstering economic growth, underscoring China's steady transformation toward a domestic consumption-driven economy.

Official data shows that China's GDP expanded 5.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of the year, with domestic consumption contributing 73.7 percent to economic growth. - China Daily/ANN

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