China’s State Council Announces New Reform Moves

China is signaling that its reforms are continuing with the announcement by the State Council, the country’s chief administrative authority, about new policies to support consumption, property demand and charities.

The Council has also decided to open up the bank card-clearing market. China will soon allow qualified domestic and foreign companies to apply to create bank card clearing institutions across the country, although the timetable has yet to be released.

Areas of consumption

The Council specifically mentioned broadband, mobile internet, e-commerce, green consumption, urban parking, new energy vehicle charging facilities, tourism, RV camps, private schools, elderly care and healthcare as among the consumption areas to be supported.

Specifically, the Council promised action on:

  • Expansion of mobile internet, improve broadband speeds, and development of online shopping and delivery support in rural areas
  • Green consumption, energy-saving products, urban parking and new energy vehicle charging facilities
  • Tourism and leisure spending, implementation of paid-leave system, rural tourism projects such as car and RV camps
  • Education consumption, improvement of private school fees policy and more cooperation with foreign schools
  • Spending on healthcare and exploring establishment of pension funds through preferential tax policies 

Housing “consumption" 

The State Council also called for "stabilizing housing consumption." New home sales in terms of floor space have fallen by 12% year on year in September. The specific action steps include boosting social housing construction and easing the requirements on the use of provident fund contributions to pay for rent.

This follows the central bank’s decision on 30 September to ease mortgage lending standards and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development’s October 14 loosening of the criteria for housing fund loans. 

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