Old for new in home appliance gains support
Upgraded consumption in sector seen as key to lifting livelihoods, green shift
China's latest efforts to drive the consumption of green and intelligent home appliances will further stimulate consumers' shopping appetites, inject strong impetus into the home appliances sector and help stabilize economic performance, industry experts said.
Their comments came after it was announced at a State Council executive meeting on Wednesday that the country will encourage the replacement of old household appliances with new ones, and bolster the consumption of green and smart home appliances in rural areas.
The meeting also called for local governments to provide financial and policy support, improve the market standards for green and intelligent home appliances, and support the recycling and reuse of aging home appliances.
"The home appliances sector plays a significant role in promoting and guiding the transformation and upgrade of China's manufacturing industry," said Zhao Meimei, assistant president of Beijing-based market consultancy All View Cloud or AVC.
"These supportive measures to spur home appliance consumption will not only satisfy people's demand for higher-quality products but also propel the intelligent transformation of the traditional home appliances industry and drive economic growth," Zhao said.
Zhao explained the growth rate of household appliances in China is slowing down, so the stimulus policies are conducive to unleashing buying demand of consumers, especially those living in rural areas, shoring up consumption as well as promoting the popularization of energy-saving and environmentally friendly home appliance products.
Statistics from AVC showed that the sales revenue of China's home appliances segment reached 760.3 billion yuan ($112.8 billion) in 2021, up 3.6 percent year-on-year. However, this figure represented a drop of 7.4 percent compared with 2019.
Some provinces have accelerated efforts to distribute consumption vouchers and step up subsidies for residents purchasing green and smart home appliances. For instance, Shandong province has issued coupons worth 200 million yuan, which could be used in the purchase of televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.
China's home appliances industry, with the world's largest production and sales volume, is a key driver of the country's consumption growth. The promotion of green and smart home appliances is in line with the country's efforts to pursue a path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development, experts said.
Intelligent home appliance products are gaining traction among Chinese consumers, said Zhao Ping, deputy head of the Beijing-based Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Zhao said the measures to support the recycling of discarded home appliances will give a big boost to the development of related industries, covering the recycling, dismantling and reuse of home appliances.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission, 100 million to 120 million units of home appliances are discarded in China each year, and this number is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 20 percent. Data from AVC showed that currently, the country's home appliances recycling industry has exceeded 50 billion yuan.
"Improving the home appliance recycling system is of great significance to the home appliance industry, as it will shorten the replacement cycle of home appliances and further tap consumers' purchasing potential for new products," said Luo Anyang, chief analyst of the home appliance industry from Cinda Securities.
Zhou Yunjie, chairman and CEO of Haier, said more efforts are needed to build the whole industrial chain covering the recycling, dismantling and reuse of waste resources, regulating recycling channels and establishing standards to encourage the use of recycled materials.