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Home appliance sales in rural China up 170 pct in 2010 on subsidy

Sales of home appliances in rural areas of China surged 170 percent year on year in 2010, driven by a government subsidy, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Wednesday.
Sales reached 173.23 billion yuan (26.13 billion U.S. dollars) last year, the MOC said in a statement on its website.
Home appliances sold in 2010 increased 130 percent year on year to 77.18 million units, with refrigerators and televisions the most popular appliances, the statement said.
In December alone, 9.9 million subsidized home appliance units were sold to rural consumers, up 68 percent year on year. Sales in the month hit 22.94 billion yuan, up 109 percent year on year.
China introduced the subsidy in 2009 to spur rural consumption amid the economic slowdown. Under the program, Chinese farmers receive a 13-percent subsidy on purchases of designated brands of refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, mobile phones, water heaters, microwave ovens and traditional ovens.
Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Dec. 22 last year the subsidy program will continue in 2011.