province

Jiangsu’s Kunshan accelerates innovation

A staff member checks optoelectronics products at the workshop of the Suzhou Qingyue Optoelectronics Technology Co Ltd in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, on May 15, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

Kunshan, located in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, has been advancing new industrialization to lead the way in innovation.

The county-level city is focusing on developing new quality productive forces that align with its local conditions and advancing new industrialization.

Companies in Kunshan aim to upgrade traditional industries, foster the growth of emerging sectors and nurture future industries.

Night economy continues to delight across China

Tourists select intangible cultural heritage fans at a shop on the Dongguan Street in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province on April 29, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

The night economy continues to add vibrancy to consumption, offering visitors a mix of experiences including specialty snacks, themed performances and displays of intangible cultural heritage.

With the May Day holiday approaching, Dongguan Street in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province is bustling with visitors. Decorated with red lanterns, the street attracts many locals and tourists for a leisurely stroll.

In Hefei, Anhui province, traditional arts performances such as Huangmei Opera and “Prelude to Water Melody” have been staged to cultivate a distinct cultural legacy and enhance the night economy.

China sees surge in visits from foreign tourists in first two months

Tourists visit a popular tourism spot in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on April 16, 2023. As the five-day May Day holidays draw near, many places around China have entered a warming-up period with soaring tourist arrivals. The “hottest” travel season in five years is expected, with bookings rising as much as 200 percent from 2019, said online travel platforms. Photo: VCG

Tourists visit a popular tourism spot in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on April 16, 2023. Photo: VCG

China recorded 2.95 million inbound and outbound trips by foreigners in the first two months of 2024, official data showed on Friday, pointing to a rise in foreigners’ willingness to visit China amid the country’s efforts to make tourism more convenient.

With the approaching Qingming Festival holidays (from April 4 to 6), also known as Tomb-Sweeping Festival, travel platform data showed that the number of bookings for inbound travel to China has surged. As of March 20, the number of bookings for inbound travel during the three-day holidays has risen by 153 percent year-on-year, according to data sent to the Global Times by domestic online travel agency Trip.com.

In the first two months of 2024, China recorded 2.95 million inbound and outbound trips made by foreigners, a notable increase of 2.3 times compared with the previous period and equivalent to 41.5 percent of the level prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shi Zeyi, an official with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said at a press conference in Beijing on Friday.

The willingness of foreigners to visit China has increased, partly thanks to a series of support measures including visa-free policies and easing of problems for foreign visitors like payment hurdles, according to the official.

In the latest development, from March 14 to November 30, 2024, citizens from six European countries – Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg – are able to visit China for business, sight-seeing, transit and other purposes for up to 15 days without having to apply for a visa.

TUI Cruises, a cruise line based in Germany, plans to organize trips for 10,000 travelers to China between February and April. The luxury cruise ship Europa berthed at the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal on Feb 21, becoming the first foreign cruise ship to arrive in China since the adjustment of anti-pandemic measures. This marks the resumption of inbound travelers by cruise ships, Shi said.

In addition to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Shangri-la in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Zhangjiajie in Central China’s Hunan Province and Suzhou in East China’s Jiangsu Province also reported notable growth in inbound travel bookings, Trip.com said, adding that Shangri-la and Zhangjiajie both saw 10-fold year-on-year growth.

During the holidays, the amount of inbound travel bookings from the six European countries with visa-free policies jumped by 359 percent year-on-year, according to Trip.com.

Global Times

NDRC encourages private companies to boost trade-in program for lifting consumption

A man works at a workshop of Midea Group in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, March 3, 2023. In recent years, south China's Guangdong Province has accelerated intelligent and digital transformation of manufacturing industry to promote high-quality development. Up to now, there are 67,000 industrial enterprises above the designated size and 69,000 high-tech enterprises in the province.(Photo: Xinhua)

A man works at a workshop of Midea Group in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, March 3, 2023. In recent years, south China’s Guangdong Province has accelerated intelligent and digital transformation of manufacturing industry to promote high-quality development. Up to now, there are 67,000 industrial enterprises above the designated size and 69,000 high-tech enterprises in the province.(Photo: Xinhua)

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, discussed with six private enterprises on Tuesday on work to replace old consumer goods with new ones and the roadmap for it, part of China’s efforts to promote trade-ins of consumer goods amid a new round of consumption stimulation.

Analysts said that such efforts can help the construction of the circular economy and provide new impetus for economic growth from both supply and demand sides. They also noted that the upgrading of equipment is in line with China’s high-quality development.

As the latest effort, the NDRC on Tuesday discussed the roadmap of the work with six private enterprises – JD.com, home appliance suppliers Midea Group, Haier Group and Gree Electric, electric two-wheeler manufacturer Yadea Group and waste recycling enterprise GEM Co.

This is the first symposium for the trade-ins of consumer goods and large-scale equipment renewal, aiming to collect feedback and suggestions from private companies, the top economic planner said.

Those companies said that the trade-in market is significant, and it is believed that they will have vast opportunities in front of them, reaffirmed by confidence in the company’s future development.

This policy can promote the upgrading of consumption, accelerate the elimination of inefficient production capacity, and promote the upgrade of industrial structure, Hong Yong, an expert at the Digital Real Economies Integration Forum 50, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“After receiving appropriate incentives, consumers are more willing to replace old products and buy new products, thus driving the sales growth of durable consumer goods industries such as home appliances and automobiles,” said Hong, adding that related industrial chains will benefit from the trade-in program.

The renewal of equipment is estimated to generate a huge market operating at an annual scale of more than 5 trillion yuan ($692 billion), and the replacement of automobiles and home appliances will also create a trillion-yuan-scale market, an official representative said at a press conference on economy for the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress on March 6.

Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce revealed that China’s car ownership reached 340 million by the end of 2023, and the ownership of major household appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners, topped 3 billion. Some household appliances have been used for more than 10 to 20 years, which means that the demand and potential for replacement are great.

“Promoting the trade-ins of old consumer goods will help release the potential consumer demand for improvement, and further stimulate the vitality of the consumer market,” Hong said.

Analysts also said that the trade-in and replacement policy will largely promote the development of new quality productive forces through industrial upgrading, as consumer demand will urge enterprises to produce consumer goods that are greener and smarter.