Attempting to both jumpstart the consumer economy and provide rural Chinese with access to cheaper goods, China's Ministry of Commerce has started a subsidy scheme for farmers buying designated brands of home appliances.

Those rural residents who buy water heaters, computers, motorbikes and air-conditioners in the next four years can gain 13% of the prices of these products back from the government.

The scheme has already been operational in limited scope, and it has been implemented in 14 Chinese provinces and cities where farmers can gain subsidies when buying color TVs, refrigerators, mobile phones and washing machines. However, from February 1, 2009, the coverage of the scheme is enlarged to the entire country and products like motorbikes, computers, water heaters and air-conditioners are also included in the scheme.

Spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce Yao Jian says that the trial of the subsidy scheme in some provinces has gained good results and it has promoted the appliances consumption in these areas. It is predicted by the government that during the four-year subsidy scheme, China's appliances and electronics consumption will reach CNY920 billion.

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