BEIJING, Jan.13 -- The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday that sales of household appliances in China's rural areas surged 53.1 percent year-on-year in 2011 to 264.1 billion yuan ($41.92 billion), boosted by government subsidies.
Home appliances sold in 2011 increased 34.5 percent from the same period in 2010 to 103 million units, the MOC said in a statement on its website.
In December, 6.95 million units of subsidized home appliance were sold to rural consumers, down 28.5 percent from the same period of the previous year, and sales value also dropped 17.9 percent year-on-year to 18.5 billion yuan as the subsidies ended in some provinces including Shandong, Henan and Sichuan.
Under the subsidy program, farmers can receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the prices of designated types of refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, mobile phones, water heaters, microwave ovens and traditional ovens.
The MOC figures show that since December 2007, when the subsidies were first introduced, the government had handed out 59.22 billion yuan in subsidies on the sales of about 218 million sets of home appliances valued at 505.9 billion yuan.