Many major cities in China plan to follow Hainan in building their own duty-free shopping complexes. Picture: Shoppers at the Sanya Duty Free Store. (Photo/Xinhua)
After Hainan Province became China’s first region to allow Chinese visitors to shop duty-free in a bid to promote tourism, several other cities across the country have shown interest in following suit.
The duty-free scheme for the island-province was introduced April 20. It allows every Chinese visitor to buy duty-free goods worth up to 5,000 yuan (US$771) twice a year. Duty on most goods can range from 15 percent to 35 percent.
Impressed by the success of that scheme, Tianjin city in northern China is currently trying to seek government approval for its plan to turn Dongjiang Island into a duty-free shopping zone, according to the Beijing-based Securities Daily.
The newspaper quoted Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo as saying that City Hall is working on a plan to incorporate duty-free shops into larger schemes to develop Dongjiang Island into a free-trade port, exempting imports and exports from tariffs.
The newspaper quoted Yu Rumin, the chairman of Tianjin Port Holding Co. Ltd, as saying that Dongjiang could easily become a duty-free zone because of its geographic proximity to Beijing and Tianjian, which boast large populations with strong purchasing power.
Furthermore, being a island created from reclaimed land near the coastline, it would be relatively easier to implement the duty-free scheme, Yu added.
Shanghai is also planning to set up duty-free stores at the city’s two airports and soon to open Disneyland.
In addition, Zhejiang Province in central China aims to open duty-free shops at Zhujiajin, situated on the Zhoushan Islands.
Meanwhile, in Guangdong Province, both the cities of Zhuhai and Shenzhen are following the examples of Hong Kong and Macau as they prepare their own duty-free shopping zone blueprints.
Some experts believe duty-free stores will boost China’s domestic consumption, speed up economic restructuring and should be encouraged to be set up around the country, according to the Securities Daily.

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