China Cuts Taxes for Imported Sneakers, Diapers to Lift Buying

Chinese shoppers may get better deals on items including sports shoes, face cream, and diapers after the government reduced import tax by half to boost consumption.

Import tariff for some clothes, shoes, and skincare products will be cut by an average of more than 50 percent starting June 1, according to a statement from the Customs Bureau of the Ministry of Finance on Monday.

China is seeking to lift domestic consumption as it weans the economy from a dependence on exports and infrastructure investment. The government is also looking to protect jobs and help local industries upgrade amid the weakest economic growth since 2009.

Many Chinese enjoy shopping overseas because “prices for those items in the domestic market are unreasonably high”, said Yuan Gangming, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He added the outlook for consumption is poor as the slowdown hits wages and government revenue growth.

Import taxes for sneakers and boots will be cut to 12 percent from as much as 24 percent, tariffs on diapers will drop to 2 percent from 7.5 percent, and that for facial care products will be lowered to 2 percent from 5 percent.

The move will satisfy local appetite for the goods and lift imports, according to the Customs Bureau’s statement.

The government announced an outline of the plan last month, with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang calling for better policies to give domestic shoppers more choice.

— With assistance by Haixing Jin

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