Duty-free sales on China’s island province of Hainan surged in the first week of July after Beijing raised the annual tax-free shopping limit for tourists as part of its new free-trade port plan, reported the South China Morning Post.
Tourists, the vast majority who were Chinese, spent RMB 450 million ($64 million) on imported goods at Hainan’s four duty-free malls in the first week of July, according to the Hainan Customs Administration, after taking advantage of the new RMB 100,000 ($14,300) annual per person tax-free limit.
The new limit, which was raised from 30,000 on July 1, only applies to purchases made by tourists at Hainan’s four duty-free malls and not duty-free goods purchased overseas and then imported into China. The number of goods covered was also increased to 45 from 38, meaning cellphones, tablet computers, alcoholic beverages, and tea are now included.
The sales for the first week were 58% above the daily average during the first half of the year, as shoppers saved over RMB 65.7 million ($9.4 million) in taxes, the government estimated.