Jun 29

China Watch Blog has learnt that Shenzhen may restrict the use of electric bikes instead of banning them.

electric bike

According to a draft handed to lawmakers for a second reading on June 27, industries that rely heavily on electric bikes, such as the postal service, can apply to police for permits.

“Police can restrict electric bikes at designated times according to the situation,” the draft says.

According to national standards, electric bikes must weigh no more than 40 kg and the maximum speed will be restricted to 20 kilometers per hour.

“Electric bikes that fail the standards will be banned from roads,” the draft says. Riders who break the speed limit will be punished.

The draft remains tough on people using electric bikes as taxis.

The draft was revised and submitted to lawmakers for a second reading after a wide public opinion poll. Many residents opposed a ban on electric bikes because it would greatly inconvenience commuters and some businesses.

Shenzhen police had initiated a six-month rule to restrict electric bikes from entering six districts except Pingshan and Guangming new zones, and four remote sub-districts in Longgang from June 6.

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Jun 29

China Watch Blog has learnt that China will reduce import duty on luxury goods once key ministries have reached general agreement on the issue, and it is only “a matter of time”.

Lumix Camera

The China Daily reported citing Yao Jian, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, as saying that the commerce and finance ministries are likely to submit a proposal on measures to promote imports to the State Council, the Cabinet, and this will include details on cutting duty on luxury items.

China has committed itself to doubling imports by 2015 to balance trade. Amid a decline in import growth over the past few months there were suggestions that the government was considering cutting duty on some luxury goods, such as cosmetics, cigarettes and alcohol.

“The relevant authorities have, in principle, reached agreement on lowering import duty on some luxury goods to help boost imports, although there are differences of opinion on the specifics,” Yao said, without elaborating.

With rising disposable income and a growing brand awareness, China is expected to surpass Japan by 2012 as the world’s largest luxury consumer market, with an estimated value of $14.6 billion, according to the World Luxury Association.

But industry figures also reveal that Chinese consumers spend four times more on luxury goods abroad than at home, thanks to high import duty and taxes.

“Cutting duty (on luxury goods) is a general trend,” Liu Huan, an adviser to the State Council and deputy director of the School of Taxation at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said.

“It should stimulate domestic consumption as consumers will spend more in the domestic market.” Reducing duty will also mean that China honors commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), he added.

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