BEIJING -- Sales of home appliances in rural China rose 128 percent during the first four months, boosted by a nationwide subsidy program for Chinese rural consumers, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Friday.
The sales value of home appliances covered by the rural subsidy program reached 94.43 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) from January to April, according to a statement on the MOC website.
During this period, the sales of home appliances in the countryside reached 39.515 million units, an increase of 91 percent from one year ago.
Televisions and refrigerators were the most popular appliances Chinese farmers bought in the first four months, as their sales volume accounted for more than half of all home appliances sold, according to the MOC statement.
China started the subsidy program in February 2009 to stimulate rural consumption and buoy the nation's economic growth amid the global economic downturn.
Under the program, Chinese farmers can receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated types of refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, mobile phones, water heaters, microwave ovens and traditional ovens.
Last year, another six types of home appliances, including electric bikes, smoke exhaust ventilators, gas stoves, pressure cookers, electric cookers and DVD players, were added to the list of subsidized appliances.
By the end of April, sales of home appliances in rural China amounted to 336 billion yuan, with subsidies on them totaling 39.17 billion yuan, according to the MOC statement.