Starting Wednesday, Wuhan, the city most impacted by the novel coronavirus in Central China’s Hubei Province, has begun issuing coupons to stimulate consumption and aid industries following the city’s lift of the stringent lockdown on April 8.
The vouchers, mainly for consumption in chain supermarkets, community convenience stores and local shopping malls, will be issued in four phases running from April 15 to June 9, with total value of 20 million yuan ($2.8 million), according to a post on the official WeChat account of Health Hubei on Wednesday.
Launched by Chinese financial services company UnionPay’s Hubei branch, the digital vouchers can be obtained via its “Mobile QuickPass” app. One voucher, worth 10-50 yuan, will become invalid if not used within seven days of receipt.
As more merchants are joining the government’s efforts to stimulate spending, other types of vouchers will be issued, such as those for catering and gas, read the post.
Wuhan’s move follows similar ones from numerous cities across China. Nearly 50 cities in 16 provinces and regions issued coupons with cumulative values ranging from millions to hundreds of millions of yuan by April 15, according to media reports.
WeChat and Alipay are the two major payment platforms on which people can apply for and use the digital coupons.
A Wuhan resident surnamed Jin told the Global Times that he had obtained two vouchers on Wednesday – one for supermarket usage and the other for convenience stores, which they “feel very convenient to use”.
“But I cannot use them right now in physical stores because I cannot go out of my apartment freely,” said Jin, who returned to Wuhan from his hometown on April 5.
“The apartment management team requires us to show a certificate from our company showing its work resumption demand, which I have been waiting for,” Jin explained.
Jin said some residential compounds in Wuhan continue to implement strict measures to monitor the spread of the coronavirus even though the situation has eased.
As of Monday, 98.1 percent of residential compounds in Wuhan have been cleared of coronavirus infections, domestic news site the paper.cn reported, and Wuhan’s Leishenshan temporary hospital for the treatment of COVID-19 patients ceased operations on Wednesday.
Source: Global Times
A Shopping mall in Wuhan reopened as the city lock-down has been lifted and citizens returned to their normal life. Photo: Li Changlin / People’s Daily Online
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