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with Suni○ng A

ng servic●es, as Chine●se consumers h◆ad developed onlin○e purchase hab■its. Neithe○r side has discl◆os

ed more details● of the agreemen◆t.Suning wi●ll invest 800● million yen◆ or 8.4 million◆ US dollars t○o buy LAOX shares,

●at 12 yen pe●r share. Af■ter the pur■chase, it will acq●uire a 2

n reta〓iler

ng, has an amb〓itious plan ●for the company's○ expansion. Earli○er this year, Su●ning identified Hon■g Kong as the firs◆t destination. ○The

of hom●e app


company plans ■to set up ten stor■es in the r◆egion and move ●in

to sell t

to operation by th●e end of this year.〓Suning's pu◆rcha

se of LAO◆X counters its ar■ch-rival

鬳 Interne

k●age for

鰁 equity firm Bain C○apital LLC and n○ew shares to○ existing sha◆reholders.Based in t○he eastern ○city of Nanjing, ◆Suning is Chi○na's seco

siness bas〓ed on

nded in 1〓930. It has 10 stor〓es selling applia●nces, computers, tel○ecommunications p〓roducts, anima●ted games, toy model◆s and musica●l instruments. It● has been stru■ggling to deal wi〓th a slowdown in con●sumer spendi○ng and price-cu◆tting competition.P◆remier Wen Jiabao◆ has presided over〓 a State Counc〓il meeting to 〓discuss ne●w measures ●to spur domest◆ic consump〓tion by

en◆couraging consumer■s to replace o●ld cars an◆d home appliance◆s.The governme◆nt has set as■ide 5 billio◆n yuan for ■subsidies t●o car owners〓 who trade th●eir models in earl○ier rather than late◆r. That's ●5 times more than 〓last year. While in ◆9 prov

inces● and municipal●ities including● Beijing and S■hanghai, those○ who swap old app●liances in ●for new one◆s, can get a 1〓0 percent d◆iscount on their rep〓lacements. Televisi●on se

ts and perso○nal computers a◆re two of the 5 appl○iances on the list.〓 2 billion ●yuan has been ●set aside to◆ fund this measu●re. Starti●ng Thursday, re●sidents of Sha●nghai's rural area◆s will be eligible■ for governme●nt subsidies for h■ome applian

ty,■ said a state

nd largest electri●cal appliance●s retailer by sales,● is plannin〓g to expand into◆ the rural market● at an aggressive ■pace in a bid to◆ gain an upper hand■ over archri〓val Gome. This w■ill be done ●through levera〓ging the gove〓rnment's re■bate program for● household ele●ctric appliances◆, Suning's p■resident Sun Weim●in told China Da◆ily."Suning ●will open a■t least 1,00■0 st

ores in the ○third- and fourth-ti〓er cities within fiv〓e years," ○Sun said."A sma〓ll number of the●se stores will be● directly o●wned by Sun○ing, and the re○st will see in◆vestments by others○ interested in ●running our 〓brand of sto■res."Late last ■year,

the company,● which has 〓812 stores nationw●ide, announced it ●would open 20●0 stores this ye●ar. Gome, whi◆ch owns 1,300 ◆stores in the c○ountry, sa●id the

re would● be no change in◆ the number of ■its stores this year●. According t●o Suning's 2008 fina●ncial repor○t, 134 stores● out of th●e 812 are located i◆n third- and fourth-●tier cities.Th●e company is a○lso thinking of op■ening stores tail●ored to

〓 Baidu Monday. B

l Suni◆ng store, which ●has a floor area of○ around 4,500 sq m,● "the coun〓ty store is sma●ller in size●, at around 2●,000 sq m," Sun ex◆plained. Suning ope●ned its first rura●l store in 2002,● in Changshu■, Jiangsu prov〓ince.The company is● betting on t■he appliance reba◆te program to○ help enhance its 〓brand awarene■ss and sales. As ■an active player i◆n the prog■ram, the c●o

mpany has○ won all the bids in■tended to promote ■the eight c●ategories of hou■sehold appliances i●n 14 regions. Sunin〓g plans to invest ■another 50 m●illion yuan to subsi●dize stores in◆ those regio〓ns that ha●ve not been i●ncluded in th●e program.Compared

〓 with urban ■areas, the rural◆ electric appliances◆ market has■ bigger poten●tial.China extend◆s rural subsidie●s scheme for home ap◆pliance purc◆hasesBEIJ

ING, 〓Feb. 27 (X●inhua) -- China's Mi○nistry of Commerc○e (MOC) said Frid●ay that the ◆government 〓would gran●t 20 billion yu◆an (2.93 billi◆on U.S. dolla●rs) subsidies in 200●9 to boost elect〓ronic appli◆ance sales in〓 rural areas. T○he plan was exp

c■ooperation with

iu Hai■quan, told a p◆ress conferen●ce that rural reside○nts' average inc〓ome in 2008 reached● 4,761 yuan ◆(697 U.S. dollars), ○which was s●imilar to urb◆an residents●' income in 〓the late 1990■s, when elec●tronic appliances s○ales registered● a significant 〓growth in ur●ban areas. Meanw◆hile, Liu said the g○overnment would make● the proced◆ures easier for fa●rmers to claim t◆h

e subsidies. "The ○MOC and th●e Ministry ●of Finance a■re jointly working ■on a plan to ensu○re the fund■s would be u■sed proper○ly while facili■tating procedure〓s for farmers to c■laim the subsidi〓es." So far,■ a total of 2■,851 electronic ●products have

bee●n selected ●in the stimulus plan■, including ■different types o〓f color te◆levisions, refrige○rators and mobile◆ phones. STRENGT●HEN COOPERATIO◆N BETWEE

N AG●RICULTURAL ●PRODUCERS AND ○SUPERMARKE〓TS The Chine●se governmen◆t also plan■ned to launch ◆about 200 projec◆ts this year to◆ create platform●s for cooperatio●n between 〓agricultural● product p■roducers and superm●arkets so as to sta●bilize food

n China, s●aid

cu■lation was made ◆in grain whol◆esale market○s and special market○s for agricultural ■products. "●The sales ●and productio○n are clos◆ely linked◆ in Western count■ries. Farmers wil■l plant what superma◆rkets need,"◆ an MOC official Cha■ng Xiaocun s●aid. "Such connec○tion between t◆he supermarkets an〓d farmers coul◆d provide up-to-date○ market information ●to farmers■ so they

would plan◆t what the marke●t really need. Mean◆while, it w◆ould help to stabili○ze food prices and○ farmers' income,◆" he said. The ○retail giant Wal-M■art has es■tablished such 〓a connection in Chi●na, which "not onl○y ensured the sup○ply and qua●lity, bu

t also◆ reduced ci●rculation c●ost by at lea●st 20 percent〓," Chang sa■id. In the◆ United States,○ more than 80 pe●rcent of the superm●arkets oper○ate in s

uch● a business ●model. In Asia-○Pacific regions, th●e ratio stood ■at 70 percent.○ However, onl●y 15 to 18◆ percent of the Chi〓nese supermar●kets operate in s●uch a model.● MORE JOBS ○TO BE CREATED IN R〓URAL AREAS The◆ Chinese governme●nt will est●

citing Re■n Xuya

鬳cted to offer mo■re than 500,000 jobs○. Meanwhile○, it plans to build〓 200 to 300 agric●ultural product● wholesale 〓markets as well 400 ●to 500 smaller f■ood markets◆ in rural ar■eas, which would o◆ffer a combined 600,■000 to 700●,000 jobs. Th〓e above two plan◆s are expected ◆to create ■1.1 million to○ 1.2 millio〓n jobs in rural are○as as to ea■se unemployme○nt pressure and●

increase inc〓ome for rural reside○nts, Chang● said. China has 〓reaffirmed its effor〓ts to promote〓 home appliance sa●les in rura●l areas, in an ef■fort to boo■st light industry. A● 13 percent s●ubsidy will now ●be offered to farm●ers who buy mic○rowaves and

stoves,○ in a bid to stim〓ulate rural● consumption. The ne●w plan all〓ows every house●hold to buy t◆wo of each item at ○a reduced r○ate, rather than jus●t

one. Last Oct■ober, a 13〓 percent subs〓idy was an■nounced for fa〓rmers who buy h◆ome appliances, ○including color T●Vs, refrigerators, a●nd mobile phones◆. The governme◆nt says it will pr◆omote the policy● nationwide○ in February. It's e●stimated t■h

ng, Baidu■'

at the subsidie●s will reach ●15 billion○ yuan in 2

00◆9 driving overall d●omestic de◆mand to ove〓r 100 billion yu■an. The policy h■as not only benefite○d farmers, b

s vice president