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中国推出以旧换新补贴刺激消费,民众不买账

KEITH BRADSHER

2024年7月2日

上海一家电气厂位于南昌的空调压缩机制造厂。中国国内的消费疲软,导致工厂去海外寻找更多的客户。 Keith Bradsher/The New York Times

Four months ago, China’s leaders announced what seemed like a straightforward and proven plan to recharge the economy: Subsidize consumers who want to replace old cars and household appliances.

四个月前,中国领导人宣布了一项看似简单而且有效的经济刺激方案:为想更换旧车和旧家用电器的消费者提供补贴。

The early results are not promising.

这个方案的初步结果不太乐观。

Only 113,000 cars qualified for trade-in subsidies through June 25 — a blip in a country where monthly sales exceed two million cars. And buyers of new appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators are being offered discounts of only about 10 percent, depending on what city they live in.

截至6月25日,仅有11.3万辆车符合以旧换新的补贴条件,在一个汽车月销量超过200万辆的国家,这个数量微不足道。政府为购买新洗衣机和冰箱等电器的家庭只提供10%左右的折扣,具体补贴金额取决于居住城市。

The incentives are not enough to bring customers into stores.

这些激励措施不足以吸引顾客进店消费。

“If it is not needed, people will not go out of their way to find an old machine to participate,” said Dai Yu, the manager of an appliance store in Jingdezhen, a city in Jiangxi Province in south-central China.

“如果没有必要,人们不会特意在家里找个旧东西去换新的,”江西景德镇一个家用电器商店的经理戴宇(音)说。

The idea of providing financial incentives to spur consumer spending is not new.

为刺激消费提供经济激励的想法并不新鲜。

In 2009, the United States, Germany, France, Spain and Austria offered so-called cash for clunkers programs to revive car sales. They paid households to scrap gas guzzlers and replace them with newer cars with better fuel economy. China itself gave extensive tax cuts and subsidies for consumers to buy new cars and household appliances. Prices for many appliances were cut in half, particularly for rural residents, and sales surged.

2009年,美国德国、法国、西班牙以及奥地利都为重振汽车销售推出过所谓“旧车换现金”的项目。这些国家为家庭提供现金,让他们报废耗油的旧车,换上燃油经济性更好的新车。中国也曾为消费者购买新车和家用电器提供过广泛的减税和补贴,将许多家电的售价减半,尤其是对农村居民,导致销量激增。

The current strategy has been held back by tight eligibility restrictions and limited financing. As often happens, China’s central government has turned the appliance program almost entirely over to provincial and local governments, many of which are struggling with heavy debts and reluctant to offer more generous subsidies. The central government, which has fewer debts, pays 60 percent of the cost of the car subsidies.

但目前的刺激措施有严格的限制条件,提供的资金也不多,未产生明显的效果。与往常一样,中央政府将为购买家电提供补贴的项目几乎全部交给省级和地方政府来实施,而许多地方政府正受到巨额债务的困扰,不愿提供更慷慨的补贴。债务较少的中央政府则提供汽车以旧换新补贴的60%。

So the effort has not yet fixed one of China’s biggest economic problems right now: weak spending by consumers. Factories have responded by chasing more customers overseas, but that has incited a backlash and trade restrictions by governments in Europe, the United States and developing countries.

结果是,这一努力尚无法解决中国目前最大的经济问题之一:消费者不愿花钱。工厂对此作出的回应是寻求更多的海外客户,但这已引起了欧美和发展中国家政府的强烈不满以及贸易限制措施。

The weakness of the cash for clunkers program is evident at an electric car factory and an air-conditioner compressor factory in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi.

透过江西省会南昌的一家电动汽车厂和一家空调压缩机厂,可以清楚地看见中国目前以旧换新项目的不足之处。

The compressor factory’s assembly lines, a maze of yellow robots interspersed with teams of workers dressed in blue, have been running on only one shift a day.

这个压缩机厂的组装线上有迷宫般的黄色机器人,身穿蓝色工装的工人穿插在机器人之间。工人每天只上一班。

Several miles away, a money-losing electric car factory is assembling fewer than 30,000 cars a year, even though it has the capacity to make 100,000.

几公里外,一家亏损运行的电动汽车厂每年组装的汽车不到3万辆,尽管其产能是10万辆。

00China Clunkers 03 bcwm master1050今年春季的国内家电销量跟不上工厂产量的增长。制造商们正在海外寻找客户。

Factories across China that make electric cars or household appliances are hustling to find export markets. The electric car factory in Nanchang, for example, ships about 3,000 cars a year overseas, but does so in unprofitably small batches to 30 countries.

中国各地生产电动汽车或家用电器的工厂都在忙着寻找出口市场。例如,南昌的这家电动汽车厂每年将3000辆车销往海外,但是以不赚钱的小批量向30个国家发货。

Often owned partly or entirely by local or provincial governments, factories need exports to keep their workers busy. And despite weak domestic sales, they are hesitant to lay off workers.

这些工厂通常部分或全部由地方或省级政府拥有,为了让工人有活可干,它们需要出口。尽管国内销售疲软,但它们不愿裁员。

A housing market crash has left millions of Chinese families wary of big-ticket purchases. Yet the state-controlled banking system, acting under direction from Beijing, is lending hundreds of billions of dollars a year to build and expand more factories.

由于房地产市场崩溃,数百万中国家庭对购买售价高的商品持谨慎态度。尽管如此,国有银行系统在中央政府的指示下,每年仍发放数千亿美元的贷款用于工厂的建设和扩建。

Chinese automakers have gone from selling almost no electric cars in Europe four years ago to capturing about a quarter of its market this year. That success, together with evidence that China has subsidized its electric car industry, has prompted the European Union to draft tariffs on these imports.

中国的汽车制造商四年前几乎不向欧洲销售电动汽车,而今年已占据了欧洲电动汽车市场约四分之一份额。这种成功,以及中国补贴电动汽车行业的证据,已引发欧盟起草对中国电动汽车进口征收关税的计划。

European and Chinese officials agreed on last month to hold talks to avoid tariffs, but the two sides remain far apart. European officials insist that the electric vehicle supply chain in China is subsidized. Chinese officials affirm that there are no subsidies, and that their industry’s growth reflects innovation and manufacturing efficiency.

虽然欧盟和中国的官员们上个月同意为避免关税举行谈判,但双方仍存在很大分歧。欧洲官员坚称,中国为其电动汽车供应链提供补贴。中国官员则坚称不存在补贴问题,中国电动汽车行业的增长反映的是创新和制造效率。

The cash for clunkers plan to stir consumer spending has high-level political support. In March, Premier Li Qiang, China’s second-highest leader after President Xi Jinping, ordered that local and provincial governments should “promote large-scale equipment upgrades and trade-in of old consumer goods.”

中国为刺激消费提供的以旧换新计划得到了高层的政治支持。今年3月,中国总理李强要求地方和省级政府“推动新一轮大规模设备更新和消费品以旧换新”工作。李强是位置仅次于国家主席习近平的中国二号领导人。

00China Clunkers 02 bcwm master1050江西江铃集团在南昌的电动车厂装配线。事实证明政府目前提供的购车补贴太低,对消费者没有吸引力。

But debt-ridden local governments have not put enough money into the programs. The national government has been reluctant to help out. As a result, the discounts being offered to consumers have ranged from modest to penurious.

但负债累累的地方政府没有为这些项目投入足够的资金。中央政府也一直不愿提供帮助。结果是,政府向消费者提供的折扣不大或微不足道。

Luo Yu, an office worker in Jingdezhen, walked out of Mr. Dai’s appliance store with empty hands on a recent evening, unimpressed with a 10 percent discount. “Why replace them if they’re not broken?” she asked.

最近的一个晚上,办公室职员罗宇(音)空着手从戴先生的家用电器店走了出来,她对10%的折扣并不满意。“如果东西没坏,为什么要换新的?”她问道。

Subsidies for electric cars are scarcely more generous. Most cars must be at least 13 years old to qualify for replacement. Only about 10 million of the country’s 250 million registered cars are eligible.

为消费者购买电动汽车提供的补贴也算不上慷慨。大多数汽车必须至少使用了13年才符合更换资格。全国2.5亿辆注册汽车中,只有约1000万辆满足这个条件。

Owners of old cars receive a subsidy of $1,380 — a tenth or less of the cost of all but the cheapest cars — if they trade them in for a new battery-electric car or plug-in hybrid car. The subsidy is $960 if they trade in an old, heavily polluting car for a new model with a small gasoline engine that meets the latest emission standards.

旧车的车主们购买新电动汽车或插电式混合动力汽车时,如果将名下的旧车报废注销的话,他们将获得1万元的补贴,这只相当于最便宜的电动汽车价格的十分之一或更少。如果他们以旧换新的旧车是污染严重的车型,购买的符合最新排放标准的小型汽油发动机的新车,他们得到的补贴是7000元。

By comparison, the United States gave subsidies of $4,500 per car in 2009. That cash for clunkers program was so popular that General Motors, Ford Motor and other automakers increased factory output and called back some idled workers.

相比之下,美国2009年为购买汽车提供了每辆4500美元的补贴。该“旧车换现金”的方案非常受欢迎,以至于通用汽车、福特汽车和其他汽车制造商都增加了产量,还召回了一些闲置的工人。

China’s automakers and banks are also providing discounts and loans to help sales. But industry leaders acknowledged that many car shoppers were unenthusiastic.

中国的车企和银行也为促进销售提供折扣和贷款。但行业领导人承认,许多购车者并不热心。

00China Clunkers 04 bcwm master1050在景德镇的陶瓷市场,许多年轻人只逛不买。

“Consumers are still reluctant to trade in their cars for now,” said Cui Dongshu, the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association. “It will be a gradual process.”

“消费者们目前仍不愿意以旧换新,”中国乘用车市场信息联席会秘书长崔东树说。“这将是一个渐进的过程。”

Xu Xingfeng, the director of the commerce ministry’s department of consumer promotion, said at a news conference last week that the pace of car trade-ins “showed an accelerating growth trend.”

商务部消费促进司司长徐兴锋在上周的新闻发布会上说,汽车以旧换新“呈现加快增长态势”。

Sales of battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars are rising in China. But that increase has been offset by a drop in sales of gasoline-powered cars. Total car sales in China in May were little changed from the same month last year.

中国的纯电动汽车和插电式混合动力汽车的销量正在上升。但这种增长被汽油动力汽车销量的下降抵消。中国5月份的汽车总销量与去年同期相比变化不大。

Appliance sales were fairly strong this spring, but not enough to keep up with factory output. Manufacturers with overcapacity are cutting prices to compete, part of a broad decline in many prices in China. They are finding customers overseas: The number of appliances exported rose 27 percent in May from a year earlier.

虽然今年春季的家电销售相当强劲,但仍不足以跟上工厂产量增长的步伐。产能过剩的制造商正在降价竞争,这是中国许多产品价格普遍下降的一部分。这些工厂也正在海外寻找客户:今年5月的中国家电出口额比去年同期增长了27%。

With cash for clunkers, the government pushes consumers to buy from big manufacturing industries. But in cities like Jingdezhen, a pottery-making hub for more than 1,000 years, there are hints that China’s consumers would spend more if the government gave them cash instead and let them choose how to spend it.

政府通过以旧换新鼓励消费者购买大型制造业的产品。但在景德镇这样的城市,已有迹象表明,如果政府直接把现金交给消费者,让他们选择如何花钱的话,中国消费者们花钱的意愿会更高。景德镇是有1000多年历史的陶瓷制造中心。

Thousands of young people, including many recent graduates who face a very tough job market, throng Jingdezhen’s 31-acre open-air pottery market. They spend lots of time but little money.

在景德镇占地190亩的露天陶器市场能看到成千上万的年轻人,其中包括许多面临严峻就业市场的应届毕业生。他们花很多时间逛市场,但几乎不花钱买东西。

Wang Yajun has long sold hand-painted statuettes of Chinese gods at her booth. She now paints and sells less expensive refrigerator magnets as well.

王亚军(音)一直在自己的摊位上销售手绘的中国神仙瓷塑。她现在也销售自己绘制的价格更低的冰箱磁贴。

“People find it hard to accept products with higher prices,” she said. “Cheap products may perform better.”

“人们很难接受高价商品,”她说。“便宜的产品也许销路更好。”

Li You对本文有研究贡献。

Keith Bradsher是《纽约时报》北京分社社长,此前曾任上海分社社长、香港分社社长、底特律分社社长,以及华盛顿记者。他在新冠疫情期间常驻中国进行报道。 点击查看更多关于他的信息。

翻译:纽约时报中文网

点击查看本文英文版。

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