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China: Other Consumer Goods
Country Study > Chapter 7 > Industry > Manufacturing > Other Consumer Goods


In the first thirty years of the People's Republic, many basic consumer goods were scarce because of the emphasis on heavy industry. However, the 1979 economic reform program resulted in a consumer goods explosion. For example, television production increased from approximately 0.5 million sets in 1978 to over 10 million by 1984. During the same period, bicycle output increased about three andone-half times, production of electric fans increased twelve-fold, and the output of radios doubled. In the first half of 1985, compared with the same period in 1984, production of television sets, washing machines, electric fans, and refrigerators increased dramatically. Refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions included imported components. In 1985 economic planners decided to limit production of refrigerators because they estimated that supply would outstrip demand by 5.9 million units in 1990. The following year, authorities curbed production of televisions because of excessive output and an emphasis on quality.

Data as of July 1987

Last Updated: July 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for China was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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