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Duty-free Shops Flourish

Caixin Weekly September 1, 2020

By NewsChina Updated Nov.1

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic and the huge decrease in international flights, airport duty-free shops around the world have faced unprecedented operational pressures. Offshore duty-free shopping in South China’s island province of Hainan, however, has bucked the trend to hit 5.58 billion yuan (US$816m) in duty-free sales from July to August this year, an increase of 221.9 percent year-on-year. According to Haikou customs authority, cosmetics have generated the largest volume of sales and transactions. Since July 1, Hainan raised the offshore duty-free shopping quota to 100,000 yuan (US$14,640) per person annually from the previous 30,000 yuan (US$4,392) and the categories of goods included were expanded from 38 to 45. The duty-free shopping policy has turned Hainan into an international tourism and shopping center, boosting the development of Hainan Free Trade Port at a time when the province’s international trade and exports are expected to drag the economy down.