Customized design and guaranteed after-sale service
The major concern of the farmers before the pilot was implemented were after-sale service and whether the appliances were out-of-date.
Their worries, however, proved unnecessary.
"All the goods have just rolled off the production lines. Actually, we promote the performance of products to make sure the images on the televisions will not fluctuate even when the voltage is unstable," said Deng Xiaohui, Sichuan Changhong Electric Company marketing manager.
Like Changhong, Meiling Co. Ltd has also made some considerations to better its customers' lives.
"They made a mouse guard on the back cover of refrigerators so that mice can not build nests there. It's a subtle change but it will extend the life of the refrigerators in rural places where there are more mice than in cities," said a shop assistant surnamed Wu.
Zhang Xing, Qingdao Aucma Group general manager, said his company was reaching out to rural areas and had so far established more than 10,000 sale terminals in country areas of the three pilot provinces. "Aucma will send not only products but also fashion, energy saving and the best services to the countryside."
The Ministry of Finance said the central and local governments would pay 80 and 20 percent of the subsidy, respectively. An insider said recently that the central and local governments' budget of the pilot had reached ten billion yuan.
In Shangdong, one of the pilot provinces, 178 million yuan in subsidies from the the central and provincial government had been allocated to counties and townships in advance. A villager in the city of Zhangqiu who bought his first refrigerator received a 241 yuan subsidy.
"Money is not a problem. The more villagers who buy, the more subsidies we would like to pay," said Yu Guoan, Shangdong Provincial Department of Finance deputy director.
The pilot ends on May 31. If it continues to sail smoothly, it will be spread throughout the country as all the rural population and more appliance makers are expected to benefit from the preferential agricultural policy.