HAIKOU, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Inside a duty-free shop in downtown Haikou, capital of south China's island province of Hainan, the mobile phone and tablet counter was crowded. He Jing swiped her card to buy an iPad after a price comparison.
"The duty-free price of this iPad is much cheaper," said He, a local citizen.
Starting July 1, Hainan has increased its annual tax-free shopping quota from 30,000 yuan (4,261 U.S. dollars) to 100,000 yuan per person each year.
The categories of duty-free goods have also been expanded from 38 to 45, with some electronic products such as mobile phones and laptops added to the duty-free list.
The previous tax-free limit of 8,000 yuan for a single product has been lifted, and the number of categories with single-purchase quantity limit has been significantly reduced.
"I'm planning to stock up on skincare products and cosmetics," said Wu Ting, a tourist from central China's Hubei Province, picking her favorite cosmetics in the shop.
The new policy raised duty-free single purchase limit for cosmetics from 12 pieces to 30 pieces. "I no longer need to worry about the number of my purchases," she said.
Wu has traveled to the island several times, and duty-free shopping is a must-do for her. "Compared with other coastal cities in the country, duty-free shopping is definitely Hainan's advantage and its main attraction for tourists," she said.
Since the implementation of duty-free shopping policy in April 2011, the duty-free shops in Hainan have raked in 55.07 billion yuan by the end of March this year, with the number of duty-free items sold hitting 72 million, according to the customs of Haikou.
The policy adjustment will greatly improve consumers' shopping experience, release policy dividends and enhance confidence in the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP), said an official with the Ministry of Finance.
China released a master plan on June 1 for the Hainan FTP, aiming to build the island province into a globally influential high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.
Four offshore duty-free shops are currently in operation in Hainan, with two in Haikou, one in Qionghai and one in Sanya. The duty-free shop in Sanya is the largest one, covering about 120,000 square meters.
Gao Xujiang, executive director and general manager of Sanya Downtown Duty Free Store Co., Ltd affiliated to the China Duty Free Group, said the new duty-free policy would trigger rapid growth of the number of customers and operating revenue, bolstering tourism consumption and promoting construction of the Hainan FTP.
"The new policy will enhance the quality of Hainan tourism, and promote the construction of Hainan to make it an international tourism and consumption destination," said Liu Feng, director of the Research Center for Free Trade Port with Chinese Characteristics of Hainan Normal University. Enditem