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Why China is expanding access to duty-free shopping

Hainan leads in luring tourists as authorities push a tax-free retail market

A duty free store in China's Hainan Province (Photo courtesy of the Hainan Province government's Tokyo office)

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global travel and shuttered shops, it has not changed many Chinese shoppers' appetite for luxury imported products. Now policymakers plan to tap into this huge demand to help the virus-hit economy recover.

As the domestic COVID-19 outbreak wanes, daily sales since July 1 at a duty-free shop in Sanya, the popular coastal resort city in the southern province of Hainan, surged above 100,000 yuan ($14,617) as travelers flocked to the island for its unique tropical scenery and greater variety of duty-free products.

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