China Table of Contents
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 and one-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