With their fortunes going out the window, Chinese local governments have been compelled to auction official luxury cars, according to the Financial Times. This move, though unorthodox, is geared towards improving revenues that have since hit rock bottom amid the unending slowdown.
Auctions have begun taking place far and wide spanning areas like Datong in the north and Kunming in the south. It is a nationwide affair as pressure from citizens has reached an all-time high. Some disgruntled citizens have blatantly displayed their disappointment in the government by going to lengths of uploading high-end official cars (Porches and even a Maserati) on the internet.
One city that has been particularly hit by the full force of the move is Wenzhou. This coastal city is said to have sold 215 cars at the fall of the weekend. These incredible sales managed to glean figures of Rmb 10.6 million- about $1.7 million. However the sales were just a mere step in Wenzhou’s attempts to bolster revenue. Wenzhou has goals of selling up to 1300 vehicles by the end of this year and in the process clearing 80% of the entire municipal fleet.
The Chinese people have chosen to interpret the move in different ways. Some think that the government intends to ease anger build up in the citizens while others believe that it is a sign of the difficulties facing the city finances. Tao Ran, a local government expert based in Beijing’s People University, settles for the latter interpretation, reports CNBC.
Professor Tao is noted to exclaim that the move not only represents reform but also demonstrates the evident lack of money