According to figures announced by the Ministry of Commerce, 70,000 supermarkets opened across rural China in 2005.

The government hopes to establish 250,000 rural supermarkets between February 2005 (when an initiative was launched) and 2008. It has set aside funds of CNY60m (US$7.4m) for the project and hopes to attract additional social capital for the programme.

Reports in the Chinese press note that according to a survey conducted jointly by the ministry and China Agriculture University, 95% of rural people questioned approved of the new supermarkets, stating that they are more convenient. The research also found that the price of food in the supermarkets is 10-15% lower.

It is hoped that a better rural shopping environment will stimulate the 900m strong rural consumption market.