The lines are getting longer, and Tang Yao is finding fewer gasoline stations open in his neighborhood here. But the 48-year-old motorist has no gripes about the price at the pump.
While consumers in much of the world have been reeling from spiraling fuel costs, the Chinese government has kept the retail price of gasoline at about $2.60 a gallon, up just 9% from January 2007.
During that same period, average gas prices in the U.S. have surged nearly 80%, to about $4 a gallon. China’s price control is great for people like Tang, who drives long distances in his gas-guzzling Great Wall sports utility vehicle.