China to Brighten Bleak New Year With Cash Gifts

The Chinese will be giving small cash gifts to some 74 million citizens before Chinese New Year. From Reuters, via MSNBC:

will give its neediest citizens hand-outs of up to 180 yuan ($26) to brighten their mood before the Chinese New Year, a usually festive occasion that has been marred by the economic downturn.

The , which announced the one-off payment totaling some $1.3 billion on its website Friday, also said the money would help stimulate domestic consumption, ’s overarching goal as it seeks to revive the once-roaring economy.

The pay-outs ranging from 100 to 180 yuan would mainly go to and veteran Communist Party members living in straitened circumstances. Overall, the government said it would distribute 9 billion yuan to about 74 million citizens.

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