Apple, luxury brands drop China prices as VAT cuts take effect

Apple offered a discout of up to 500 yuan on its China website. (Reuters pic)

BEIJING: Apple Inc and other consumer brands lowered prices for their products in China on Monday as a cut in the country’s value-added tax (VAT) rate came into effect from April 1.

Price tags for products listed on Apple’s China website were lowered on Monday morning, including a discount of up to 500 yuan (RM303.74) for some of its latest iPhone models.

Suggested retail prices for brands including LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and Kering’s Gucci were also cut by around 3%, according to local media reports.

It follows announcements last month from car brands BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz, which said prices for several car models would drop following the tax changes.

Apple declined to comment on the price cuts, while Kering did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton confirmed its China business adjusted prices on Friday and said the brand is “fully supportive of the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to narrow the price gap between China and overseas”.

Beijing said in March it would cut taxes and fees for all companies by nearly 2 trillion yuan (RM1.2 billion) in 2019, with the manufacturing, transportation and construction sectors set to benefit as it looks to stimulate a slowing economy.

The world’s second-largest economy is growing at its weakest pace in almost three decades amid lower domestic demand and a trade war with the United States.

Several Chinese electronics retailers lowered prices for iPhones in January, discounting latest models by up to US$118 (RM481.90), after weaker-than-expected sales at end-2018.