Chinese Unveil Socialist Pawnshop

United Press International

China on Wednesday opened its first pawnshop since the 1949 Communist takeover, the New China News Agency reported. The Huamao Pawnshop went into operation in Chengdu, the capital of central Sichuan province, as a pilot project for the city’s economic reforms.

The news agency said the pawnshop’s purpose will be “to help small businesses or individuals who are badly in need of funds but fail to get loans” and that to conform with the country’s socialist system, the store will not require its debtors to pay interest.

Customers will be allowed to pledge “household electric appliances, antiques, calligraphy and paintings, motorcycles, bicycles, watches, expensive clothes and real estate.”