(Bloomberg) -- China expanded a public real estate investment trust pilot program to include more types of commercial properties, a move aimed at supporting the nation’s consumers that is likely to also help out cash-strapped developers.

Regulators will broaden the REIT pilot and prioritize so-called “consumer-related infrastructure projects” such as department stores and shopping malls, according to a notice from the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Friday. The program was first expanded in mid-2021, when China began allowing not only infrastructure initiatives in the vehicles but also affordable rental properties, industry parks and logistics assets.

Unlike in developed countries, China initially avoided allowing traditional real estate like malls, offices and homes to be included in REITs. Yet after a record property slowdown, financial regulators late last year flagged their intention to use REITs to diversify fundraising in their 16-point rescue plan for the sector. 

Read More: China Studies Expanding REIT Trial to Boost Developer Funding

Chinese policy makers are keen to spur a recovery in consumer spending, which was hobbled by weak wage growth during the pandemic. The country’s consumers are in focus after a government meeting earlier this month suggested officials would avoid stimulating the economy through infrastructure investment or the property market — leaving household spending to drive demand.

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