China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a notice it has launched policies to boost the country’s online export industry in five Chinese cities and will expand them to the rest of the country on Oct. 1.
The policies to be implemented include coming up with a way to classify e-commerce export business units, establishing a new e-commerce export customs scheme and encouraging banks and payment institutions to provide cross-border e-commerce payment services. China will also look at the possibility of adapting its tax policies to aid the rise of e-commerce exports and create an e-commerce export credit system.
The policies have been rolled out in Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Zhengzhou, and will be implemented in all other cities on October 1, said a notice issued on Thursday.
According to a July PayPal and Nielsen survey, China was the third most popular destination for online cross-border shoppers, after the United States and the United Kingdom. Online shoppers in the United States and the United Kingdom were frequent shoppers of online stores in China.
The rationale of the new policies is the belief that the current management structure, policies and regulations have not kept pace with the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce, especially in cross-border B2C trends, the notice said.
The PayPal and Nielsen survey of six key markets revealed that China itself had 18 million cross-border shoppers spending RMB 216 million in 2013, a number expected to rise to 35.9 million shoppers spending RMB 1 trillion in 2018. The majority of online cross-border shoppers buy from stores in the United States, Hong Kong and Japan.
While many Chinese do their shopping overseas or on overseas online stores to circumvent the high consumption and luxury taxes on goods sold in the country, China has been taking steps to curtail this trend. In 2010, in an attempt to close the tax loophole of goods bought from overseas and shipped into China without paying customs duties, China imposed import taxes on personal mail items.
As a testament to China’s growing overseas e-commerce trade, AliExpress announced that the gross merchandise value of goods transacted over its platform during a sales promotion on August 27 hit a record RMB 100 million. AliExpress is Alibaba Group’s B2C e-commerce platform that is in English and serves more than 220 countries and regions.