China’s State Council released several policies designed to ease cross-border e-commerce regulations for thriving companies in the region. With the new rules, the government hopes to accelerate growth, as the local economy is showing signs of slowing down.
The guidelines support updated customs processes for e-commerce exports and imports, making them faster and easier to manage. Examination, declaration and release of goods will be streamlined, and relevant authorities will oversee the new procedures.
When it comes to taxes, the State Council will impose lower rates on exports. To encourage the purchase of domestic products, the government plans to establish competitive import tax policies.
Through the guidelines, China hopes to decrease its reliance on manufacturing, and transition to higher-value services.
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) highlighted that China’s successful cross-border foreign exchange payments pilot program, which started in 2013, also played a key role in the industry’s current standing.
Initially, testing was conducted in Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Zhejiang, and Shenzhen, where online shopping from overseas websites has become widely popular for the rising middle class.
Since the inception of the program, the country’s volume for such trades hit an impressive $3.32 billion. Du Peng, a senior SAFE official, mentioned that trade for the first five months of this year is almost equivalent to the entire trade volume for 2014.
Prior to the release of the new policies, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced full foreign ownership for specific e-commerce businesses.
The ministry said that the move “supports our country’s e-commerce development, encourages and brings in the active participation of foreign investment, and further excites market competition.”
International brands with a strong presence in the region includes U.S. online retailer Amazon.com Inc, Vipshop Holdings Ltd, and WalMart Stores Inc.