Cross-border e-commerce gained achievements

Chinese Ministry of Commerce released Business Review 2013 (XII) which summarizes the development of cross-border e-commerce in 2013. Cross-border e-commerce is a new-type mode of trade that the digitalization and electronization of exhibition, negotiation and conclusion of a business of the traditional trade by Chinese production and trade enterprises through e-commerce means to finally realize the import and export of products and at the same time also an effective way to broaden overseas marketing channel, promote China’s brand competitiveness and realize the transformation and upgrading of China’s foreign trade.

Currently, China’s cross-border e-commerce is developing rapidly with outstanding features. Firstly, new business subjects spring up. According to incomplete statistics, the number of platform enterprises has been over 5,000, and the number of foreign trade enterprises that conduct cross-border e-commerce through kinds of platforms has been over 0.2 million. Secondly, trade scale is expanding rapidly. It is estimated that in 2012, the turnover of the nationwide cross-border e-commerce was beyond USD 200 billion including over USD 15 billion of export of retails in cross-border e-commerce, which goes up by over 30% year-on-year, far beyond the growth rate of general trade in the same period. The momentum is expected to remain in 2013 with huge development potential. Thirdly, the threshold for small and medium-sized enterprises conducting cross-border trade lowers. Small and medium-sized enterprises have established the international marketing channel through which they could directly connect with foreign buyers, reduce trade cost and shorten operation period. It is estimated that among the newly registered business entities on cross-border e-commerce platforms every year, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed businessmen has taken up more than 90%. Fourthly, emerging markets have become the highlights. Turnover with emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia and India has soared, making important contributions to the rapid development of domestic cross-border e-commerce retail and export platforms. Fifthly, import size is small, but export one develops to the contrary. Import goods are mainly food such as milk powder, and luxuries like cosmetics with a small scale; export goods are mainly such goods for everyday consumption as cloths, accessories, small household appliances, and digital products with a large scale and a yearly fast growth rate.

The rapid development of cross-border e-commerce has attracted great attention from government and business circle. On July 26, 2013, the General Office of the State Council issued Several Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Promoting Steady Growth and Adjusting Structures in Foreign Trade (Guo Ban Fa [2013] No. 83), putting forward explicit requirements to develop cross-border e-commerce. On August 21, 2013, in order to encourage enterprises to broaden foreign trade through cross-border e-commerce, the General Office of the State Council forwarded the Opinions Concerning the Implementation of the Policies to Support Retail and Export in Cross-Border E-commerce (Guo Ban Fa [2013] No.89)formulated by Ministry of Commerce and other Departments (hereinafter referred to as the “Opinions”), which aiming at the prominent problems that limit the development of cross-border e-commerce, have pointed out six measures on customs, quality inspection, taxes, foreign exchange, payment and credit to support the development of cross-border e-commerce. The Opinions was put into effect on October 1, 2013, in favorable regions of the country. The policies and measures concerning encouraging enterprises to conduct cross-border e-commerce retail and export, and taking retail and export into the trade statistics are favorably received by local governments and enterprises.

Currently, local governments are positively studying and formulating implementation plans, and introducing supporting policies. For example, the cross-border e-commerce industrial park built in Xiacheng District, Hangzhou was officially opened on July 8, 2013, and the whole process of customs clearance services including customs clearance and customs inspection could be realized in the park. With the introduction of implementation plans of local governments, new-type customs supervision model and export rebate policy will better drive the retail and export of cross-border e-commerce. It is expected that cross-border e-commerce will witness a more rapid growth in the future.


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