(coco) #1

China’s booming e-commerce sector has
become an increasingly global phenomenon,
but the expansion into international trade has
been dogged by a lack of clarity over what is
simply a retail product bought abroad, what
is cargo that needs to meet import regulations
and how it all should be taxed. A pilot pro-
gramme last year that aimed to keep goods
moving without quarantine and inspection
but with higher tariffs and removal of pref-
erential regulatory treatment saw a large drop
in trade.
This confusion around the ins and outs has
been reduced by the release of new policies.
The spokesperson for China’s Ministry of
Commerce said in a speech that the new reg-
ulatory policy on cross-border e-commerce
retail transactions would come into force on
January 1, 2018, after the interim policy ex-


pires. According to State Council approval,
the current regulation aims to keep the over-
all transaction mode stable, and e-traders still
could import retail items in line with the
regulation of personal goods. In short, retail
goods that pass through bonded warehouses
will still receive some preferential treatment
and will avoid inspection and quarantine.
E-commerce operators will continue to
enjoy the current benefits, as Cao Lei, an In-
ternet expert and also director of the China
Electronic Commerce Research Centre, said,
if imported items count as “cargo,” meaning
that customs clearance documentation is re-
quired, some personal items such as health
products and cosmetics will not easily enter
free trade zones.
Xiao Feng, a vice-president at e-commerce
giant Alibaba, noted that cross-border retail is

the first step, and its localisation would be the
next trend. This is not only China’s policy but
a global one, he added.
According to Economic Information Daily,
authorities have reviewed current regulatory
policy on foreign trade and tried to innovate
regulation via pilot schemes, in order to make
more reasonable regulations on cross-border
e-commerce that fit the development of
global trade.

Policy


Cross-border Clarity for E-commerce


Top Story Premier Li Promises Harsh Crackdown on Financial Corruption


Recently, Xiang Junbo, chairman of the China Insurance
Regulatory Commission, was investigated for the suspected
serious violation of the Party’s code of conduct, according to the
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Commu-
nist Party of China.
The latest move indicated that China has stepped up efforts
to curb corruption in the financial sector, which has become
one of the focuses of the anti-corruption campaign.

The investigation into Xiang came shortly after Chinese Pre-
mier Li Keqiang made a speech on March 21 at a State Council
meeting on clean governance, in which he vowed to harshly
crack down on financial corruption, and stressed that the fi-
nancial sector is also vulnerable to risks, such as illegal Internet
financing, bad assets, bond defaults as well as shadow banking.
Li declared a tough graft crackdown with five components.
First, a deep reform on streamlining government and delegat-
ing authority, strengthening the innovation on regulatory policy
and reducing government intervention in the market.
Second, all authorities in principle should make their budgets
public and allocate fiscal funds according to schedule.
The third is that the country will crack down on bank viola-
tions in extending credit, insider trading in security markets and
fraud by insurance companies, as well as on the punishment of
internal supervisors and company managers who collude with
big players in the market. State-owned enterprises must also
take more punitive actions to strengthen their supervision and
due diligence.
Using publicly accessible resources trading platforms, the
openness and transparency of the bidding system and govern-
ment procurement system will help to control the graft.
Finally, the embezzlement of funds earmarked for poverty
alleviation, basic living allowances, medical insurance and other
such issues will be strictly punished.