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December 20, 2016

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Home » Business » Economy

China mulls e-commerce regulation

CHINA’S top legislature is deliberating a draft law that will regulate and facilitate booming e-commerce in the country.

The draft law was submitted for review by legislators at the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which runs until Sunday.

It is the first reading of the draft by the top legislature.

Explaining the draft to lawmakers yesterday, Lu Zushan, deputy director with the NPC’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, said booming e-commerce in recent years has served to reveal loopholes in China’s legal system and commercial rules.

The draft law will facilitate e-commerce growth, help maintain market order and protect consumer rights.

The draft law said the nation should put online and offline commercial activities on an equal footing and protect the safety of e-commerce transactions.

All e-commerce operators have an obligation to pay taxes and should acquire the necessary business certificates, under the draft.

Operators must also ensure personal information security for consumers. Those that fail will face fines of up to 500,000 yuan (US$72,000) and could have their business certificates revoked.

They must also work to protect intellectual property, the draft said.

The draft requires third-party e-commerce platforms to offer technical support for “law enforcement activities by relevant authorities.”

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market.

According to Lu, e-commerce trade totaled over 20 trillion yuan in 2015, with online retail sales at 3.88 trillion yuan.

Last month, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba saw 120.7 billion yuan in gross merchandise volume during its Singles Day event, an online shopping spree on November 11.

The draft law also said China will work to facilitate cross-border online shopping and push forward exchange and communication on cross-border e-commerce with different countries and regions.


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