On the 20th of December 2016, while explaining the draft to lawmakers, Lu Zushan, deputy director with the NPC’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, said booming ecommerce in recent years has served to reveal loopholes in China’s legal system and commercial rules, shanghaidaily.com reports.
The draft law will facilitate ecommerce 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 ecommerce transactions.
All ecommerce 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 CNY 500,000 yuan (USD 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 ecommerce platforms to offer technical support for “law enforcement activities by relevant authorities.”
China is the world’s largest e-commerce market. According to Lu, ecommerce trade totaled over CNY 20 trillion in 2015, with online retail sales at CNY 3.88 trillion. In November 2016, Chinese ecommerce player Alibaba saw CNY 120.7 billion 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 ecommerce with different countries and regions.
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