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Sub-anchor: State Council issues guidelines to support overseas E-commerce


06-23-2015 04:50 BJT

Chinese consumers have been snapping up foreign products both in stores outside the country and by placing orders online. Now the Chinese government says it will increase support for cross-border e-commerce because it's beneficial to Chinese customers and the economy. CCTV's Zhong Shi joins me now in the studio with more details.

Q1. Zhong Shi, the Chinese government has released new measures to promote cross-border e-commerce, hoping to find a new economic driver. Walk us through these measures.

A1. That's right. Let me start with a bit background here. In May, China’s total foreign trade slipped almost 10% from a year earlier while imports slumped to a three-month low. Exports continued to decline, but at a slower pace, making marginal improvements from the previous month, but still putting continued pressure on the economy.

Cross-border e-commerce, which integrates the Internet with foreign trade, will help expand consumption, and create new economic growth. That's why the State Council released a guideline Saturday, to give a boost to the already burgeoning cross-border e-commerce scene in China.

Measures include stream-lining customs procedures for e-commerce exports and imports, and collective declaration, examination, and release of goods. In terms of tax policies, export taxes will continue to be kept low. Import tax policies will be formulated under the consideration of increasing domestic consumption and promoting fair competition. The government will also encourage domestic banks to launch cross-border electronic payment businesses. And Chinese e-commerce firms will be given state financial support on major international projects.

Q2. Some of the bigger Chinese e-commerce firms have been expanding their businesses abroad. They aim to bring Chinese products to foreign customers as well as introducing foreign goods to China. How is that going for them?

A2. China's biggest online marketplace, Alibaba has been very ambitious here. Its founder Jack Ma -- who was on a trip to the US earlier this month -- promised to use the firm's growing global footprint to help American small businesses to sell their products to China.

In a Wall Street Journal article, Ma pointed out that Alibaba sparked a boom in US cherry sales to China last year. Besides the US, Alibaba is also eyeing the online trading market in Russia. Its Ali-express portal was launched in Russia in 2010, and sells Chinese products to the Russian market. According to Jack Ma, Ali-express has managed to become the most visited e-commerce website in the country.

Meanwhile, Alibaba's main domestic rival Jingdong has also announced its expansion into Russia. CCTV correspondent Julia Lyubova has this report from Moscow. But Chinese e-commerce firms, who have expanded overseas, are also bracing themselves for a bumpy ride ahead. Alibaba has been sued in the US for allegedly selling counterfeit products on its platform. And Jingdong's sales data and business model have been questioned by foreign analysts. So still many challenges lie ahead.

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