The end of anything-goes ecommerce? – China’s latest business and technology news


Online shops operated by individual entrepreneurs selling goods through sites like Taobao and social media like Weibo and WeChat have boomed in recent years, unhampered by any official regulation. That looks likely to change in the near future, Sixth Tone reports, because a piece of legislation that requires all sellers to register with authorities and pay taxes just like brick-and-mortar retailers has been introduced to the country’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Here’s more context from Sixth Tone:

  • Online sales have grown by an average of 35 percent per year for the past five years.
  • The new legislation has been in the works since 2013, and legislators “first put it to the [Standing Committee] last year, before soliciting feedback from the public.”
  • It aims to “facilitate ecommerce growth, maintain market order, and protect shoppers from fakes and scammers.”
  • It would exempt “vendors selling handicrafts, agricultural products, or skills such as language tutoring.”

Read more on SupChina about the fast-moving world of ecommerce in China from the perspective of female entrepreneurs.


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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company’s newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.