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China’s raising the limit on cross-borderonline purchases, as well as expanding its list of duty-free goods startingJanuary 1, 2019, according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance on Friday.
The annual quota on cross-border e-commercepurchases for individual buyers will be raised from 20,000 to 26,000 yuan(about 3,768 U.S. dollars). The limit on a single transaction will also beraised from 2,000 to 5,000 yuan.
Meanwhile, some 63 categories of productswill be added to the duty-free list, covering consumer goods such as beers,electronics and healthcare products.
The announcement is part of the country’sopening-up efforts to expand imports and upgrade domestic industries, aiming tomeet the ever-growing needs of its people.
Imported products in a Chinese supermarket in Hubei Province, central China. /VCG Photo
This July, China identified 22 cities asvenues for comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot zones in an effort toboost cross-border e-commerce. The new policy will be applied to these cities.
The move also echoed China’s tariffreduction and customs clearance efforts. On November 1, the country cut tariffson 1,585 items of imported goods. This September, China’s custom administrationalso announced new measures to expedite cargo clearance and cut administrativecharges to facilitate foreign trade.
The first China International Import Expo(CIIE) held in Shanghai this November also fully demonstrated the country’sefforts to boost imports and enhance business cooperation.
The e-commerce law aimed at regulating themarket will also take effect on January 1 next year.
Chinese consumers shopping for foreignbrands online
Chinese consumers have become increasinglydrawn to foreign brands via e-commerce platforms. Statistics showed that theretail imports of cross-border e-commerce from January to October this yearreached 67.2 billion yuan (about 9.7 billion U.S. dollars), up 53.7 percentyear-on-year.
In 2017, cross-border e-commerce consumersaccounted for 10.2 percent of China’s total e-commerce consumers, up from 1.6percent in 2014, according to a report on China’s import market jointlyreleased by China Chamber of International Commerce, global auditing andconsultancy firm Deloitte, and Alibaba’s Aliresearch.
"The new policies will not only makecross-border trade more convenient, but also meet consumers’ upgraded needs andimprove regulation and supervision of cross-border e-commerce imports,"said Wang Jian, a professor with the University of International Business andEconomics.
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