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Chinese e-commerce policy to benefit Australian exporters

The Chinese government last week announced that it will improve its e-commerce retail import policy to boost consumption.

“We need to take a holistic approach, exercise prudent yet accommodating regulation to fully unleash the growth potential of cross-border e-commerce,” Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, said at a cabinet meeting on November 21, when the policy was laid out.

The policy has been cheered by Australian exporters to the market, such as AuMake, the ASX-listed retail company that connects local suppliers with Chinese personal shoppers, daigous, who buy and ship products on behalf of friends, family and customers in China.

The retailer released a statement on Friday saying the new policy is expected to stimulate daigou activity through 2019.

The new policy ensures that China’s existing approach to cross-border e-commerce continues, and no new requirements around licensing, registration or record-filing for first-time imports will apply to sales through cross-border e-commerce platforms, as was expected to apply from January 1, 2019. Instead, these goods will continue to receive the more relaxed regulation for personal use imports.

The Chinese government is also expanding its preferential import duties to another 63 tax categories of high-demand goods and increasing the quota of goods eligible from 2000 yuan to 5000 yuan per transaction, and from 20,000 yuan to 26,000 yuan per head per year. This quota will be further adjusted in light of an individual’s personal income.

“AuMake welcomes the latest development to further stimulate the CBEC [cross-border e-commerce] with the continuation of current licensing requirements, extension of tariff/VAT/consumer tax concessions and value per transaction/head limit also being increased,” the retailer said in a statement.

“These measures are anticipated to increase the total size of the CBEC and it is anticipated that legitimate cross border e-commerce participants, including AuMake and professional daigou, will increase their market share as illegitimate operators are phased out with increased regulation.”

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