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China Plans New Free Zones For E-Commerce Activities

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong
Thursday, September 21, 2017

China plans to establish more new pilot zones in the nation aimed at supporting cross-border e-commerce firms in particular.

China has been increasingly establishing such zones in the past few years to boost economic growth rates and encourage foreign direct investment. They typically feature eased financial and investment controls, a streamlined environment, and tax incentives.

Chinese Premier Li Kequiang said at a State Council executive meeting on September 20, "We need to enable the healthy development of cross-border e-commerce and speed up the growth of new engines, making the foreign trade sector more adaptive to new circumstances and better endowed with new cutting-edge practices," Premier Li said. "The prospects for cross-border e-commerce are very bright."

The total volume of foreign trade via cross-border e-commerce in the 13 original pilot zones reached CNY163.7bn (USD24.9bn) in 2016, up by over 100 percent year-on-year. More than 400 third-party platforms have already been established, along with 20,000 cross-border e-commerce trade companies.