China seeks to update its e-commerce laws

With increasing internet penetration throughout the country, the e-commerce industry, like other industries in China, is growing at a swift pace. This was recently demonstrated by the online shopping frenzy for Singles Day, which is China’s ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ and takes place on 11 November every year, with ¥35.01bn (£3.52bn) transacted over Alipay alone via Taobao Marketplace and Tmall. However, the relevant legislation in China has not kept pace with the new issues thrown up by this astonishing growth.

As a result, the Chinese government has, in the past year, released laws, regulations and guidelines focusing on e-commerce consumer protection and unlawful disclosures of personal data, and is trying to update previous laws to meet the new challenges of e-commerce with Chinese characteristics.

Recently, China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued a draft of the new Online Commodity Trading and Related Services Administrative Procedures on 11 September 2013, with the objective of revising and clarifying the Online Commodities Trading and Related Services Tentative Administrative Procedures issued by it on 31 May 2010. The aim of the Tentative Online Trading Procedures was to regulate online commodity trading conduct and to protect consumers and business operators engaging in online trading…

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