China is going to promote cross-border eCommerce in additional cities as an initiative to stabilize trade in the country, according to a report by Reuters.
The news came via state television in China on Wednesday (July 3), through a meeting of the state council that was chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
“We will add a new batch of cross-border eCommerce pilot cities on top of the existing 35 pilot zones,” state TV said, without elaboration.
In December, local Chinese vendors operating in Yiwu International Trade City were upbeat about the future.
According to a report at the time in The Financial Times, despite U.S. tariffs placed on Chinese exports and a crackdown on eCommerce platforms like Amazon by the European Union to stop online vendors from evading taxes, local Chinese merchants expected cross-border sales to grow.
The report noted cross-border eCommerce sales grew at a rate of 30 percent in 2018 in China and were expected to hit $175 billion, representing 10 percent of the online consumer retail across the globe.
China has become a leading player in cross-border online trade, with total cross-border eCommerce exports hitting $130 billion last year, noted the report, citing data from China E-Business Research.
The paper noted that in Europe 39 percent of the top-selling merchants on Amazon marketplaces are located in China.
Local Chinese merchants were also getting support from the government of China, with Yiwu and roughly 20 other cities getting exemptions from VAT for cross-border eCommerce exports.
The exports of products sold online from the city were expected to reach $4.3 billion in 2018, noted the report. Of the businesses in Yiwu, 36,000 have registered on Alibaba’s AliExpress, which is its international platform, while 35,000 are registered on eBay, 12,000 in Wish and 10,000 on Amazon.
Meanwhile, Amazon and Alibaba have helped local merchants by providing training in setting up and operating stores as well as extending credit and logistics services to speed up delivery times.