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Guangzhou to begin pilot of cross-border e-commerce

By XU JINGXI in Guangzhou | | Updated: 2013-10-16 08:46

Guangzhou has initiated services to encourage cross-border e-commerce in the business hub of Guangdong province, the local government announced on Tuesday.

On Sept 24, the General Administration of Customs of China approved Guangzhou's proposals for new services in three areas - general exports delivered overseas by mail or fast delivery business to consumer, bonded exports business to business to consumer, and general exports business to business. The approval also means Guangzhou has become a State-level pilot city for cross-border e-commerce services.

"E-commerce is a new drive of growth for the country's foreign trade and will become more and more important as information technologies and economic globalization go further," said Gao Yaozong, deputy director of Guangzhou's bureau of foreign trade and economic cooperation.

These services will solve the city's e-commerce enterprises' problems in settling currency exchange and getting tax refunds for retail sales to overseas buyers.

For example, e-commerce enterprises used to fail to get tax refunds if they delivered products to overseas retail buyers by personal mail. Now they are able to add up the deals in a month and report the total to the city's customs administration to claim the tax refunds by month.

"We have been focused on the domestic market and do very limited business with overseas retail buyers because of the difficulty getting tax refunds. Now we will consider expanding our business with overseas customers," said Su Simin, public affairs director of, an online shopping website based in Guangzhou.

According to Guangzhou's bureau of foreign trade and economic cooperation, the trading volume of the city's cross-border e-commerce in 2012 was $6 billion, a year-on-year growth of more than 5 percent. The country's total trading volume last year was $327 billion, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year.

Guangzhou will launch services to facilitate e-commerce imports by the end of this year.

Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Zhengzhou were approved to be State-level pilot cities for cross-border e-commerce services in December.

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