Business / Policy Watch

China unveils plan to connect online and offline commerce

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-22 07:57

BEIJING - Investment in broadband Internet in rural areas, support for development of virtual reality (VR) and encouragement of the sharing economy are highlights of an action plan drawn by the State Council for integrating online and offline commerce.

The government will support more use of mobile Internet, the Internet of Things and big data in marketing, payment and after-sale services to meet consumer needs and reduce consumption costs, according to the plan released on Thursday.

When it comes to the sharing economy, China "will learn from foreign countries to mobilize idle resources and create jobs," it said.

There will be preferential measures to help the construction of logistics and cold chain infrastructure, and the government will increase spending on such facilities, under the plan.

Better Internet connections in rural areas and lower Internet service charges will narrow the "digital divide" with urbanites, it went on.

The document backed the research and development of VR as well as of wearable devices, and suggested more e-commerce firms and farm produce sellers form partnerships.

Local governments were asked to set up funds to support e-commerce, and to channel more private and overseas capital into this sector.

In addition, China will work on drafting laws and regulations regarding distribution and e-commerce, according to the plan.

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