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E-commerce Law of the People’s Republic of China —- A Brief Introduction

In recent years, E-commerce has become a substantial contributor to China’s economy and an integral part of China’s international business. Today, we are presenting you with a brief introduction to China’s E-commerce law, which is fundamental to our business operation.

Purpose and Principle of E-commerce Law

E-Commerce ​Law ​is enacted for the purposes of safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of all parties to e-commerce. It regulates e-commerce conducts, maintains the market order, and promotes the sustainable and sound development of e-commerce. It rules that the State shall create a market environment favourable for innovative development, give full play to the role of e-commerce in promoting quality development, satisfying people’s ever-growing demands for a better life and building an open economy. (1)

What do E-commerce Operators Need to Pay Attention to?

There are several crucial factors business platform operators need to pay attention to. E-commerce Law covers rules and regulations on registration, licensing, taxation, delivering, contract, dispute, cyber-security, and promotion. Specifically, they include but not limited to:

  1. Make market entity registration, and obtain relevant administrative licensing in accordance with the law; continuously display licenses and information concerning commodities or services in a truthful, accurate and timely manner.
  2. Perform the obligation of tax payment and enjoy tax incentives.
  3. Meet the requirements for guaranteeing personal and property safety and environmental protection.
  4. Issue paper or electronic invoices according to the law.
  5. Advertisement and promotion should follow Advertising Law of the PRC.
  6. Delivery commodities or services to consumers in the manner and time as agreed upon.
  7. Not set unreasonable requirements for refund; make a refund in a timely manner.
  8. Follow provisions on personal information protection laws and regulations. 
  9. Ensure its cyber-security and stable operation, prevent illegal and criminal online activities, effectively tackle cyber-security incidents.
  10. E-commerce operators shall bear civil liability if refuse or fail to fulfil the above obligations and contracts. Operators can be fined from 20,000 RMB to 500,000 RMB.

This law emphasised equality, fairness, innovation, and honesty. All in all, E-commerce Law not only protects the rights of different parties (from business operators to consumers), but it also ensures an equal and regulated environment for fair competition and innovation.

Work Cited: EU-China Legal Economic Reform Agenda translation of E-commerce Law​ of the People’s Republic of China.

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