FIE Internet Sales Operations Now Need Only Provincial Approval

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Sept. 10 – The Ministry of Commerce amended the administration of foreign-invested internet sales enterprises last month, moving the approval and administration of such operations from the central government to the provincial governments.

Circular Shang Mo Zi [2010] No. 272, issued August 19, states that applications for establishment of foreign-invested enterprises specializing in internet sales need to be submitted to the competent provincial commerce departments for approval. They will then conduct strict examinations and approval will be awarded in accordance with the “Measures for the Administration on Foreign Investment in Commercial Fields” and other relevant laws and regulations. The circular went into immediate effect.

The circular also states that foreign-invested enterprises providing network services to outside vendors by taking advantage of its own platform will need to apply to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for a value-added telecommunications business license.

If a foreign-invested enterprise engages in internet sales, it will need to establish a reasonable system for returning or replacing goods, tracking sales records and strictly protecting the personal privacy and trade secrets of consumers.

For more information or advice for establishing a foreign-invested enterprise in China, please contact Dezan Shira & Associates or contact