Carbon Trading System Approved, Preferential Cross-border e-Commerce Policies Announced – China Market Watch
China approves carbon emissions trading scheme
China has approved plans for its much anticipated carbon emissions trading system, which, when launched, will be the largest in the world.
The system will initially cover 1,700 utilities, including heavily polluting power plants, before expanding to other sectors of the economy, such as chemicals plants and civil aviation. While the 1,700 utilities are significantly fewer than the 6,000 that regulators previously considered, it still represents one of the world’s most ambitious carbon pricing schemes.
In addition to addressing emissions and climate change, the system is expected to provide authorities with much more detailed data about emissions and pollution-related issues in the country.
The system, which has been tested in pilot programs since 2013, is not expected to launch until late 2018 or 2019.
Five more cities to benefit from preferential cross-border e-commerce policies
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has announced a transition period for the implementation of new cross-border e-commerce regulations in five ports, bringing the total to 15. The new ports are located in Chengdu, Dalian, Hefei, Qingdao, and Suzhou.
The 15 cities benefit from preferential policies, namely the delayed implementation of new laws requiring registration certificates for products purchased via cross-border e-commerce. From January 1, 2018, cosmetics, pet food, and other products imported and sold through ports in the 15 cities will not require the registration certificate.
Despite recent regulations that place more restrictions on cross-border e-commerce, the sector is expected to continue to grow at robust rates. In 2016, cross-border e-commerce turnover in China was worth RMB 5.85 trillion (US$889.7 billion) – an increase of 28.2 percent year-on-year – according to statistics from MOFCOM.
Instant noodles sales plummeting
Instant noodle sales in China are steeply declining, falling from 46.2 billion packets in 2013 to 38.5 billion packets in 2016 – a drop of nearly 17 percent.
Several explanations have been given to explain the phenomenon, including a demand for healthier and higher quality food, a shrinking migrant worker population, and the rise of affordable food delivery services.
Despite the drop, China remains the world’s largest market for instant noodles. According to the BBC, China consumes almost as many packets as Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, India, the US, South Korea, and the Philippines combined.
Instant noodle companies are exploring a variety of tactics to counter the decline in sales, including developing new flavors and healthier recipes.
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