New Regulations for Online Stores to be Released in March

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BEIJING, Feb. 23 – The State Administration for Industry and Commerce is expected to release new regulations for major online stores next month that will require them to apply for a business license and pay taxes.

Small online sellers,  which comprise of majority of all internet sellers, will not be required to subscribe to the same rules. The agency has been working on a draft of the rules since July last year.

Online selling has grown to become major business in China with the number of online buyers reaching 108 million last year, an increase of 45.9 percent. The value of traded goods amounted to RMB268 billion during the same period and is forecast to reach RMB464 billion in 2010 says China IntelliConsulting Corporation.

Major online trading companies welcome the new regulations as a way of improving the industry. The president of popular online store Yihaodian Han Jun told China Daily that more government intervention will help build fair competition and help stop counterfeit products from being sold online.