A game changer? China enacts very first e-commerce law

In stark contrast to the rapid development of e-commerce in China, it has actually taken almost 5 years and no less than four drafts for China to settle its first e-Commerce Law. The new law will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

This brand-new law has an incredibly broad scope, incorporating numerous aspects of e-commerce, consisting of, for example, e-payments, product security, data security, cybersecurity, anti-competitive conduct, and copyright infringement. The law also covers all the main gamers in the e-commerce market in China, from the platform operators (like Taobao or JD.com), the in-platform operators (e.g. those with an online store on T-Mall) and other operators who carry out e-commerce through their own sites (e.g. websites of traditionals merchants) or any other network services (e.g. public account sellers on WeChat). The long-drawn-out legal procedure indicate the lengthy debates going on behind the scenes in between the various stakeholders in this area, with the stakes being particularly high for a lot of them. In particular, this note asks the concern whether this law has struck a fair balance in between the typically contending interests of e-commerce platform operators, in-platform operators and consumer rights? Does it come down too hard on or is it too lenient on e-commerce platforms and in-platform operators who offer defective or infringing products? Should even the smallest and most vulnerable of the online sellers be required to sign up and pay taxes so that consumers have some recourse? In the end, the answer depends upon which side of the fence you sit.This brand-new law might not be a complete video game changer, but it definitely touches most organisations in China, one method or another; for those that are not in the market yet, it is a market that has big capacity and drawing power, with the huge spending power of the Chinese consumer being the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Please click on this link to check out the full article.

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