China Backtracks On Cross-Border Ecommerce Tax Laws

The Chinese tax authorities have turned back on new laws that would have seen tighter customs rules and higher taxes on international imports sold on Chinese ecommerce sites. The laws have been removed due to concerns that the higher tax rates would deter people from importing goods, as was proved last month when the laws were introduced and Chinese social media was filled with images of abandoned goods in customs that people had refused to pay the higher taxes on. Under the new rules, there were also more stringent approvals for edible goods and tighter regulations for imports through ecommerce, which were predicted to decrease the growth of China's already slowing ecommerce industry. The laws were finally removed after figures revealed that the change had caused a 60% fall in ecommerce orders in some areas, whilst just 3% of the goods coming through the Zhengzhou pilot zone were completely unaffected. The one-year postponement of the rules was announced last week after increasing pressure on China's General Administration of Customs.