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China to promote cross-border e-commerce as incomes rise

Guards stand near an entrance to Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, May 18, 2015.

Reuters/John Ruwitch/Files

BEIJING China will increase support for cross-border e-commerce as the world’s second-largest economy shifts from manufacturing to higher-value services, the government said.

China’s e-commerce industry has been booming in recent years, with companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc benefiting from a rising middle class with more disposable income.

The government released policy guidelines on Saturday that include tax policies aimed at boosting domestic consumption and pilot projects to ease overseas payments, according to a statement posted on the central government’s website www.gov.cn.

Chinese e-commerce firms will be given state support on international projects while credit insurance services will also be introduced.

Customs will streamline clearance of goods and quality supervision agencies will allow collective declaration, examination and release of goods.

There will be tax sweeteners on e-commerce retail exports and settlement of payments in yuan will be promoted, it added.

The policy document followed Friday’s announcement that China will allow full foreign ownership of some e-commerce business to boost competitiveness.

Cross-border e-commerce has reaped a turnover of $3.32 billion since China piloted cross-border foreign exchange payments in 2013, with trade volume in the first five months of this year near the total value of the whole of 2014, according to Xinhua, which cited the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Huang Kai; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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