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Bank of China and UKTI launch white paper on cross-border ecommerce

Thursday 24 March 2016 | 02:28 PM CET

Bank of China and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) jointly launched a white paper in London on 23 March 2016, providing detailed information to assist UK enterprises who intend to participate in cross-border ecommerce business in China.

The 'China-UK Cross-border E-commerce White Paper' included China's cross-border ecommerce market conditions, regulations and policies. It gave an overview of Chinese national policies and guidelines, financial resources, logistic facilities and custom clearing procedures in Chinese cross border ecommerce pilot cities, and outlined the benefits that can be gained by adopting a structured approach to ecommerce market entry, reports.

China has currently appointed 13 cities in a pilot ecommerce program, meaning companies can set up bounded warehouses in these cities to store ecommerce imports, and these products will go through custom clearing when they leave the bounded warehouses and are delivered to customers. These cities are Hangzhou, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hefei, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Suzhou.

The white paper also detailed Bank of China's cross-border ecommerce financial solutions, which include cross-border currency exchange, trade financing, and cash management. As a market leader, Bank of China now accounts for 46.1% of the whole cross-border ecommerce foreign exchange transaction market.

The white paper came at a time when the UK and China are enjoying rapidly growing trade, and experts are expecting bilateral trade to accelerate further due to a 'golden era' in the two country's relationship. In 2015, bilateral trade between China and the UK reached USD 78.54 billion, a large growth from just USD 11 billion in 2010.

Xu Luode, executive vice president of Bank of China Group, said that UK China cross-border trade has great potential to increase, and the Bank of China is keen to provide service-oriented solutions to help businesses.

The Bank of China and UKTI also held a seminar on ecommerce and match making sessions on the same day to help companies hold one-on-one discussions to explore opportunities. It was attended by 14 Chinese cross-border e-commerce platforms, logistics companies and other service providers, including Alibaba,, Dolphin Supply Chain and NetEaseKaola, and over 70 British companies.

According to a 2014 research by Ipsos Mori/PayPal and OC&C Strategy Consultants, the UK accounts for 6% of China's total cross-border demand. It forecasts that UK ecommerce exports to China would reach GBP 14 billion in 2020.

China's cross-border ecommerce volume grew rapidly since 2014 when policy changes enabled this business model. Compared to the traditional import business model, the overseas seller who engages in cross-border ecommerce trade does not need to have a China registered entity, does not need to store products in physical warehouses in China, and the process of completing product registration with Chinese import customs is much faster.

According to a PayPal and Ipsos research, 35% of Chinese online shoppers purchased cross-border products online once in 2015 compared to 26% in 2014. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce forecasts cross-border ecommerce will be worth CNY 6.5 trillion in 2016, accounting for 20% of the country's total foreign trade.

Bank of China said that it will leverage its global network to expand the cross-border ecommerce business model into other major markets such as Macao, Malaysia and Italy, providing clients with innovative and cost effective cross-border ecommerce service solutions.

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