State Council Pushes for Growth of Chinese Cross-border E-Commerce with Approval of New Pilot Zones

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The State Council has dramatically expanded the number of e-commerce pilot zones in China, as the Chinese central government pushes for further growth of the country’s online and digital economies.

The State Council recently gave its approval to 27 new cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zones, in cites including Ordos, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang Xinhua, Ma’anshan, and Kashgar.

The move marks the 6th expansion of the cross-border e-commerce trial scheme over the past 7 years, bringing the total number of pilot zones to 132, situated in 30 municipalities.

China’s cross-border e-commerce has seen roaring growth over the past decade, with cross-border online retail transactions increasing over four-fold from 449.2 billion yuan to 1.98 trillion yuan.

The number of Chinese platforms and enterprises engaging in cross-border e-commerce has increased from around 5,000 to in excess of 30,000 over the same period.

“The steady growth of Chinese cross-border e-commerce has already become a new driver for the import-export trade,” said a report from state-owned media. “This expansion of the cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zones is of benefit to responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and expediting the stabilisation of external trade.”