The Changing Labyrinth of China’s e-Commerce - New Requirements of an Online Standard Terms Agreement
China is transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to a more service and consumption-driven economy. E-commerce is at the center of this transition and it is growing at a rapid pace. In 1995, there were approximately 60,000 Internet users in China. Today, the Boston Consulting Group predicts China’s Internet population will reach 730 million in the next two years and its online shopping headcount is expected to reach 380 million. The value of China’s e-commerce market is also astonishing. By 2015, KPMG estimates China’s e-commerce transactions to reach $540 billion. Read More ›
China’s Ministry of Commerce has taken another step to deregulate over time the approval process for Chinese citizens and companies to invest overseas. This remains a controlled process, but the new rules described in the link below should assist in increasing China’s going abroad. Frost Brown Todd often works with Jun He on mutual client matters. Click here for a summary of the new measures in English and in Chinese.
US health care businesses see China as a waiting market, ready for the introduction of world-class hospitals and care centers. China understandably regards medical care as intensely domestic, and has limited foreign involvement to joint ventures or minority ownership. Read More ›
In recent years, the United States has become a preferred destination for Chinese acquisitions and strategic investments. This is mostly due to the weak dollar, the US debt crisis, and the desire to gain access to US brands, distribution systems, and technological know-how. However, the biggest concern for Chinese investors entering the US market is the national security review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Read More ›
While the laundry list of challenges is familiar, last week's Financial Times analysis of China's shale oil gas industry makes interesting reading for any U.S. company trying to tap the China market. Whether it be underground reserves or untapped consumer demand, majors and middle-maket companies face the same myriad of "soft" challenges, including the absence of a mature legal structure, crowding out by giant SOEs and intellectual property risks. Read More ›
In recent days, we have seen Chinese firms becoming more aggressive and entering into the U.S. market wanting to invest. Fosun, a Shanghai based firm, recently purchased the One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York for $725 million. Greenland Group, another Shanghai based firm, recently became a majority owner in a joint venture that will develop a commercial real estate project in downtown Brooklyn. Earlier this year, a Chinese property developer became a 40% stakeholder in the General Motors Building in Manhattan. Read More ›
On October 25, 2013, the legislative body in China passed amendments to its consumer protection law. According to Xinhua News, the amendments included better protections for consumers, added regulations for e-commerce, and tightened liabilities for businesses that violate the law. Read More ›
China’s business presence these days are felt heavily around the world. With a large sovereign wealth fund and many independently wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs on the prowl, Chinese companies, large or small, are doing business everywhere from the United States to Africa to the Middle East; but contracting with a Chinese company sometimes could be tricky and if you don’t know what you are doing, you may just end up wishing you had never done business with that glamorous Chinese company in the first place. Read More ›
The highly anticipated Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) opened its doors on September 29, 2013. Officially named China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, it marks yet another step in China’s continuing efforts to reform. Although the specifics are not yet available, (and the government has stated that details will slowly drip to the public in the next three years), the pilot zone serves to liberalize China’s economy and perhaps kick start a broader reform agenda. Read More ›
Last year, China introduced a pilot program in Shanghai to implement Value Added Tax (VAT) reform. Please refer to our previous blog for more details about it (http://isg.frostbrowntodd.com/China-Is-Expanding-VAT-Reform) . In short, the old Business Tax was replaced with VAT in the transport sector and certain service sectors in Shanghai and such reform later expanded to another 11 regions. By a Circular issued jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation in May, 2013, the VAT reform has started to roll out nationwide from August 1. It means that shippers importing from and exporting to China, wherever it is in China, are now facing a 6% VAT tax. The scope of services subject to the first phase of the pilot program remains unchanged. In addition, the film, radio and television industries have also been added into the pilot program with a VAT rate of 6%.
Ask the Blogger
Do you have a topic that you would like discussed in a future blog article? Please let us know. If you have a confidential question regarding a blog article, please feel free to contact the article's author directly, or let us know if you would like for someone to contact you directly.
Joseph J. Dehner Joe Dehner concentrates his practice on multinational business and securities disputes. He counsels a wide variety of companies, domestic and foreign, on issues confronting global business, including transnational investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, customs and trade issues, international business structures, distribution and agency agreements and the resolution of international disputes.