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Premier says China should promote electronic retailing

Updated: Oct 30,2014 7:35 PM

Premier Li Keqiang said the government should aim to further develop online shopping in order to stimulate domestic consumption. He was speaking at an executive meeting of the State Council on Oct 29.

The development of e-commerce in the past few years set off an online shopping spree on Nov 11 every year, which was a highlight of efforts to boost domestic consumption, and has greatly helped the development of related industries, such as express delivery, the premier said.

The share of consumption in China’s GDP has increased gradually over the past three years, reaching 49.8 percent in 2013, which is still significantly lower than developed countries such as the United States.

In order to boost consumption, the government should work to lower logistics costs, strengthen market supervision and crack down on crimes such as fraud and producing and selling counterfeit products.

The government also decided during the executive meeting to open up China’s bank card transactions clearing market, and allow domestic and foreign firms that meet the authorities’ requirements to apply to set up bank card transaction clearing companies in the country.

“This is the first administrative approval item this government set up, as it has been working since its establishment to cancel such approval items or delegate the power over them to local authorities,” Li said, and referred to the decision as “an exceptional case”.

“As we have stressed the importance of avoiding setting up new categories of administrative approvals, such exceptional cases require thorough discussion and careful study by the executive meeting,” he added.

Another issue discussed at the meeting concerned the development of charity in China.

The government should relax its constraints and encourage charities to regulate themselves, and should also encourage the public to supervise such organizations, Li said.