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​Cross-border e-commerce drives high-quality development of China's foreign trade

Updated : 2023-03-10 (People's Daily Online)

As a new form of foreign trade that develops rapidly, cross-border e-commerce has become a new driving force for the high-quality development of China's foreign trade.

The country's cross-border e-commerce enjoyed rapid development in 2022, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said recently. The import and export volume of China's cross-border e-commerce reached 2.11 trillion yuan (about $294.67 billion) in 2022, up 9.8 percent year on year, according to data from General Administration of Customs.

In late November 2022, China's State Council approved the establishment of comprehensive pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce in another 33 cities and regions. It marked the seventh batch of comprehensive pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce set up in the country, bringing the total number of such pilot zones to 165.

Nowadays, these pilot zones have become an ecosystem and carrier for the development of cross-border e-commerce featuring synergetic innovation in institutions, management and services. They have set up information sharing, financial service, smart logistics, credit, statistical monitoring and risk prevention systems, as well as a policy framework centering on the online platform of single window services and brick-and-mortar industrial parks. Besides, nearly 70 items of mature experiences and innovative practices have been promoted nationwide.

Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, is home to the country's first comprehensive pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce. Over the past seven years, the city has nurtured 49,000 cross-border e-commerce sellers who have registered over 2,000 trademarks overseas and reported a total trade value of more than 100 billion yuan.

In east China's Jiangsu Province, the scale of cross-border e-commerce business has increased by more than four times annually in the recent three years, and over 90 industrial parks and incubation bases have been established. In addition, more than 280 overseas warehouses have been built in major markets, including countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. The prospering cross-border e-commerce sector has injected new impetus into stabilizing Jiangsu's foreign trade.

Thanks to relevant favorable policies, a batch of small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises are embracing the international market. Chinese coffee machine maker HiBREW, turning from original equipment manufacturer to original brand manufacturer, is gaining a reputation in more and more foreign countries. A smart rangefinder made by Chinese tool producer HOTO reported an annual turnover of $600,000. Fishing gear producer SeaKnight based in Hangzhou has sold its products to more than 200 countries and regions. WEWATCH, a Chinese tech company specialized in LED projectors, saw its export value reaching 40 million yuan from zero in just a year.

A MOFCOM official said cross-border e-commerce has significantly lowered the threshold of international trade and involves large numbers of micro and small-sized entities. At present, over 30,000 enterprises have registered on the online integrated service platform of the comprehensive pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce.

Meanwhile, a growing number of Chinese consumers are buying global products through cross-border e-commerce channels.

Zhou Dongfang, an executive of Hangzhou Haiku Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. in the Hangzhou Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone, introduced that the company's delivery orders of parcels of cross-border e-commerce grew 52.3 percent year on year during this year's Spring Festival holiday.

JD Worldwide, the cross-border e-commerce platform of Chinese e-commerce giant, has so far attracted over 20,000 brands from countries and regions including the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Germany.