China’s cross-border e-commerce sees robust growth in 2020

Updated:Jan 26,2021 15:00 PM People's Daily Online

China’s cross-border e-commerce bucked the trend of global foreign trade slowdown caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and witnessed robust growth in 2020, becoming an important force in stabilizing the country’s foreign trade.

Last year, the cross-border e-commerce trade volume reached 1.69 trillion yuan (261.5 billion dollars), a year-on-year increase of 31.1 percent, while e-commerce exports were up 40.1 percent, according to China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC).

DHgate.com, a Chinese business-to-business (B2B) cross-border e-commerce platform, set a new record in sales in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period last year, with the gross merchandise volume of more than 35 percent of the categories doubling over the previous year and over 50 percent categories reaching a new high, said Wang Shutong, founder of the platform.

On Alibaba.com, China’s leading B2B cross-border e-commerce platform, with the number of orders doubling, the transaction volume increased by 101 percent year-on-year in dollar terms in 2020.

China has fostered an enabling environment for the development of cross-border e-commerce by implementing favorable policies. Along with including more goods in its cross-border e-commerce retail imports list, the country further expanded the scope of cross-border e-commerce retail import pilots last year from 37 cities to the whole Hainan Island and 86 other cities. It also decided to set up 46 new integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce and support Chinese enterprises in building overseas warehouses.

In 2020, China piloted a program to boost B2B cross-border e-commerce export, adding two export supervision codes “9710” and “9810” for cross-border e-commerce B2B direct export and cross-border e-commerce export overseas warehouses respectively.

Continuous improvement in the cross-border e-commerce regulatory system has supported the orderly development of new business forms like cross-border e-commerce, GAC spokesperson Li Kuiwen told a press conference on Jan. 14.

In 2021, China’s cross-border e-commerce will maintain rapid growth, as the pandemic has pushed more shoppers to make their purchases online, said Lin Zhiyong, a senior researcher on cross-border e-commerce, adding that the next three to five years are still the sector’ golden period of development.