Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Foreign Companies Selling Online In China Now Face Greater Scrutiny

China's Ministry of Commerce has issued a notice to regulate the sales activities of foreign-invested enterprises that are engaged in either Internet sales or vending machine sales.

According to the notice, foreign enterprises who want to operate Internet sales business should submit applications to the respective provincial commerce departments and the departments will examine and approve companies' licenses in accordance to the "Measures for the Administration on Foreign Investment in Commercial Fields" and related laws.

Foreign-invested enterprises who provide Internet services to other trading parties via their Internet platforms should apply for the licenses for the operating of telecommunication value-added business issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China; and foreign-invested enterprises who are directly engaged in the sales of commodities via their Internet platforms should register at the telecom management departments.

The notice emphasized that when operating Internet sales and related services, foreign-invested enterprises should display their business licenses on the main pages of their websites or on the pages for the sales activities. If these enterprises are sellers of oil, crude oil, books, magazines, and medicines, they should also provide information and clear photos of the certificates for the operating of these businesses.

The notice also said that foreign-invested enterprises who are established as vending machine operators or who want to expand into the vending machine business should submit applications to the respective provincial commerce departments for approval.

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