作者：肖马克（Mark Schaub）、刘冠男（Effie Liu）、石伟（Tom Shi）
Many Western cosmetics companies considering China are facing a dilemma: seek revenue or stick to their principles?
Many international companies that have seen sales of product rocket via Chinese ecommerce celebrated the March 17 Announcement by MOFCOM (i.e. a press release regarding the supervision of products imported through cross-border ecommerce (“CBEC Products”) during and after the extended grace period) as a signal that the good times will continue to roll. As stated in our previous article we had concerns that many were reading too much into the March 17 Announcement and in particular the Chinese authorities would continue to have concerns about ensuring consumer safety.
Recently, Xiaoming Yuan, the Deputy Director-General of the Financial Department of the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) in an interview with Oriental Outlook provided useful background about the context and implications of the March 17 Announcement.…
International health food companies and infant formula food suppliers rejoiced on March 17, 2017, when the China Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) confirmed that the current supervision model will likely be adjusted for cross border e-commerce retail imports (“CBEC”). The announcement advised that the new model, which will take effect from January 1, 2018, will apply to 15 pilot zones.
The mood was markedly different back in April 2016, when several PRC authorities officially issued new policies regulating cross border e-commerce. The most concerning aspect of the April 2016 measures was that a range of products, including health food, infant formula, cosmetics and medical devices, would need to be registered or filed with the PRC authorities. These polices caused panic in the market and resulted in a sharp drop (almost one third) of CBEC business revenue. A later notice in May 2016 granted a grace period for the implementation of registration and filing requirements until May 2017, which was extended by MOFCOM in November until the end of 2017.…
International supplement companies selling to China via the cross border ecommerce model have recently experienced a few nail biting months. Although a last minute reprieve on sales of non-registered products was granted it should be noted that registration or filing will be required at some stage in the future.
Crucially the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) is seeking public comment on several lists of health food raw materials and auxiliary materials. These lists will have a direct impact on filing and registration of products by international supplement companies in China.
By Mark Schaub and Chen Bing King & Wood Mallesons’ Corporate Securities Group
In recent months there has been great concern, indeed bordering on panic, in some quarters arising from the issuance of dramatic but vague PRC cross-border e-commerce rules that were issued in April 2016.
However, the PRC authorities have now addressed, at least to some extent, most of the major pressing concerns on 24 May 2016 when the General Administration of Customs of PRC (“PRC Customs”) issued a Circular on Relevant Matters Concerning Implementation of New Supervision Requirements on Cross-border E-commerce Retail Imports (“Circular”).
It was always clear that the Chinese authorities would at some stage seek to better regulate cross-border e-commerce and two recent rules coupled with stronger implementation have caused concerns as to whether the e-commerce boom will continue in the future. …
According to the data of Chinese e-Commerce Research Center, by the end of 2012, the trading volumes of e-commerce market in China had reached 7.85 trillion. In 2013, it was 10.5 trillion and is expected to reach 13.4 trillion in 2014. From the industry distribution of e-commerce websites, the top ten industries are: apparel, textile, agriculture and farming, digital household appliances, machinery and equipment, chemicals and plastics, food and wine, construction materials, hardware and tools, medical treatment and medicine. Along with this phenomenon, the protection of intellectual property rights in the online sphere is also facing a whole new series of challenges. This article will focus on the discussion of issues of trademark infringement in e-commerce.…
China’s (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (“FTZ”) has attracted global media attention ever since it was established in September 2013. This can largely be attributed to the new FTZ rules that relax restrictions on foreign investment in China’s markets. In particular, the value-added telecommunication services (“VATS”) sector in the FTZ opens up foreign investment in two main ways: (1) lifts bans on foreign investment in foreign invested telecom enterprises (“FITE”) in certain service areas, e.g., in information services (only applicable to application stores); and (2) opens up four new types of VATS services previously closed to foreign investment (i.e., call center services, internet access services, domestic multi-party communication services, and domestic internet VPN services). In mid-April of 2014, the government further issued detailed procedures and guidelines on the establishment of FITEs in the FTZ. This Article aims to provide an update of these new developments in the FTZ. …
By Xianjie Ding and Di Yao King & Wood’s IP Legal Group
New developments in e-commerce regulation bring the issue of intellectual property infringement and the liability of e-commerce operators to light. A landmark case in China removed the defence of the "Safe Harbor Principle" for the first time, and should serve as an admonition to online platforms
The rise of e-commerce in China
In 2011, the e-commerce business in China underwent major changes. After significant amounts of private equity (PE) investments and many successful initial public offerings (IPOs) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or NASDAQ, e-commerce operators have increased resources to develop their business strategies. They are no long playing a neutral role by providing a merely technical and automatic processing of the data (for example, merely providing space for a blog, etc.) but marketing aggressively as a real internet value-added service provider (for example, providing services in building up or optimising a member’s own website, etc.). This change in role will lead to great legal challenges in the future in the area of trade mark infringements committed on an e-commerce operator’s platform. This article will introduce two high-profile online trade mark infringement cases in both the EU and China, and offer an analysis of the implications on the development of e-commerce.
By Susan Ning, Liu Jia, Sun Yi Ming and Yin Ranran
In early November, Taobao Mall (Tmall), part of the e-commerce operations of Alibaba Group and considered as China’s biggest business-to-consumer (B2C) retail platform, suffered from a stormy protest from small vendors against its new rules. Meanwhile, antitrust concerns arise in relation to its suspected abuse of dominance in the e-commerce industry.
This article provides an overview of the whole incident, outlines details to do with Tmall’ s conduct and examines whether such conduct could be considered as an abuse of dominance in violation of the Anti-monopoly Law of China (AML).