China’s State Council issued, on 24 December 2019, an announcement of the State Taxation Administration  No. 36 approving the establishment of 24 pilot cross-border e-commerce zones.
China had previously designated a total of 35 cities for cross-border e-commerce. The new additions will extend the pilot programme to most of China’s largest cities – Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Chifeng, Fushun, Hunchun, Suifenhe, Xuzhou, Nantong, Wenzhou, Shaoxing, Wuhu, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Ganzhou, Jinan, Yantai, Luoyang, Huangshi, Yueyang, Shantong, Foshan, Luzhou, Haidong and Yinchuan.
According to the approval, these new pilot zones should replicate and promote successful practices adopted by the existing three batches of e-commerce pilot zones, and further achieve the following:
- Introduce exemptions on value-added tax and consumption tax for retail and exported goods;
- Actively explore business opportunities and innovate;
- Promote industrial transformation and its upgrading;
- Brand building;
- Promote international trade liberalisation;
- Facilitation and industry innovation;
- Promote the healthy development of cross-border e-commerce throughout the country;
- Explore new experiences and new practices; and
- Promote a high-quality trade development.
The document was a preliminary announcement setting out general plans for how the trial zones would be constructed and replicated across the country, with guidance for the respective provincial governments government to follow.