“New Tides in Qiantang River, Digital Trends along the Silk Road” 5th Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit held in Hangzhou

The 5th Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit, under the framework “New Tides in Qiantang River, Digital Trends along the Silk Road”, was held on November 24 and 25 in Hangzhou. Themed “Digital Trade Accelerates Smart Manufacturing”, the two-day event was sponsored by China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area and organized by Ebrun. It attracted cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas, platform and service providers, major buyers and brand representatives.

Zhang Li, deputy director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Commerce addressed the summit. Hu Wei, vice mayor of Hangzhou, said the city, focusing on epidemic prevention and control, and economic and social development, had done a good job in achieving stable performance in six key areas: employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectations (“six stabilities”); and “six ensures” (ensuring employment, basic livelihood, market entities, food and energy safety, stable supply chains and grassroots operations); and expanding “six news” (new infrastructure, consumption, manufacturing, e-commerce, health and governance).

The city has taken measures to strengthen digital empowerment, stimulate consumption potential, raise effective investment, promote opening-up, deepen reform and implement element guarantees. As a result, it has seen stabilization and recovery of the economy, and achieved “V-shaped” growth.

Lin Hongliang, secretary-general of the Asian-Pacific Postal Union, sent congratulations to the summit via video. He said that the digitalization of China’s express delivery had deeply integrated with the industrial chain, and enjoyed a leading position in service effectiveness and diversification. China’s delivery service companies will have the full capacity to become international integrated logistics operators in terms of service capacity and quality. Long Yongtu, former vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, former director and secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia, chairman of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and joint chairman of Global CEO Conference; and Huang Qifan, guest professor at Fudan University, academic adviser to the China Finance 40 Forum and former mayor of Chongqing municipality delivered erudite speeches on the themes of “Digital trade’s global transformation under the new situation in 2020” and “FTZ accelerates domestic and international dual-circulation”.

Cross-border e-commerce enters a new development pattern

In 2020, the world is gathering pace toward the era of digital trade. As an important component of digital trade, a representative of new business models and a new driving force for foreign trade development, cross-border e-commerce is actively promoting the “Dual Circulation” pattern. Zhang Kuo, general manager of Alibaba.com, interpreted the implications of new foreign trade patterns in the digital era. Shi Huangkai, deputy director of the Office for China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area; Ying Yong, senior vice president of Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.,Ltd.; Song Xiaojun, vice president of Amazon China; Joshua, general manager of Shopline China; and Lin Wenkui, general sales manager of eBay Greater China shared views on what changes brought about by the epidemic are sustainable, and what the feasible cross-border e-commerce outlets for manufacturing companies are, and the link between cross-border e-commerce and smart manufacturing. They had intensive discussions and exchanges on Hangzhou’s new thinking and layout of cross-border e-commerce.

Imparting Hangzhou experience from theory to practice

As China’s first cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot area, Hangzhou is making every effort to build the “first city in China and first-class in the world” for cross-border e-commerce. Chen Weijing, deputy director of the Office for China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area, shared the latest policies and practices of Hangzhou in cross-border e-commerce. Wang Tiantian, general manager of Alibaba International Station’s Cross-border Supply Chain; Li Changbing, operation director for AliExpress Businesses and Products; Weichen, general manager of Cross-border E-commerce of Lazada Group; Liu Jianfeng, general manager of Cross-border Distribution Center of Tmall Import and Export Business of Alibaba; and Gong Yongmou of the Alibaba economy academic committee attended the summit and spoke on how the digital supply chain boosts cross-border commerce’s new growth, digital integrated solutions for domestic products going overseas, new tail wind for cross-border e-commerce and great opportunities for Chinese products, new opportunities for cross-border outlets, new ideas on cross-border distribution under digital economy, and global digital talents helping Chinese brands go overseas.

Deep integration of cross-border e-commerce and Chinas manufacturing

Made in China is connected to global users and is achieving global quality and building global brands through cross-border e-commerce. At the main forum held on November 25, Yang Yi, co-founder and COO of Tuya Smart; Zhang Man, chairman of Tophatter Greater China; and Li Jialun, founder of ClubFactory, made speeches on the global intelligent platform, second-auction model, intelligent supply chain and other innovative models. Jia Wei, chairman of the board of LKK, and Shoplazza CEO Li Junfeng shared their views on “products favored by users are the only force for enterprises’ sustainable growth” and “can the new model of DTC achieve brand globalization?” Hu Ruiming, co-founder of Aukey;  Yao Huajun, chairman of Tongfu Temeike Household Products Co. Ltd.; Li Cong, vice president of Zongteng Group; Hai Nan, general manager of Cross-border International Marketing Joyoung; and Guo Di, brand director for Breo Overseas Market, shared their views on “China’s smart manufacturing brought by trade digitization”.

The closing speaker of the forum, Zheng Min, chairman of Ebrun, expounded on the potential of cross-border e-commerce in the next decade in the trend interpretation section.

To give full play to Hangzhou’s strengths as China’s first cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot area and home to high-quality companies, Rakuten Group’s leading advantages in global cross-border e-commerce market share, big data and technology, support Hangzhou comprehensive pilot area to explore “innovation in system, management and services” and achieve win-win cooperation, the Construction Leading Group Office of China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area and Rakute formed a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a strategic cooperation memorandum at the summit.

A series of events were held at the summit, including an opening ceremony for the Global Cross-border E-commerce Knowledge Service Center, a ceremony granting plates to directors of G60 Cross-border E-commerce Industrial Alliance, an unveiling ceremony of the Alibaba Global Digital Talent · Cross-border E-commerce Base, an award ceremony for “Sailing Off” Global Cross-border E-commerce Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest, and a launch ceremony for the 3rd Alibaba GDT Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Contest cum Global Youth Innovation from Hangzhou.

The “Sailing Off” Global Cross-border E-commerce Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest was jointly organized by the China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area and Alibaba AliExpress last year, with the participation of Hangzhou Exit-Entry Administration, the Hangzhou Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, and the Foreign Student Education Management Committee of Zhejiang Province Association of Higher Education. The event attracted more than 1,300 participants from 95 countries and regions, and nearly 40 cities across China. The 1,135 participants, with more than 200 social media heavy users, formed 231 teams of which 20 teams won the “Young Eagle Project Excellent Team Award” with participants from 12 countries and 14 universities.

The “Sailing Off” program offers online and offline courses to set cross-border e-commerce talent classification and evaluation standards for international students. It is suitable for international students who are interested in cross-border e-commerce but do not have sufficient knowledge about the platform. They were divided into an AliExpress stores group and a cross-border e-commerce entrepreneurship group. The ICA team from Zhejiang Gongshang University and Alibaba Winner team from University of International Business and Economics won the first prize; 29°N, Tangou, e-linkin and Good Deal teams won the second prize, and six teams won the third prize. The Organizing Committee also granted outstanding organization awards to 20 universities.

In addition to the main forum, “YRD G60 Sci-tech Innovation Corridor Cross-border E-commerce Industrial Alliance Development Forum cum Seminar on Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Areas” and “Overseas Service Ecological Empowerment Session” were held to explore how to empower industrial development through policy and service practices in the new development pattern of cross-border e-commerce.

Related links: Ten innovative achievements of China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area

  1. Its top-level design framework is replicated nationwide. China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area (Hangzhou Pilot Area hereinafter) has established a policy and management system suitable for the development of cross-border e-commerce with “six systems and two platforms” as the core. On June 13, 2019, Premier Li Keqiang, while inspecting the Hangzhou Pilot Area, instructed Hangzhou to “build itself into China’s No. 1 and the world’s first-class cross-border E-commerce” site. The executive meetings of the State Council promoted the “six systems and two platforms” of the Hangzhou Pilot Area four times nationwide, and replicated them in 104 newly-established cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas across the country.
  2. Its digital supervision model is the most comprehensive in China. The Hangzhou Pilot Area has launched three batches of 113 system innovation lists, implemented the country’s first local cross-border e-commerce promotion regulations, and created the “integrated imports customs clearance service platform”, “commodity quality safety risk monitoring system” and “cross-border retail import quality assurance public platform”. It has also set up China’s first cross-border trade tribunal under the Internet court; taken the lead to provide cross-border e-commerce services of “small parcel exports”, “direct mail imports”, “online shopping bonded imports”, cross-border B2B exports, and exports from special supervision zones; realized all the four  B2B export models of cross-border e-commerce; set up a regulatory business model covering B2B and B2C cross-border e-commerce; and paid cross-border e-commerce tariffs  of RMB 5 billion to the country.
  3. Its digital platform service system is the most complete. The Hangzhou Pilot Area is a leader in building China’s first comprehensive online service platform for cross-border e-commerce. A total of 10,812 enterprises have completed registration on the platform, and cumulative cross-border B2C transactions have exceeded 500 million. It is home to the most cross-border e-commerce trading platforms in the country, such as Alibaba.com, ChemNet.com, AliExpress, Club Factory, Tmall Global, and Kaola.com. These cross-border e-commerce B2B platforms, with Alibaba.com and ChemNet.com as key players, drive B2B exports more than US$300 billion each year. Tmall Global and Kaola Global account for more than half of China’s cross-border e-commerce retail imports.
  4. Government-enterprise interaction achieves the most dynamic industrial digital transformation. Special events to promote the development of Internet foreign trade are launched every year. The Hangzhou Pilot Area has teamed up with Alibaba Global “Dual Products Go Global”, AliExpress “Whale Merchants” and Amazon Seller Central Direct Purchase Fair to hold brand internationalization activities, guided 15 cross-border e-commerce leading companies to go online and boosted the digital transformation of 13 offline parks. Hangzhou’s cross-border e-commerce transaction volume increased 4.2 times in 2019 compared to that in 2015. From January to September this year, Hangzhou recorded a total of RMB 77.262 billion in cross-border e-commerce imports and exports, a year-on-year increase of 16.53%, of which exports were RMB 53.696 billion, or 21.63% of the city’s total, a year-on-year increase of 16.73%; and imports were RMB 23.566 billion, a year-on-year increase of 16.09%. As of September, Hangzhou had 27,143 cross-border export online stores, an increase of 7,350 from the end of December 2019; and has cultivated 100 big sellers with revenue over US$10 million, and 104 cross-border e-commerce brands.
  5. The international cooperation mechanism for cross-border e-commerce is the most comprehensive. The Hangzhou Pilot Area has taken the lead in building the eWTP experimental zone, set up the eWTP secretariat, launched cross-border e-commerce bonded postal exports and the world’s first eWTP public service platform, interconnected with Malaysia and Belgian Liege Airport, carried out an eWTP digital customs clearance supervision pilot, and built “Cainiaohao”,  an important channel for two-way goods transportation between China and Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has integrated 95 overseas cooperation parks, cooperation centers, cooperation sites and overseas warehouses in 38 countries (regions) to build an overseas cross-border e-commerce service network.
  6. The Hangzhou Pilot Area takes the lead in creating global central warehousing for cross-border e-commerce. Relying on the Hangzhou Comprehensive Bonded Area, it has explored the “same warehouse storage” of non-bonded goods and bonded goods, the “same warehouse arrangement” for exports and imports, the “same warehouse settlement” for small- and big-amount trade, and the “same warehouse integration” for foreign trade and domestic trade; realized one zone with multiple functions and one warehouse with multiple forms; and reduced warehousing and logistics costs by 15%-20%.
  7. The Hangzhou Pilot Area takes the lead in launching the cross-border e-commerce import and export goods return and replacement model. It has successfully completed parcel return and replacement for bonded exports, and parcel return for the special regional cross-border e-commerce exports’ overseas warehouse retail business, and charter exports under the 9610 model. In terms of “difficulties in goods return” frequently mentioned on  import e-commerce platforms, the Hangzhou Pilot Area has taken the lead to launch a new cross-border e-commerce retail import parcel return model by expanding goods return forms, streamlining the return process and exploring a  supervision mechanism for overdue returns. It has improved the overall return efficiency of enterprises and processed 305,000 cross-border e-commerce import return and replacement requests by establishing a public return center warehouse in the Hangzhou comprehensive bonded area for accepting returned parcels directly and quickly.
  8. The cross-border e-commerce export and retail tax policy was first implemented in the Hangzhou Pilot Area. In 2015, the Hangzhou Pilot Area  proposed the “tax exemption for no-voucher business” policy, which was approved for pilot operations by the relevant ministries and commissions.  In September 2018, the national tax policy on retail export goods of cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas was officially promulgated. For cross-border e-commerce export enterprises in the comprehensive pilot ares, goods that fail to obtain a valid purchase certificate but qualify with certain conditions may enjoy the exemption policy for value-added tax and consumption tax. After the Hangzhou Pilot Area’s active efforts, on October 26, 2019, the State Taxation Administration issued relevant policies on verification and collection of income tax of retail export enterprises in cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas. On January 1, 2020, the Hangzhou Pilot Area completed  China’s first payment bill the income tax of retail export enterprises in cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas.
  9. The Hangzhou Pilot Area has built the world’s leading cross-border payment and settlement system. Alipay, Lianlian Pay, Epay.163.com, JollyPay, Coral Global, Asia Union and other world-renowned cross-border payment companies are gathered here. Lianlian Pay and PingPong have become China’s largest third-party cross-border payment platforms, serving nearly one million cross-border e-commerce market entities with an annual transaction volume of more than RMB 200 billion. Lianlian Pay and American Express established a joint venture which was granted China’s second bank card clearing license. China Minsheng Bank Hangzhou Branch was approved by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to do cross-border e-commerce foreign exchange collection and settlement business. 
  10. The Hangzhou Pilot Area has taken the lead in establishing a multi-level cross-border e-commerce talent cultivation model. It has formulated cross-border e-commerce talent standards and a list of talents in short supply, approved to establish the first batch of cross-border e-commerce undergraduate programs in the country, launched the country’s first set of cross-border e-commerce teaching materials, established China’s first cross-border e-commerce talent alliance, innovated training models in China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce College, provided multi-level training covering leading talents, elite talents and practical talents, and cultivated nearly 5,000 college graduates and 32,000 talents in 18 Hangzhou-based universities.

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