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Taiwan, China urged to relax restrictions on e-commerce

2012/06/12 20:45:25

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Participants at a Taiwan-China business forum on Tuesday urged the Taiwanese and Chinese governments to relax regulations on money and goods flow between both countries to allow greater cooperation in e-commerce.

Ko Hsien-tang, a director-general at the Institute for Information Industry, said at the forum in Taipei that there are still many barriers preventing e-commerce companies from Taiwan and China from entering each other's markets.

For example, it is difficult for Taiwanese businesses to establish online platforms in China to sell their products, as foreign companies are currently banned from obtaining such licenses, according to Ko.

Internet censorship in China, the long time it takes for products to be inspected on both sides, and different standards of product inspection are among other barriers, he said.

Simon Yeh, the CEO of, a free online store in Taiwan, told CNA on the sidelines of the forum that although companies were able to connect with each other quickly, the governments were slow in opening up.

He cited the signing of an agreement last year by his company with Alipay, an online payment platform in China, as an example of such cooperation between companies.

"The difficult part is the relaxing of government regulations on both sides. That is what is slow," he said.

For example, he said, even products that had received Taiwan's Certified Agriculture Standards (CAS) label sometimes are not allowed to enter China because they have not been certified there. Many 3C and cosmetic products also required certification on both sides.

For the two sides to cooperate better, Yeh said, Taiwan would have to accept credit cards issued in China and vice versa. Yeh's online store allows Chinese consumers to purchase products in Taiwan.

Ko also said the flow of money and goods is a major problem awaiting resolution between Taiwan and China.

"China has become a very important partner for us," said Ko, citing statistics that showed China accounting for 41.2 percent of all overseas sales of e-commerce companies in Taiwan last year.

Because of the many restrictions, Ko said, the best mode of cooperation right now is for Taiwanese e-commerce companies to team up with their Chinese counterparts while entering the Chinese market, as it could help Taiwanese companies avoid the many restrictions they would otherwise have to face.

Meanwhile, Xu Min, deputy director of the Circulation Industry Promotion Center under China's Ministry of Commerce, said the innovation and high-quality services of Taiwanese companies could serve as models for Chinese companies, which were seeking to modernize themselves.

(By Christie Chen)