The Chinese Ministry of Commerce recently promulgated the Notice
on Relevant Issues concerning the Examination, Approval and
Administration of Projects of Foreign Investment in Internet and
Vending Machine Sales ("Notice").
The Notice defines internet sales as the online extension of the
enterprise's sales and allows duly approved and registered
foreign- invested production and commercial enterprises to engage
directly in online sales.
The Measures for the Administration of Foreign Investment in the
Commercial Sector and other related laws and regulations serve as
the basis for the approval of the establishment of specialised
online sales enterprises by provincial-level commerce authorities.
Special approval requirements may apply to online sales of certain
products. For instance, selling pharmaceuticals online requires a
pharmaceutical trade license from the State Food and Drug
Administration, and selling books, newspapers and periodicals
requires approval from the administrative department of publication
under the State Council.
Providing network services to other parties through the
enterprise's own network platform requires a value-added
telecommunication business license. The foreign-invested enterprise
must display its business license and other business operation
approval certificates, if applicable, on its website.
Approval of provincial-level commerce authorities is required
for establishing a foreign-invested enterprise engaged in selling
goods by vending machine, or for an established enterprise that
wants to add vending machine sales.
Foreign-invested enterprises engaged in internet and vending
machine sales must abide by the Law on the Protection of
Consumers' Rights and Interests, the Product Quality Law and
other relevant laws and regulations.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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