China: Chinese SMEs – Government Support And e-Commerce

Last Updated: 13 October 2015
Article by Samuel Speed

This short notes reports some of the information presented at the 2015 China Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Summit1 held on October 10 and 11 in Guangzhou.

Government Support for SMEs

China is committed to SME development and transformation. In particular, and based on the Summit presentations, China is looking to rapidly transform itself from a manufacturing economy focused on products to a consumer driven economy. The industrial strategy presented also emphasized embracing technological change at every stage of business operations.

Support for growing a vibrant SME ecosystem was transmitted by the speeches of Deputy Director General of the central government's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Guobin XIN (辛国斌)2, and Vice-Governor of Guangdong, Zhigeng LIU (刘志庚)3. In China, public speeches on policy made by central government officials and provincial politicians signals serious administrative and budgetary commitment to a project.

Vice-Governor LIU emphasized the importance of SME's to Guangdong's economy (the wealthiest province in China). For example, 80% of the new jobs in Guangdong will be created by SMEs, not by large multinational corporations or Chinese State Owned Enterprises.

Other points in Vice-Governor LIU's speech help to form a picture of the importance of SME transformation to Guangdong. The government projects that SMEs will develop 65% of the patents, develop 75% of the new technology and manufacture 80% of the products in Guangdong.

Government support for SMEs will be provided in four ways: 1) supporting innovation by lowering the barriers to entry, 2) technical upgrading of existing SMEs through increased support for online platforms, smart-manufacturing and demonstration workshops, 3) accelerating the development of finance platforms for SMEs along with the creation of innovative financial products, and 4) upgrading of government services to SMEs. Concrete examples of each were not provided.

That being stated, unlike the past where policy announcements did not always have corresponding budgetary support (for example, it has taken over a decade to achieve the school funding targets set in the 1990's), budgeting issues have improved in China. As important as economic transformation is to the Chinese economy, it is likely this support will materialize in some way. 

Another strong signal of government support was the official program guide for the Summit. It includes an appendix with full text versions, not just citations, of key government policies relating to SMEs, Micro-enterprises,e-Commerce development and manufacturing transformation. These included State Council4, Ministerial5 and Guangdong provincial5 opinions. This is meant to further emphasize the government's commitment to Chinese SMEs. A particular focus of these opinions was e-Commerce.


One of the speakers was the Zipei TU (涂子沛), a vice-president of the Alibaba Group. As one might expect, his remarks centered on how the future of SMEs belonged to connectivity and the exploitation of data. And this seemed to be a theme taken up by most of the participants.

While most businesses in the United States that seek to stay relevant have an online presence, Mr. TU brought up the fact that only about 10% of Chinese companies had gone online in any meaningful way. In a country as large as China the potential for growth is obvious. But it should also be noted that while some speakers mentioned exports or overseas issues, the primary focus of each was developing pathways to serving Chinese consumers.

Other presenters provided insights about how Chinese companies are using their own platforms as well as others to provide value added services particular to China. Developing platforms that allow C2C and C2M were particularly popular. One idea that struck me as more and more important in China is transparency in product production.

An example of this is developing greater transparency around food production. As I've written elsewhere, China has food security issues as to quantity but also as to quality. Transparency in the process of food production isn't new but it will have a large audience in China. Developing online platforms to accommodate the dissemination of food production information is certainly possible. If the proposed revisions of the Food Safety Law are passed then this information will have to be maintained by every business in the production chain. Disseminating that information to consumers, however, would be a value-added way to increase customer loyalty.


China has developed a strategy to move from an export based economy to one more focused on Chinese consumers. To the extent the government can achieve this goal will depend on many factors. However, for those companies looking for opportunities to help Chinese SMEs develop their e-Commerce presence, many opportunities exist. Doing so effectively will require a greater understanding of the available government support and existing players.


1. The Summit (中国中小企业高峰论坛)was held as part of the12th China International SME Fair (第十二届中国国际中小企业博览会)。



4.国务院关于扶持小型微型企业健康发展的意见, 国发【2014】52号;国务院办公厅关于发展众创空间推进大众创新创业的指导意见, 国办发【2015】9号;国务院关于大力推进大众创业万众创新若干政策措施的意见,国发【2015】32号;国务院关于积极推进"互联网+"行动的指导意见, 国发【2015】40号;;。

5.工业和信息化部关于开展2015年扶助小微企业专项行动的通知, 工信部企业【2015】50号

6.广东省人民政府关于印发《广东省智能制造发展规划(2015-2025年)》的通知, 粤府【2015】70号;广东省人民政府关于创新完善中小微企业投融自机制的若干意见,粤府【2015】66号

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Samuel Speed
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.