Cross-border e-commerce refers to an international business activity in which transaction entities belonging to different customs borders complete transactions, conduct payment and settlement through e-commerce platforms, and deliver goods and complete transactions through cross-border logistics. It can be divided into B2B models, B2C mode, C2C mode. In recent years, my country’s cross-border e-commerce industry has continued to develop and the market scale has continued to expand. In 2018, my country’s cross-border e-commerce retail import and export transactions exceeded 100 billion RMB. In 2019, China’s cross-border e-commerce retail import and export volume reached 186.21 billion RMB, five times that of 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 49.5%.
With the increase of cross-border e-commerce comprehensive test areas, the scale of the cross-border e-commerce market will further expand, and the import and export transaction volume is expected to reach 280 billion RMB in 2020.
From the perspective of the import and export structure of cross-border e-commerce, exports still dominate in my country’s cross-border e-commerce. However, in recent years, the proportion of exports has been slowly declining, and imports have been increasing. Overall, in my country’s cross-border e-commerce import and export structure, exports account for nearly 80%, while imports only exceed 20%.
Export cross-border e-commerce analysis
Affected by many factors such as favorable policy support and improvement of the trade market environment in 2019, China’s cross-border export e-commerce continued to expand. According to data, the scale of China’s export cross-border e-commerce transactions in 2019 exceeded 8 trillion RMB. It is predicted that the scale of my country’s export cross-border e-commerce transactions will be nearly 10 trillion RMB by 2020.
Development prospects of cross-border e-commerce industry
(1) The cross-border e-commerce market is growing rapidly
Under the general trend of economic globalization and the rapid development of e-commerce, the demand for cross-border online shopping in the global market is constantly released. With emerging digital technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence, they are widely used in cross-border trade services, production, and logistics. And the payment link will greatly improve the efficiency of the cross-border e-commerce industry, and the domestic cross-border e-commerce industry is expected to usher in new development opportunities. In 2020, the volume of import and export transactions is expected to reach 280 billion RMB, and by 2025 it may reach 488 billion RMB.
(2) Policy support continues to increase
In line with the development momentum of cross-border e-commerce, the state’s support for cross-border e-commerce has also been increasing. Since 2009, various ministries and relevant levels have successively issued some policies, covering various aspects such as supervision, transactions, payment and settlement, and taxation, actively guiding the standardized development of cross-border e-commerce. The General Administration of Customs launched the customs clearance platform in early July 2015. Later, Circulars 56 and 57 were introduced, and the “9610” regulatory code specifically for cross-border e-commerce was added, which opened the curtain of standardized management of cross-border e-commerce.
At the State Council executive meeting held on April 7, 2020, a series of measures such as the establishment of a comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot zone, support for processing trade, and online hosting of the Canton Fair were launched. The meeting decided to establish 46 new cross-border e-commerce comprehensive test areas on the basis of the 59 cross-border e-commerce comprehensive test areas. On the whole, China’s cross-border e-commerce industry is in an upward channel favored by the “policy spring breeze”, and it has already ushered in the best period of opportunity for industry development. In the future, the state and local governments will continue to introduce favorable policies to support and regulate the development of the cross-border e-commerce industry.
(3) The “pain points” of cross-border e-commerce will become business opportunities
The “pain points” in the early stage of cross-border e-commerce development can be summarized as the following links: payment, logistics, customs declaration, commodity inspection and after-sales. The cross-border e-commerce industry chain mainly includes the following three categories: e-commerce platforms, third-party asset-light supporting service providers (supply chain services), and asset-heavy logistics companies. Third-party light asset supporting service providers exist to solve these pain points. In the future, with the continuous expansion and development of the cross-border e-commerce market, companies that provide payment, logistics, customs declaration, commodity inspection, and after-sales services will become more and more professional, becoming a new growth point for the cross-border e-commerce industry.