According to statistics and numbers, China is one of the biggest e-commerce markets in the world, as a massive boom has been registered in recent years. Big online retailers have profits of billions of dollars on a yearly basis, so the attraction of having an online shop is pretty clear for international investors in China. If you would like to start a business in China, we recommend you talk to one of our company formation agents in China and find out how they can help.
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How do I open an online store in China?
First of all, one must choose a name and verify its validity with the local authorities. Second, the business structure needs to be selected, and in most cases, the Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise can be the ideal solution and that because it addresses international investors. Below are a few important steps to consider for opening a WFOE in China:
- CNY 30,000 is the minimum share capital for a WFOE in China – a local bank account is needed;
- the activities, the owners, the general rules must be comprised of the Articles of Association of the company;
- just like any other business, the online shop must be registered for tax purposes;
- special licenses and permits might be needed for retail activities.
The online shop must have a merchant account to allow future customers to make the payments online, no matter the currency involved. One of our company formation specialists in China can give proper support for those interested in starting a company in China, including an online shop. The process of company registration in China is not that complex, but it is best to hire the services of specialists to handle the formalities implicated.
What licenses do I need for an online shop in China?
An online store in China needs an Internet Content Provider License or the ICP and a transportation license for the goods sold on the internet. Because the number of online shops grows at a fast pace, the needed approvals might take a while, however, the Ministry of Commerce has the final decisions for online businesses. If you would like to skip this time-consuming process, we recommend you talk to one of our consultants.
Registering the trademark for your online shop in China
It is important to register the trademark before the online shop starts the activities. This is another significant step in a business formation in China, so you might want to pay attention to the requirements involved. For example, a trademark must be unique, must be formed of letters, numbers, or signs as long as they are not offensive. A verification of your trademark needs to be made in order to avoid any potential infringements. It is good to know that trademarks in China are valid for 10 years, the owners having the possibility of renewing it for the next 10 years. Brief information about how to register a trademark in China can be offered by one of our company formation representatives in China, so feel free to address your inquiries.
Choosing online payment platforms
An important step in opening an online store in China is to choose the online payment platform available in the country. Make sure you offer complete facilities for both desktop and mobile users and allow them to pay in complete safety on the internet. PayPal, TenPay or AliPay are the most used payment platforms in China, so you might want to direct your attention to these well-known online tools. Also, it is important to offer the chance of paying in different currencies in complete safety.
The e-commerce sector in China
The type of customer on the internet has been discovered for many years and allowed top sellers in China to focus more on consumer needs. According to a recent survey in China, more than 75% of the people interviewed recognized that they shop online every week. The mobile online shopping developed quite fast in past decades, so attention to this type of consumer is extremely important for e-commerce retailers. Below you can find interesting facts and information about the e-commerce sector in China:
- There are more than 750 million internet users in China;
- 51% of the total online shopping is made on a mobile phone;
- The online retail transactions in 2018 reached around USD 1.33 trillion in China;
- More than 630 million online buyers are expected in 2020 in China;
- More than 50% of global online transactions come from China.
Foreign entrepreneurs in China who are interested in establishing an online shop in China can get in touch with one of our company formation agents and ask for complete support and assistance.