28.07.10 03:39 Age: 8 yrs
New Regulations Target Internet Fraud
On July 1 the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce released new regulations that seek to reduce online fraud by requiring more information from merchants when registering internet commerce businesses. Now, personal information including real names, contact numbers, and addresses will be required before an individual can open an online store. The government hopes that preventing anonymous sites will increase accountability and reduce fraud.
Though most Internet users surveyed in online polls supported the new measures, there was some concern that the new regulations will increase costs for merchants, who will in turn pass them on to consumers. Because the licensing and registration will require new fees, merchants’ costs will almost surely go up, at least marginally. However, most users were most distressed not about the fraud regulations, but worried instead that the new regulations foreshadow the eventual taxation of all online transactions. Levying taxes on all online transactions would surely raise both merchants’ costs and consumers’ prices for online goods, though experts believe that any taxation would be at a lower rate than the rate of taxation for offline transactions.
Edward Lehman, managing director of Lehman, Lee & Xu, pointed out that “the new regulations contain no mention of taxation, and any worries about the future taxation of online goods are premature.” He went on to add that “the current measures to reduce fraud are more valuable than any nominal increase in prices because [the regulations] will almost surely reduce fraud, thereby increasing consumer confidence in the safety of shopping online.”