SHANGHAI: Chinese online shoppers will see their consumer rights enhanced and be able to take advantage of discounts of up to 30% once Shanghai's first official e-commerce website is launched soon.
A new Buyeasy platform, which is currently undergoing trials, will be operated by Shanghai Buyeasy International Trade Co as part of the city's Pilot Free Trade Zone, China Daily reported.
It will launch officially once it has received regulatory approval from the General Administration of Customs, which requires all brands selling on Buyeasy to have branches in China, so they can provide after-sales service, and to have all their products recorded at the customs office.
Buyeasy will host six categories of products – accessories, baby products, bags, clothes, cosmetics and digital goods – which Buyeasy director Du Ying said would come with guarantees of authenticity as well as reduced costs for consumers.
He said: "Apart from the obvious and convenient services provided, we also guarantee after-sales services to customers, which differentiates us from competitors."
With luxury overseas brands, such as Calvin Klein and Burberry, expected to be sold on the website, analysts agreed that its official status will help to protect consumers' rights and also drive out rogue online shopping agents.
"Such agents are actually illegal," said Zhou Ting, director of the Fortune Character Research Center.
"Their only attractiveness, which is lower prices, does not equate with quality and authenticity, which matter way more," he added.
He expected many of them will be forced out of business by official e-commerce websites and bricks-and-mortar shops over the long-term.
Mo Daiqing, senior analyst at the China e-Business Research Center, agreed the development will help to improve the online market.
"Online overseas shopping agents have grown rapidly in the past few years," she said. "But the problem is the market is not that regulated. Customers face quite a large number of risks in terms of prices and authenticity."
Data sourced from China Daily; additional content by Warc staff