E-commerce is one of the sectors selected for Outcome 2 of the UK-China Business Environment Programme Standards Strand: improvement in the quality of standards submitted to international standards-setting bodies.

Standards for transactional assurance can help to eliminate a lack of trust related to products and services associated and offered through online platforms. Eliminating the trust gap will boost the growth of the e-commerce sector, creating more jobs and contributing to safer e-commerce platforms.

By opening up new avenues for traders, e-commerce has a high potential to stimulate business activities which leads to opportunities for employment and hence poverty reduction, an activity which will positively contribute to gender equality and social inclusion:

  • Approximately 50% of online store owners in China are female, accounting for the same percentage of sales
  • Physical barriers to selling products can be reduced by online platforms (for example, 316 000 disabled sellers are active on Taobao with an estimated total trade volume of 1 billion GBP per annum)

The programme will lead to an enhancement in cross-border e-commerce trade between China and the UK. Chinese suppliers are becoming a significant part of the online service offering leading to closer links between Chinese and UK businesses.

Process for joint development of proposals for international adoption

  • Establish a joint working group to identify areas of common ground and agree on areas for collaboration
  • Technical expert exchanges to develop content and plan for the introduction of new work item proposals
  • Post ballot assessments and follow up actions including lessons learned
  • Communications strategy to promote awareness on the importance of international standards