Tax rises could hit Chinese cross-border e-commerce

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Proposed European Union changes to VAT and customs legislation for low-cost items could stop consumers buying from China, according to the IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey 2019.

Respondents were asked what they would do if online purchases from China increased by €10 (US$11) per item. They were asked in anticipation of changes to VAT and customs, and possible higher postal delivery costs for future Chinese purchases.

Of the respondents, 36% said they would stop buying from China altogether, 41% would reduce purchases and 13% would not change their activity.

The most popular e-tailer for cross-border purchases was Amazon at 25%, followed by Alibaba at 20%, eBay at 14% and Wish at 11%. The majority of cross-border parcels weighed less than 2kg and 44% were worth less than €25.

Based on the 41 markets surveyed, Amazon was most popular in Luxembourg, Austria, Japan and Canada. Alibaba/AliExpress was the top choice in Russia, Turkey and Lithuania. eBay came out on top in Australia, Cyprus and the UK, while Wish was most popular in Hungary, Brazil and Sweden.

The 2019 IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey reached 35,700 consumers in 41 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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