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Cross-border e-commerce imports surge 42.5% amid epidemic

Updated:2020-03-06 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The import volume of cross-border e-commerce in Ningbo Bonded Area soars 42.5 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2020 despite the NCP epidemic. [Photo/cnnb.com.cn]

The import volume of cross-border e-commerce in Ningbo Bonded Area soared 42.5 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2020 despite the NCP epidemic, official data show.

Imports via cross-border e-commerce platforms accounted for 80.6 percent of the city's total over the two-month period.

The fast growth is primarily due to the sharp rise in demand for epidemic prevention materials after the outbreak and the opening of cross-border e-commerce platforms during the Spring Festival holiday, which have managed to meet the daily needs of residents, said a head official at Ningbo Bonded Area.

To date, e-commerce enterprises in the area have purchased 5.2698 million masks, 548,000 sets of medical protective suits and 13,420 infrared thermometers from overseas to support medics on the frontline of the anti-virus battle.

Meanwhile, more customers are opting to shop online following the close of brick-and-mortar stores due to the epidemic, a staffer from Koala.com said, adding that high quality cross-border goods with large varieties are becoming increasingly favored by consumers.

In addition, the availability during the Spring Festival and contactless delivery services have improved the shopping experience for consumers and fueled the growth of imported good sales from January to February, he explained.

Customs statistics in the bonded area show that since the outbreak of the epidemic, the sales volume of daily necessities via cross-border e-commerce have increased significantly, especially antibacterial detergent, food, and maternal and child products.

Local government efforts to bolster foreign trade companies also contributed partly to the increase in imports.

Local custom authorities have allocated a fund of 64.855 million yuan ($9.39 million) to help alleviate financial problems for foreign enterprises and rolled out a string of measures to improve clearance facilitation.

To date, all cross-border e-commerce enterprises have resumed operation in the bonded area.

Cao Xundong, deputy general manager of Ningxing Youbei International Trade Co Ltd, revealed that the company imported 500-million-yuan worth of commodities from January to February this year. He forecasted further growth in the coming days, as more employees return to work.

The head official at Ningbo Bonded Area said that cross-border online consumption demand will further growth after the outbreak with the upgrading of the domestic consumer market.

He advised that cross-border e-commerce enterprises should further expand import channels, diversify their commodity offerings, improve logistics and distribution methods, and enhance operation and management efficiency.