Three key issues to be reconsidered in e-commerce legislation

Three key issues to be reconsidered in e-commerce legislation

Author: Deputy Director of Digital Economics Research Institute, Chu Yin

In June 29th, the three draft of the draft electronic commerce law was solicited to the public. In general, the three reviewers responded to some of the realistic opinions of first and second instance, but in general there are still many problems, especially on some key issues.

In recent years, China's electronic commerce has developed rapidly and is now experiencing a new round of iterations. The "Internet +" tide has pushed electronic commerce into the era of digital economy. How to set up an e-commerce law that can keep up with the times is the challenge we face now. Therefore, we must reconsider three key issues in the legislation of electronic commerce.

First, e-commerce legislation should focus more on foresight on legislation.

It needs to be noted that the format of e-commerce itself has undergone dramatic changes at the moment, to clarify what the current "e-commerce" is.

In 1999, China entered the first year of e-commerce. In the past 20 years, e-commerce has been extended from the typical online transaction mode to the entity management mode under the line. Today's so-called entity economy and electronic commerce have become a new economic form intertwined. Perhaps today, our most typical e-commerce or online shopping, but in the future, the change of people's shopping mode, and even the concept of life mode, inevitably make the connotation of e-commerce is constantly enriched, extension and expansion.

The traditional B2B, B2C, have expanded C2B and C2C in the past 20 years, and there has been O2O mode connection between online and offline. If the legislative thinking of electronic commerce is still in the format of "typical" online product trading, it will inevitably cause the disconnection between the electronic commerce legislation and the existing mode of electronic commerce, and the concern of "an ecommerce law is out of date".

E-commerce law should be the "leading law" of the digital economy. Since it is the basic law, it is necessary to have a more basic legislative idea. In the legislative concept and legislation technology, the forward-looking thinking and the high understanding and definition of "electronic commerce" with the high degree of digital economy. This is precisely for the development of e-commerce industry to have enough space to give full play to the industry's innovation ability, and ultimately promote the development of the industry.

Second, e-commerce legislation should balance "promotion" and "supervision".

In the past 20 years, in the state of the long-term absence of electronic commerce legislation, the self regulating role of the e-business market has constructed a variety of market norms in the flourishing development of the market, and a series of problems have appeared in the process. But it is undeniable that China's e-commerce is flourishing under a relatively loose legal regulation, and some self-regulated mechanisms in the developing industry have also played an objective role, and some of them have also been written in the draft of electronic commerce law.

We note that the purpose of e-business legislation is to encourage the state to develop new e-commerce formats, innovate business models, promote the development and application of e-commerce technology, promote the construction of e-commerce integrity system, create a market environment conducive to the innovation and development of electronic commerce, and give full play to the promotion of e-commerce. The important role of high quality development and building an open economy.

It is a pity that e-commerce legislation has not yet broken out of the "regulatory" thinking under the absence of special legislative norms in the past. The thinking paradigm that analogizes e-commerce to the traditional business model still exists, and does not fully promote the promotion of industry development. The legal responsibility of the platform does not achieve breakthroughs and expansion under the existing legal framework, such as contract law, consumer rights protection law, anti unfair competition law, tort liability law and other legal framework, and does not reflect the responsibility of the specialized authorities in addition to the supervision responsibility on the related issues.

If we can not build a scientific and reasonable responsibility system on the chain of problems highlighted by the current e-commerce, and let the supply chain and the government participate in the framework of the responsibility of electronic commerce, and share the audit, supervision and service obligations of the existing e-commerce platform, it will probably lead to the e-commerce platform. The heavy legal liability is overburdened, but on the contrary, it restricts the development of the industry.

If the "regulation" and "promotion" are out of balance in the law, the purpose of the electronic commerce law "encouraging the development of e-commerce" can not be realized.

Third, we should evaluate the legislative effect of the e-commerce law in the context of global competition.

In recent years, e-commerce has become the highlight of global economic growth, and China is leading the trend of global electricity supplier development. E-commerce has not only become the new driving force of supply side reform, but also brings about 40000000 of employment opportunities.

In the Internet field, the United States and the European Union have established a series of legal systems, but the legislative effect is quite different. The United States has released the innovative vitality of the enterprise by legislation, and American companies such as Amazon, Google and other American enterprises have ushered in rapid development opportunities, expanding rapidly around the world, and maintaining innovative capabilities. The EU has brought "handcuffs" to the Internet through legislation, so the EU has not produced influential Internet Co by now. Network services are basically monopolized by American companies.

China's Internet industry has a "backwardness advantage". Therefore, in the field of legislation for electronic commerce and digital economy, we should make full use of international experience and make China's e-business law a law that promotes the development of the digital economy, promotes the promotion of consumption, and is beneficial to the growth of the domestic industry and has extensive international influence.

When China formulated the network security law in 2016, all kinds of international chambers of Commerce responded positively and deeply, representing their advantageous industries or companies for their interests. But today, the development of electricity supplier law, countries are looking at the concept, this attitude itself is worth pondering. Our legislators should be vigilant to legislate for legislation and restrict their own hands and feet, but have lost the frontier advantages of China's e-commerce industry in the past loose policy environment.

About 20 years ago, China held a 72 hour network survival test. Human life was just an uneasy island in front of the network, and the door of electronic commerce was finally knocked out in the face of hardship and hunger. And 20 years later, this year, we have been able to use a smart phone to connect with everything in life. It's more convenient to open a consumer window than in the past to open a wallet in a trouser pocket. The digital economy has been as ubiquitous as air. It is hoped that the e-commerce law can effectively boost the development of e-commerce in China, so that more ordinary people can enjoy the dividends brought by the digital economy.

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