China needs to step up its e-commerce regulatory oversight as online shopping sites rarely file taxes, said the head of retail chain store group Bubugao.
A bjnews.com.cn report Tuesday cited Wang Tian, president of Bubugao Group, also known as Better-Life Commercial Chain Share, said "not giving receipts and not filing taxes" has been a secret rule for online shopping sites. Citing an unnamed report, Wang said online shops only give receipts for 30 percent of their sales which means that 70 percent of sales is not charged taxes or service charges.
According to Wang, who is a representative at the National People's Congress which has just kicked off, online shopping platforms have evaded taxes of more than 100 billion yuan (US$15.9 billion) in taxes in 2012. He added just online shops hosted on Alibaba's platform alone have evaded 35 billion yuan (US$5.6 billion) in taxes.
Wang said the lax regulation for e-commerce was unfair to physical retail stores. He said physical stores needed to pay a higher amount in rent, labor and training fees, and utilities. He recommended that China immediately set up regulations for taxing e-commerce players.
In China, e-commerce is widely popular due to consumer demand and Internet access outpacing the prescence of phsyical retail stores. Last November, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said it building a regulatory system and implementing a data management framework to collate and monitor all online transactions.