Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Michael Keane
Chapter 28: The e-commerce revolution: ensuring trust and consumer rights in China
On 5 March 2015, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang unveiled China’s ambitious Internet1 Plan, a strategy ostensibly designed to lift the Chinese economy to a new level in the wake of deteriorating returns in traditional industries and a slowing of GDP growth. As previous chapters in this volume have shown, China’s digital transformation comes with a number of caveats. In the cultural and creative industries there are obviously great gains to be made by utilizing big data to gain a better appreciation of audience consumer demands. Cloud computing likewise has the potential to contribute to facilitating work processes and collaborative forms of production, for instance in film, animation and video gaming. The changes in the cultural and creative industries are therefore part of a broader economic development agenda that encompasses modern logistics, financial services and e-commerce. Building the new engine for economic growth through the application of Internet1 does, however, require government intervention to ensure a fairer playing field for China’s new entrepreneurs, the ‘e-tailers’. At the same time there is a need to allow the virtual marketplace to take its own course, a point often made by business interests.
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