According to the new directives, China is targeting e-commerce to make up more than 10 percent the country's imports and exports. It wants the same proportion of the consumer retail market to be purchased online.
"E-commerce can reach the majority of consumers much faster than offline retail. It's also a capital efficient way of growing consumption, and fast. With those two things together I can understand why it's a priority," said Jeff Walters, China-based partner at Boston Consulting Group.
The new directives will support firms such as market leader Alibaba , which is preparing for an initial public offering that could value the firm at more than $100 billion. Alibaba's Tmall platform holds more than half of the online business-to-consumer retail market. It's eBay-like sister site, Taobao, also dominates China's consumer-to-consumer sales.
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Officials from Alibaba were not immediately available to comment on the new rules.
The guidelines are also another incentive for the country's bricks-and-mortar retailers to move online. China's largest electronics seller, Suning Commerce Group, is setting up an online-to-offline model to keep pace.
China will help online and offline retailers organize promotions and events to encourage consumers to shop online as well as helping traditional offline retails establish a digital presence, according to the directive.
The country's e-commerce firms will also be encouraged to establish operations overseas to boost cross-border online trade, while authorities will look to improve cross-border logistics, payment and regulatory systems.
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The new directive will also support e-commerce for small and medium-sized firms, improve key logistics systems in tough-to-reach regions, set up local funds to support online business and help cultivate talented personnel in online business.
"There's a lot of headroom for e-commerce to be growing, with an enormous population that hasn't even turned to online shopping yet. There's a lot of upside," said Walters.