The government has issued an order that shipments from Chinese e-commerce platforms like Alibaba can’t be shipped to India as gifts from now on. The government ordered a clampdown in order to check for goods allegedly sent to India under the guise of gifts. The move by customs department is expected to tighten the noose on e-commerce platforms that often exploit the loopholes existing in laws and regulations. Officials point out the clampdown will also have an impact on illegal food products and spurious cosmetics being smuggled into India.
The development comes, as per the report, after the authorities received complaints that several Chinese online platforms, including Shein, Club Factory and AliExpress, were avoiding duties by sending goods as ‘gifts’ to customers giving them unfair advantage against the competitors. The Chinese manufacturers exploit Indian law that exempts NRIs from paying duties on gifts worth as high as Rs 5000 that they sent to relatives. This brings the prices of such goods down and gives them an unfair advantage over sellers on domestic and e-commerce marketplace.
Chinese e-commerce sites have been steadily rising in India. Products on these sites are at least 50-60% cheaper than on Indian e-commerce sites. The move will give a fillip to domestic sellers facing competition from Chinese e-tailers.
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