China eases e-retail ownership rules

BEIJING — China will now allow some fully foreign-owned e-retailers to operate in the country effective immediately, Reuters has reported. The new regulations apply to “online data handling and trade handling services,” according to a statement from the People’s Republic’s industry and information technology ministry. E-retail is a booming industry in China, as the emerging middle class has more disposable income. Retailers like Amazon and Walmart, which owns a stake in online merchant Yihaodian, are players in the Chinese market. The ministry’s statement said the move “supports our country’s e-commerce development, encourages and brings in the active participation of foreign investment, and further excites market competition.”