China Internet Tax: Issues of Particularism, Liberalization, and Integration

Posted: 2 Feb 2004

See all articles by M. Ulric Killion

M. Ulric Killion

Shanghai International Studies University


The aftermath of China's accession to the WTO engenders a prophecy from a Western perspective of liberalization in international trade and integration into a global economy. The issue of implementing an Internet tax addresses these very concerns. China has yet to announce a policy-specific initiative on this sector-specific item of telecommunications. Admittedly, China has laws dealing with various aspects of cross-border trade and issues of Internet use, but the laws in place do not implement an Internet tax on cross-border electronic commerce.

On the vanguard, as the world approaches a global economy, are new issues of global interlegality. A problem for China in formulating Internet tax policy is that it must do so in consideration of international, foreign, national, and local interests. The consideration of these often-conflicting interests involves engendering an understanding of the institutional dynamics of a post-WTO China, amidst legal reforms and economic development. A genuine consideration of the issue of adopting a policy on Internet tax warrants understanding of the affect of institutional change in polity, socio-economic, and legal institutions, and even the impact of China's ontological base in tradition or Confucianism. The aftermath of China's policy initiative, or benign neglect, also, arguably, resolves into a question of what affect will an Internet taxation policy have on trade liberalization in cross-border e-commerce, integration into a global economy, and even perhaps multilateralism.

Keywords: China, Internet, Tax, Internet Tax, VAT, Value-added Tax, Particularism, Liberalization, Multilateralism, WTO, Integration, e-commerce, e-commerce tax, cross-border, cross-border trade, trade, cross-border e-commerce, electronic commerce, telecommunications

JEL Classification: K33, K34, K29

Suggested Citation

Killion, M. Ulric, China Internet Tax: Issues of Particularism, Liberalization, and Integration. Available at SSRN:

M. Ulric Killion (Contact Author)

Shanghai International Studies University ( email )

620 Gubei Road

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