As government hurried to counter rumors stemming from a newly implemented tax policy on overseas purchases over the weekend, analysts called on authorities to focus on an upgrade in quality instead of tax adjustments if they want to drive China ’ s domestic consumption.
China ’ s Ministry of Finance ( MOF ) on Sunday denied rumors that the government is imposing taxes on every individual item purchased overseas. The ministry stressed that the country will only collect taxes on personal overseas purchases worth more than 5,000 yuan ( $774 ) .
中国财政部（MOF）星期日否认政府对每一项海外购入商品征税的谣言。该部门强调，只有当个人海外购买总额超过 5000 元人民币（774 美元）时才会收税。
The rumors, which have been circulating on the Chinese Internet over the weekend with pictures showing beauty products scattered on airport floors and luggage being inspected, surfaced after a new tax policy on cross-border e-commerce was implemented on Friday.
在星期五 " 跨境电子商务 " 新税收政策实施后，这一谣言周末就在中国互联网上流传，有的图片显示化妆品在机场散落一地，旅客行李接受检查。
The new policy, which raises the tax on low-end overseas merchandise, such as food, baby products and home appliances, while lowering the tax on premium items such as cosmetics, was aimed at putting domestic and foreign products on an equal footing. But analysts said the country should instead improve the quality of domestic products.
As a growing Chinese middle-class travels abroad more frequently, overseas purchases surge. A research note published by the World Travel & Tourism Council shows that Chinese overseas spending has grown by 53 percent to $215 billion in 2015 compared to the previous year, contributing heavily to the growth in global international tourism and travel spending.
随着中国日益增长的中产阶级出国旅游更频繁，海外购物量激增。据世界旅行和旅游理事会公布的一项研究报告显示，2015 年中国的海外消费相比去年增长了 53%，达到 2150 亿美元，这对全球国际旅游和旅游消费的增长有很大的影响。
"The lack of premium domestic brands and the nations ’ concerns over food quality are the main reasons for domestic consumer preference for overseas shopping," Guo Shaofen, chief economic analyst at the China International Electronic Commerce Center, told the Global Times Sunday.
" 国内缺少高端品牌，国民对食品质量的忧虑是国内消费者更倾向于海外购物的主要原因。" 中国国际电子商务中心首席经济分析师郭少芬周日告诉《环球时报》。
Boosting domestic consumption relies on domestic industry upgrades and enhanced product quality, she said.
Chinese demand for cross-border goods has not only benefited e-commerce marketplace operators but also spurred the development of daigou, or overseas retail agents, and illegal gray-market imports, which has greatly hit traditional offline retailing.
Analysts said that the new policy would increase daigou ’ s costs and stem illegal imports.
Cross-border e-commerce retailers and daigou can raise prices to cope with increased costs, but this will make them less popular among consumers and they may get squeezed out of the market.
On Sunday, the official Weibo account of the national customs authorities ’ consumer services also posted a statement saying that besides the 5,000 yuan tax-free limit, individuals can also buy another 3,000 yuan worth of tax-free overseas goods at duty-free shops at domestic airports for personal use, which "is enough for the individual."
星期日，国家海关局消费者服务部门的官方微博帐户也发表声明说，除了 5000 元免税限额，个人还可以在在国内机场的免税商店购买 3000 元的为个人使用的商品，这 " 对于个人来说是足够的。"
Still, it seems insufficient for some consumers like a Shanghai resident surnamed Yuan.
"The 5,000 yuan quota, which was set years ago, is no longer practical and should be increased," Yuan told the Global Times Sunday.
"5000 元的配额是多年前定的，现在已经不实际了，应该有所增加，" 袁先生星期日告诉《环球时报》。