China's Ministry of Commerce has formally released the provisional "Guide for Online Transactions", the first of its kind in China.

The guide requires that online transaction service providers be a legal entity operating in China. They must provide standard online transaction services; build and perfect their user registration system; maintain online transaction rules; and disclose all rules and information to users. In addition, they should keep various records and data related to the online trades conducted via their platforms.

The guide also says that each party involved in a transaction shall have their real information known to the other party. This information includes business license information, physical address, name, and telephone number.

The guide further stipulates criteria to follow in conducting escrow services. It suggests that the transaction parties keep a record of their transactions, regardless of whether they choose to make the payment online or offline, to aid future troubleshooting if problems arise.



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