7 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 1 (2007-2008)

handle is hein.journals/jointpro7 and id is 1 raw text is: ´╗┐Copyright C 2007, Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property

CHINA'S NEW ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE
LAW AND CERTIFICATION AUTHORITY
REGULATIONS: A CATALYST FOR
DRAMATIC FUTURE GROWTH OF E-COMMERCE
Stephen E. Blythe*
China's E-Commerce: Getting Ready for a Boom
Estimates put China's population at approximately 1.3 billion people.' Yet only 1.03
million of them2 -less than eight percent of the population3 -have access to the internet. This
will soon change. The dizzying annual growth rate of the economy4 has begun to create a new
middle class in China. Recent reports indicate an 8.6 percent rise in real disposable income
among urban households.5 That middle class is expected to grow to 170 million households by
2010.6 By the end of this decade, the number of people wired to the internet in China will exceed
that of the United States,7 and China will become the world's largest online market.
In 2005, China's electronic commerce (e-commerce) business is expected to approach
$620 billion.9 In the 2006-2007 year, eBay expects online sales to China to grow at an
astounding rate of sixty-one percent per year.10 It is going to be a boom. The market is huge, and
* Professor of Law and Accounting, School of Management, New York Institute of Technology, CERT Technology
Park, P.O. Box 5464, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ph.D. Candidate (Law), The University of Hong Kong;
Ph.D. (Business Administration), University of Arkansas, 1979; J.D. cum laude, Texas Southern University, 1986;
LL.M. (Int'l Bus. Law) University of Houston, 1992; LL.M. (Info. Tech. Law) with distinction, University of
Strathclyde (Scotland), 2005. Attorney at Law, Texas and Oklahoma; C.P.A., Texas.
CIA, CHINA, THE WORLD FACT BOOK, (last visited Oct. 25, 2005), https://www.cia.gov/cia/ publications/
factbook/geos/ch.html.
2 CHINA INTERNET NETWORK INFORMATION CENTER, 16 1HSTATISTICAL SURVEY REPORT ON THE INTERNET
DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA (July, 2005), at 5, available at http://www.cnnic.org.cn/download/2005/2005072601.pdf
Another source recently estimated that a lesser number of people-only 87 million--currently have internet access
in China. See, Karen Lowry Miller, Asia Bound, NEWSWEEK, Oct. 18, 2005, available at http://www.msnbc.msn.com
/id/6199775/site/newsweek/print/1/displaymod.
3 103,000,000 / 1,306,313,812 = 7.88 %.
4 Dragon Venture: All About China Business Newsletter (April 2005), available at http://www.dragonventure. com/
En/2005-04/newsletter index.shtml.
Id.
6 Door Martyn Williams, EBay Lauds China's E-Commerce Potential, WEBWEREL, Feb. 11, 2005,
http://www.webwereld.nl /articles/30637.
Id.
8 Tim Richardson, China Set for Ecommerce Boom, THE REGISTER, Jan. 17, 2005, http://theregister.co.uk /2005/
01/17/china ecommerce/print.html. In 2006, China experienced its greatest annual increase in the number of
internet users to date, an increase of 23.4% over 2005. See Internet usage in China hits record high, CNET NEWS.
COM, Jan. 23, 2007, http://news.com.com/2102-1032 3-6152408.html?tag=st.util.print.
9APEC: E-Commerce Business Alliance, Alibaba Acquires Yahoo China, Aug. 17, 2005, http://www.apec-ecba.org/
english/info/Article.jsp?a no=189&col no 10&dir-200508&siteid-english. Currently, there are 20 million online
sellers in China. See APEC: E-Commerce Business Alliance, China Boasts of 20 Million E-commerce Dealers, Aug.
17, 2005, http://www.apec-ecba.org/english/info/Article.jsp?a no=301&col no=9&dir-200509&siteid=english.
10 Miller, supra note 2, at 1. The Chairwoman of the China E-Commerce Association, Ms. Song Ling, was only
slightly less sanguine in her forecast. Speaking in April at the 8th Annual E-Commerce Conference in Beijing, she

7 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. I

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