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China to study direct selling in US as hopes of end to ban rise – report.
(c) 2004, AFX Asia. All rights reserved. SHANGHAI (AFX-ASIA) – A Chinese government group is expected in the US soon to study how direct selling operates there as hopes grow for an end to the six-year old ban on the practice in the 指导essay mainland, the China Daily reported. The newspaper said in line with China’s commitments under the World Trade Organization, rules governing direct selling are being drafted by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. A MOFCOM official was quoted as confirming the government trip, but saying that no schedule has been decided on yet. The government trip comes as officials from Amway, Avon, Mary Kay and Nu Skin are lobbying for Beijing to allow the practice again in China. Richard Holwill, vice-president of public policy at Alticor Inc, the parent company of Amway, was quoted as saying that the group will help develop some mutually beneficial regulations. A consensus paper put together by members of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations will be submitted to the government, the report said. "We are in the process now of getting the paper to where all the companies agree with what is there. The primary document went out, and the other companies are now commenting," Holwill was quoted as saying. "The Chinese Government encouraged us to provide them with the first paper in advance so they could review it before they left for the United States." China banned direct sales in 1998, saying it was hard to differentiate the practice from pyramid schemes. The report said that Deng Zhan, deputy director-general of MOFCOM’s Foreign Investment Administration, told a US-China Business Dialogue conference on Monday that the draft rules will strictly differentiate direct selling from pyramid selling schemes. "Illegal pyramid selling will face a serious crackdown and, meanwhile, legitimate direct selling companies from home and abroad will receive encouragement and support from the Chinese Government," he was quoted as saying. 指导essay But the unnamed MOFCOM official said the government remains worried about the practice, and will insist in the draft rules that direct selling companies open fixed locations. Leslie R Roberts, director of international government relations from Mary Kay Inc, was quoted as saying that the companies can accept the requirement if the government does not ask for a large number of fixed locations. "We can understand the concerns of the Chinese Government and we will have strong self-regulation to protect consumers," she said. #p#分页标题#e#Following the 1998 ban, companies were forced to change their business models and sell goods directly through retail outlets. The global direct selling business is valued at 85.58 bln usd and involves more than 47 mln指导essay sales people.