Electronic Commerce in ASEAN
COVID-19, which was declared a global pandemic since March 2020 had not only accelerated the adoption of digital solutions, but also created lifestyle changes including consumer-spending habits.
As third-waves and fourth-waves of the COVID-19 pandemic continue in many countries in 2021, lockdowns have forced consumers to continue to remain indoors. Research papers and data have shown that since 2020, there had been an unprecedented growth of electronic commerce (“E-commerce”).
From a seller’s perspective, COVID-19 has similarly given new impetus for first-time sellers to shift to online channels to maintain their businesses and expand their reach to consumers.
The growth of E-commerce during the pandemic, builds upon its previous expansion in ASEAN as one of the fastest growing sectors pre-pandemic, spearheaded by large players such as Lazada, Shopee and Tokopedia. In some of the ASEAN jurisdictions with existing E-commerce laws and regulations, policymakers and governments may have refined those laws further, whereas others are now catching up with putting new E-commerce laws and policies in place.
This publication addresses the current legal and regulatory framework for E-commerce in each of the ASEAN countries including a discussion on (i) governing legislation; (ii) regulatory authority; (iii) licensing and market entry requirements; (iv) payment solutions and consumer centric matters concerning (v) product liability; (vi) data protection and (vii) consumer protection.