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Full Text: Premier Li Keqiang Meets the Press(2)

2015-03-17 09:42 gov.cn Web Editor: Gu Liping

Beijing News: Mr. Premier, on many occasions, you have expressed your strong support for new forms of business, like e-commerce and express delivery service. So I'm very curious. Have you ever shopped online? And, what did you buy? Some people are worried that online shopping will adversely affect physical stores. What is your view about this?

Li Keqiang: I suppose that each and every one of you here has had experience of shopping online. And I'm no exception. Yes, I have bought things on the Internet. Actually, I bought a few books recently. As for what books, I don't think it will be a good idea for me to spell them out here. No advertisement. Having said that, I would be happy to advertise for those new forms of business like online shopping, express delivery services and e-commerce, because these new forms of business give a strong boost to employment and consumption. And people seem to get quite excited when they shop online.

I am aware of the worry that online shopping will adversely affect physical stores. It was only natural to have such worry at the beginning. But I recall a field trip that I paid to a local village in China. It's a village home to about 800 families who have opened some 2,000 shops on the Internet. One can well imagine how vast the space for business entrepreneurship there is. And after that I went to a close-by place where there's a large number of physical stores. And I asked one of the shop-owners that if he was concerned about any adverse effect from online shopping. The owner showed me that he has also opened an online shop and even uploaded a video of his physical shop online to show that the store is real and competitive. Such sound interaction between online and offline has only boosted the vitality of market.

To borrow a popular idea on the Internet that everyone stands a chance to fly when there is a favorable wind blowing from behind, I believe with the tailwinds generated by our "Internet+" strategy, we will be able to get the Chinese economy off to a higher level.

Today, March 15th, is the day for protecting the rights and interests of consumers. I hope all stores, be it online or offline, will do honest business, put quality of products before everything else and protect the rights and interests of all consumers.

Bloomberg News: You once said that the government needs to show utmost determination in reforming itself and this process could be a quite painful one. As the Chinese economy comes under increased downward pressure, do you still have as firm determination as before to carry out this reform, and will the Chinese economy continue to slide? Is more pain to come in the future?

Li Keqiang: You asked about the pain caused by the government's self-imposed reform to streamline administration and delegate powers. Let me tell you that the pain is still there. Actually the pain is becoming more acute and is being felt in more places. This is a reform targeted at the government itself. As the government sheds its own powers, vested interests will be upset. This is not nail-clipping, but taking knife to one's own flesh. But however painful it may be, we are determined to keep going until our job is done.

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