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Business trends

Over 70 nations agree to hammer out global rules for e-commerce

China joins effort led by the US, EU and Japan despite opposing free data flow

China is home to leading e-commerce companies like Alibaba, whose advertisement for its Tmall is seen here in Beijing. It likely aims to participate in the effort to create favorable rules for itself despite its restrictions on data flows over its borders.   © Reuters

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Over 70 countries and regions -- including the U.S., the European Union and Japan -- have agreed to create international e-commerce rules to govern the flow of data across borders, but differences with China will likely weigh down talks.

"We confirm our intention to commence World Trade Organization negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce," ministers from 76 WTO members said in a joint statement Friday after their closed-door meeting here.

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