China's Want Daily reports the government's State Administration of Taxation is studying an online sales tax and plans to impose one before 2015. Alibaba's (Pending:BABA) Tmall site (focused on sales from larger businesses) and JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) would reportedly be among the first sites affected.
A JD.com exec says e-commerce companies are expecting a sales tax to be implemented on a large scale. A seller on Alibaba's Taobao site notes many smaller merchants (Taobao's specialty) haven't registered their businesses, something that could make tax collection difficult.
With Chinese online retail sales having totaled an estimated $305.8B in 2013 (per iResearch), e-commerce has grown to account for a sizable chunk of China's economy. Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) and Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS) are two other names that stand to be affected by an online sales tax.