Introduction and definitions

This survey forms part of a study for DG AGRI of the European Commission on EU agri-food exports via e-commerce to China. The study will aim to provide information on existing and potential market opportunities for EU agri-food businesses to export agri-food products via e-commerce to China. It is expected that the study findings will ultimately be made available to EU stakeholders to assist with this aim.

The study covers all relevant agri-food products – i.e. both those which use the channel at present, and those that do not currently use the channel but may have the potential to do so. Against this background, it is important we obtain input relating both to sectors/operators who do not export via e-commerce to China as well as those who do.

This survey is intended for EU Member State chambers of commerce, trade promotion agencies, competent authorities, and embassies. A separate survey for business operators and their representatives can be found here We would be most grateful if you can encourage agri-food operators and industry organisations from your Member State to complete the other survey (even if they do not export to China through e-commerce at present). The full link for this is

Key definitions
It is important to note that the study focuses on EU agri-food products being exported by EU producers to China specifically through e-commerce. This is called cross-border e-commerce (CBEC). There are three main ways for this trade flow to take place:

B2C: the sale of agri-food products by EU operators directly to Chinese consumers through e-commerce channels. The EU operator maintains control over the whole process (though e.g. third party platforms and shipping services may be engaged).
B2B2C: the sale of agri-food products by EU operators to Chinese consumers through e-commerce channels based on an agreed co-operation with one or more business intermediaries specifically for selling through this channel. For example, products are ordered online by a Chinese consumer from the EU operator’s e-commerce shop, but are shipped by a China based intermediary who keeps stock in a local warehouse and arranges delivery.
B2B: businesses in China buy EU agri-food products through e-commerce platforms directly from EU businesses. All the main phases of this B2B transaction (e.g. negotiation (if any), signing/commitment, payment, shipping etc.) must take place through the same digital platform.

Please note that in all three models of cross border e-commerce, the EU business is directly involved in the e-commerce sales process to some extent. The case that a product is incidentally sold through e-commerce without the direct involvement of the EU business to any extent is not the focus of this study. Furthermore, products exported through traditional channels are not the focus of this study.

Practical information

The survey should take between 15 and 25 minutes to complete, depending upon your profile.

While the survey can be completed in multiple sessions using the same computer, we recommend that the survey be completed in one session to ensure safe finalization. Please only select “Done” once you have answered all questions to your satisfaction.

Please try to answer the survey to the best of your ability as this will greatly assist with the quality of findings for the study. In the case that information is not available, it is possible to skip some questions.

While the survey is only available in English, any written answers can be provided in any EU language as long as they are clear.

We would appreciate it if replies can be provided before 19th May 2021; though replies till the end of May will also be accepted.

In the case of any questions on the survey, or if you require a pdf version of your submitted answer, kindly email: