March sees official launch of Shanghai VAT refund scheme

Global Blue and Bank of China held an official signing ceremony to mark the launch of Shanghai’s VAT refund service and the nationwide refund service for Chinese shoppers returning from overseas. The ceremony was attended by government officials and participating Shanghai retailers.

Since November 2016, Global Blue has been working with Bank of China to implement Shanghai’s first VAT refund scheme, enabling foreign travellers in the region to save 9% on purchases made within mainland China. Under the instruction of Shanghai municipal, the scheme delivers several key elements:

  • Support for merchants and delivery of training sessions to over 250 Tax Free Shopping stores
  • Management of marketing activities inside and outside China to increase traveller awareness
  • Commercial activities for the scheme among Shanghai department stores, luxury brands and high street merchants

Held at the Parkview Hotel, the scheme’s ceremony was attended by Mr. Liu Min (Deputy General Manager of Wealth Management and Private Banking Department of Bank of China) and Jacques Stern (Global Blue CEO). Also in attendance were Mr. Xu Wenjie (Deputy Director of the Shanghai Commerce Department), along with merchants including WOO, Reel Department Store, Value Retail Group and Shoubai Culture, signed the Service Agreement.

During the ceremony, both parties formally agreed to collaborate in promoting Shanghai’s Tax Free Shopping scheme to local merchants and encouraging local retailers to sign up to the scheme. Since the launch of the scheme, 259 stores have been signed up in Shanghai, with around 400 new merchants expected to be affiliated by end of 2017.

Both organisations also signed a nationwide refund agency agreement, confirming that Global Blue has been named by Bank of China as a banking refund partner for Chinese shoppers returning from overseas. Bank of China will operate refund counters at 10 branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and is expected to approach more Chinese cities in the future.