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France To Drug Dealers: We're Taxing You Too



PARIS - It seems France's love affair with taxing its citizens has reached a new high: the French Treasury sought full income tax payments from a 37-year-old convicted drug dealer for the sum he'd earned selling cannabis.

According to Le Monde, two weeks before Farid, a former drug-dealer, got out of prison in December 2012 after serving 20 months, he was asked to immediately pay 23,933 euros in taxes and another 15,227 in social security to the French state. These amounts were calculated on the basis of the 60,700 euros in cash they found when he was arrested.

After he'd served his sentence, Farid had found a job as a waiter in a rehabilitation company, earning minimum wage, and was granted a repayment schedule. He paid 50 euros per month, but was not able to reimburse another part of the debt, which then increased to 43,131 euros.

On August 9, the International Prisons Observatory stepped in and claimed the tax authorities' demands were "astronomical" and were likely to hinder the man's rehabilitation into society, according to Le Monde.

In France, a financial law was passed in 2009 stating people participating in profitable criminal traffic could be taxed. In July, a French association working on the state of prisons and justice in the country sent a letter to the government saying such actions implied that drug dealing was considered a "normal job."

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A UK cannabis disposal team in action - Photo: West Midlands Police

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Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGO — TikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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