, China

China retains lead as global e-commerce leader: report

The country accounted for over 37% of the global e-commerce market.

China has retained its lead as the world’s largest e-commerce market as the industry is expected to grow 10.4% to $2.3t (CNY14.5t) in 2022 amidst an increasing preference for consumers to shop online, according to a report from GlobalData.

The report stated that the e-commerce sales in China grew at a compound annual growth rate of 13.3% between 2018 and 2021 to reach $2.1t (CNY13.1t) in 2021.

China accounted for over 37% share in the global e-commerce market, in terms of payments value in 2021. The country was followed by the US with $1.5t, while the UK stood at a distant third with $292.1b in 2021.

The global e-commerce landscape is not expected to change in 2022 with China set to retain its top position in the global market.

Ravi Sharma, banking and payments lead analyst at GlobalData, said the market was supported by “rising internet and smartphone penetration, increasing consumer confidence in online shopping, the emergence of e-commerce platforms, and the availability of popular alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the e-commerce activities in China, as wary consumers are increasingly using online channels for purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that continues beyond pandemic,” Sharma said.

The growth in the e-commerce market is also supported by the improving e-commerce activities in rural areas, GlobalData said. According to the China’s Ministry of Commerce, online retail sales in rural village communities increased by 35.3% year-on-year in Q1 2021.

Online shopping events such as Singles’ Day also contribute considerably to the overall online sales, the report noted. Chinese e-commerce giants including Alibaba and JD.com collectively registered a massive sale of $139b during Singles’ Day event in 2021, registering a jump of 8% and 28%, respectively, over the previous year.

“The Chinese e-commerce market will continue to grow supported by the rise in consumer preference for online shopping, improved payment infrastructure, and proliferation of payment tools,” Sharma added.


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