One Sentence Overview
In 2015, over 40% of the total worldwide E-commerce spend came from China.
• Population: 1.379 billion
0-14 years: 17.1%
15-24 years: 13.3%
25-54 years: 48.4%
55-64 years: 10.9%
65 years and over: 10.4%
• Urban population: 56%
• Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $11.3 trillion
• Average household income: $11,000 (72,321 yuan)
• Average age: 37.3 years
• Languages: Mandarin Chinese (99%)
By 2018, E-commerce sales in China are projected to reach $1.6 trillion, accounting for approximately 29% of retail sales within the country. The number of digital buyers reached 468 million in 2015 and continues to increase, with the total number of digital buyers projected to surpass 556 million by 2018.
Chinese shoppers love cross border shopping and they favor Western products, largely due to product quality, authenticity and availability.
With $333 bn in sales in 2015, online shopping via mobile devices is booming in China. This meant an 85% increase from 2014.
Online wallets (31%) are the top payment method of choice for Chinese shoppers, followed by debit cards (26%). Credit cards in general are not overly common in China.
Major Shopping Days
A massive digital shopping day celebrating the singles in China is “Single’s Day”, on the 11th of November. It is the largest online shopping day in the world with a revenue of $14.3 bn spent in 2015 and over $17.8 bn in 2016.
The Lunar New Year (part of the Spring Festival) in 2016 was also a large shopping holiday, with over two billion products ordered off the sites of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba within a five day period.
Notable E-Commerce Characteristic
Giant, Diverse Economy – China easily surpasses every other nation with the strength and size of its digital economy. Though the country is extremely populous, on the eastern side of the country resides a substantial majority of the population, leaving the western part significantly more rural. This creates an interesting economic split between east and west, and it will be fascinating to see how e-commerce develops into the rest of the country over the next decade.