A woman looks at UC browser's mascots at the China Internet Conference 2010 in Beijing. [Liu Zhe / For China Daily]
BEIJING - China's e-commerce industry is expected to see rapid growth in the next few years, with the average annual growth rate surpassing 35 percent, a top government official said on Tuesday.
Qian Xiaoqian, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, said online shopping is become more and more popular in the nation as more people have started using the service.
"E-commerce sales volumes surged to 3.6 trillion yuan ($530 billion) last year," said Qian. He said the Internet industry is also changing from an entertainment-oriented approach to a more balanced structure offering diversified services.
China e-Business Research Center said in a recent report that the nation's e-commerce sales volume surged by 60 percent in the first half of the year to 2.25 trillion yuan. Business-to-business (B2B) transactions accounted for 2.05 trillion yuan, while business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales volume was around 200 billion yuan.
"China's B2B market will continue to witness rapid growth in the next few years along with the nation's economic growth and rising e-commerce penetration," said the report, adding that online shopping was one of the few markets that was largely unaffected by the economic crisis.
There were 20,700 e-business websites in China as of June this year and more companies have started setting up online stores to cut costs and improve efficiency. The number of e-commerce websites is expected to reach 23,000 by the end of the year. More users are expected to use mobile e-commerce as it will gain ground soon, said the report.
Mobile e-commerce sales of real objects, like electronics, daily necessities and clothes, reached 1.3 billion yuan in the first half, and had nearly 55.3 million users.
With more third-generation networks expanding, and more and more mobile devices being made available to people, the mobile Internet will boom and create more business opportunities, said Qian.
The number of Internet users in China reached 420 million by June, while the number of online shoppers was around 130 million.