Business / Industries

Ministry: online sales lead retail sector

By He Wei (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-29 09:00

New data show that online retail is now a driving force of consumption, which is considered a major contributor to China's economic growth.

According to figures released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics, online consumption totaled 81.5 billion yuan ($13 billion) in the period from January to March, which was up 51.7 percent from the same quarter in 2013.

The rate outpaced that of the total retail sales of consumer goods, which amounted to 6.2 trillion yuan and recorded a moderate 12 percent year-on-year growth.

The 5,000 key retailers examined by the Ministry of Commerce reported online sales surged 35.2 percent in March, up 15.2 percentage points from the previous two months.

Information and technology-backed consumption has enjoyed rapid growth thanks to the proliferation of smart devices and information technology infrastructure. For instance, sales of 3G and 4G mobile phones rose 27 percent in the first quarter from a year ago.

In the first five months of 2013, fixed asset investment in IT amounted to 82.7 billion yuan, with input from the Internet and telecom companies rising by 63.5 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The ministry has identified household broadband access, online shopping, mobile payments and the micro media as major areas of growth in information consumption.

China overtook the United States to become the world's largest e-commerce market in 2013, according to estimates from China E-commerce Research Center.

Transaction volume via online platforms hit 1.88 trillion yuan last year, up 42.8 percent from the year before.

Ministry: online sales lead retail sector

Ministry: online sales lead retail sector

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