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China's online retail sector set to surpass US'

China's online retail sector set to surpass US'

Updated: 2012-04-13 07:37

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

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Higher number of Internet users likely to propel fast expansion, report predicts

China is likely to surpass the United States as the world's biggest online retail market around 2015, as the nation's online retail sales will triple to more than $360 billion that year, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group.

The growing number of Internet users, combined with an increasing consumer acceptance of e-commerce, is driving the online sales surge, the report said.

China is forecast to have 700 million Internet users in 2015, nearly 200 million more than now, and twice the online population of Japan and the US combined.

The Internet has fast become a mass medium in China. Over the past few years, people in rural areas have got access to the Internet. The Internet "was going down to smaller cities, villages and counties in China", said Christoph Nettesheim, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the report.

China's overall Internet penetration rate will exceed 50 percent by 2015, compared with 38 percent in 2011.

The country already has more online shoppers (193 million) than any other market, including the US (170 million).

Between 2009 and 2011, the share of Internet users who shop online rose from 28 percent to 36 percent. The share of online shoppers will likely reach 47 percent by 2015. Close to 10 percent of retail sales will occur online, the report said.

China's online retail sector set to surpass US' 

Workers packing goods at an online shop in Yiwu city, Zhejiang province. Zhang Jiancheng / For China Daily

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