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China's consumption market in solid expansion with emerging trends

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-12-22 16:13
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A saleswoman promotes stuffed toys via livestreaming at an international trading center in Baigou New Township, Baoding city of North China's Hebei province, on Feb 2, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- Even as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe, China's consumption market, the second largest in the world by 2020, continued its vibrant expansion this year with more new trends.

Official data shows that China's total retail sales of consumer goods rose 13.7 percent year on year to 39.96 trillion yuan ($6.25 trillion) in the first 11 months of 2021. The country is expected to be the world's largest goods consumption market during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

On the solid path to top the world, the Chinese consumption market is witnessing new opportunities created by emerging trends related to product upgrade, new selling channels and the detailed division of consumer groups.


The significant raising of Chinese consumers' living standards has been accompanied by the emergence of development-oriented consumption in place of the necessity-based pattern. As a result, life services have quickly made their way into people's shopping bags.

During this year's Singles' Day shopping spree, the consumption of vaccine and oral health services increased by 20 times and 12 times, respectively, data from e-commerce giant shows. New services such as pet health management and home organizing were also welcomed by consumers.

From tourism to professional training, from handicrafts and baking classes to car maintenance, China's service consumption continues to expand its territory both online and offline.

Service consumption accounts for over 45 percent of China's consumption, said Chi Fulin, head of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development, expecting the country to become the world's largest new market for service consumption.


China's online retail sales market had been the world's largest for eight consecutive years by 2020. As the contactless economy boomed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's advantage in e-commerce was further consolidated, with online services such as remote education and healthcare easier to access and new channels of selling becoming more significant.

As a typical example of innovation in sales, livestreaming e-commerce, which enables sellers to showcase their goods more authentically and thoroughly, had attracted 617 million users by May 2021.

The size of the market is expected to near 2 trillion yuan this year, according to a report from a Ministry of Commerce research institute. It is expected to top 4.9 trillion yuan by 2023, data from Market research company iResearch shows.


In the traditional market of goods sales, enterprises are racing to win customers with products of higher quality, at a lower cost and with more added value, with "guochao," or domestic brands and products, as a good example.

The zeal of Chinese consumers has been extended from products by time-honored brands to domestic brands in various fields, including mobile phones, automobiles and cosmetics, supported by technological innovations and a mounting sense of identity with the Chinese culture.

Industry data shows that the popularity of "guochao" surged 528 percent in the past decade, while the consumption of domestic goods soared 32.6 percent year on year in the first four months of 2021. During this year's Singles' Day shopping carnival, the sales of Chinese brands accounted for 70 percent of the total.

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