China continues to lead global e-commerce market

The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the e-commerce activities in China

China’s e-commerce market, the world’s largest, is expected to register a strong growth of 10.4 per cent in 2022, as consumers are increasingly shifting from offline to online. The market is expected to grow by 10.4 per cent in 2022 to reach CNY14.5 trillion ($US2.3 trillion), forecasts GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics, e-commerce sales in China grew at a compound annual growth rate of 13.3 per cent between 2018 and 2021 to reach $US13.1 trillion ($US2.1 trillion) in 2021.

China accounted for over 37 per cent share in the global e-commerce market, in terms of payments value in 2021. The country was followed by the US with $US1.5 trillion, while the UK stood at a distant third with $US292.1 billion in 2021. The global e-commerce landscape is unlikely to change in 2022 with China expected to retain its top position.

Ravi Sharma, Banking and Payments Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The Chinese e-commerce market evolved rapidly during the last five years, supported by the rising internet and smartphone penetration, increasing consumer confidence in online shopping, the emergence of e-commerce platforms, and the availability of popular alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the e-commerce activities in China, as wary consumers are increasingly using online channel for purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that continues beyond pandemic.”

The growth in the e-commerce market is also supported by the improving e-commerce activities in rural areas. According to the China’s Ministry of Commerce, online retail sales in rural village communities increased by 35.3 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2021.

Online shopping events such as Singles’ Day (or Double 11) also contribute considerably to the overall online sales. Chinese e-commerce giants including Alibaba and collectively registered a massive sale of $US139 billion during Singles’ Day event in 2021, registering a jump of 8 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively, over the previous year.

Sharma concludes: “The Chinese e-commerce market will continue to grow supported by the rise in consumer preference for online shopping, improved payment infrastructure, and proliferation of payment tools. The e-commerce market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 8.7 per cent between 2022 and 2026 to reach CNY20.2 trillion ($US3.2 trillion) in 2026.”



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