China remains the world’s leader in online retail sales. Chinese C2C and B2C E-Commerce accounts for nearly 50% of global online retail, with the USA in a distant second place. Moreover, with growing consumption and urbanization, online retail sales in China are projected to continue to grow at double-digit rates through 2021, allowing the country to capture an even larger share of global E-Commerce. These impressive results are driven not only by the world’s highest online shopper numbers and M-Commerce penetration rates but also by the unique mobile payment and shopping solutions.
The share of M-Commerce sales in China is expected to reach approximately three-quarters of global mobile sales over the next few years. Almost all Internet users in China use smartphone to assess the Internet and more than half of them use it to purchase goods and services online. These shares are projected to maintain strong growth, driven by the development of mobile payments methods and shopping apps. Mobile apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay are increasingly used for making payments both in physical and online stores. Alipay had the largest share among third-party payment services in terms of GMV in China as of last year, although its competitors are also growing, the main one being Tencent’s WeChat Pay.
A unique trend in Chinese E-Commerce is the multi-purpose app WeChat. Soon after its release as a messenger by Tencent in 2011, it became the most popular mobile app by monthly active users. Besides its communication and payment functions, the app offers online booking and shopping services. The online shopping GMV of WeChat, excluding services, is projected to reach nearly three times higher value in 2019 in comparison to 2015. Moreover, WeChat influences online shopping behavior by providing information about brands and products. Nearly one-third of WeChat users decide to buy more than they planned after receiving information about products from friends or brands’ official accounts on WeChat.
Find out more about China’s B2C E-Commerce growth in our report “China B2C E-Commerce Market 2018”