China is set to retain its dominant position in the global e-commerce landscape. Bolstered by a remarkable 9.9% growth, the Chinese e-commerce market is anticipated to surge to 15.2 trillion Chinese Yuan (an equivalent of 2.2 trillion US dollars) in 2023, driven by the ongoing shift of consumer preferences from offline to online shopping according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData. E-commerce sales in China grew at a CAGR of 11.2% between 2018 and 2022 to reach a value of CNY 13.8 trillion ($2.0 trillion) in 2022 with China accounting for 33.9% share in the global e-commerce market in terms of payments value in 2022. The US came a close second with $1.8 trillion in sales while the UK stood at a distant third with $287.4 billion in the same year. The global e-commerce landscape is unlikely to change and China is expected to retain its pole position this year as well. Additionally, e-commerce in China is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% between 2023 and 2027 to reach CNY23.5 trillion ($3.4 trillion) in 2027.
What’s driven this growth? Well, the Chinese e-commerce market has evolved rapidly over the last 5 years and this has been driven by the adoption of smartphones, increased internet penetration in the country, a growth in the number of online shoppers as well as the availability of payment alternatives like Alipay and WeChat Pay. Additionally, an increase in e-commerce activities in rural China has also driven this growth in the sector. China’s Ministry of Commerce reports that online retail sales in rural China increased by 12.5% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
Another big emerging trend, livestream shopping, which allows customers to view and buy products via online video streams hosted on e-commerce platforms, has taken off and is doing big numbers on platforms such as WeChat which allows users to make purchases without moving to a different platform.