Thu, Jan 22, 2015 - Page 14 News List

E-commerce booms in China as trade hits US$2 trillion

AFP, BEIJING

China’s e-commerce boomed last year, with transactions reaching about 13 trillion yuan (US$2.09 trillion), the Chinese government said yesterday, as Beijing looks online for new drivers of growth.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not define transactions, beyond saying that the term included both business-to-business and retail transactions.

Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang (沈丹陽) said in a statement that the transactions were up 25 percent year-on-year.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that online retail sales alone were at 2.8 trillion yuan last year, up 49.7 percent.

China has the world’s biggest online population — 632 million last year — and online shopping has exploded in recent years as consumers turned to the Internet for cheaper products and overseas goods that are believed to be safer than domestic options, such as baby formula.

Authorities have said they hope e-commerce will become a new “engine” for growth in the world’s second-largest economy, where growth decelerated last year to 7.4 percent — the lowest in nearly a quarter of a century.

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