China’s e-commerce market, the world’s largest, is expected to register a strong growth of 10.4% in 2022, as consumers are increasingly shifting from offline to online.

The market is expected to grow by 10.4% in 2022 to reach CNY14.5 trillion ($2.3 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% between 2018 and 2021 to reach CNY13.1 trillion ($2.1 trillion) in 2021.

China accounted for over 37% share in the global e-commerce market, in terms of payments value in 2021. The country was followed by the US with $1.5 trillion, while the UK stood at a distant third with $292.1 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% 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 JD.com collectively registered a massive sale of $139 billion during Singles’ Day event in 2021, registering a jump of 8% and 28%, 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% between 2022 and 2026 to reach CNY20.2 trillion (US$3.2 trillion) in 2026.”

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