E-commerce development in China – additional information
China's e-commerce industry has enjoyed above-average growth in the last few years. In 2013, gross merchandise volume on online shopping had amounted to about 1.8 trillion yuan. Chinese online shoppers are expected to spend about 4.5 trillion yuan on internet markets by 2017. According to the CNNIC, the number of online shoppers in China had surpassed the 300-million-mark in 2013.
An important target group of China's booming e-commerce sector is the mobile user segment. As of June 2013, China ranked first in mobile commerce penetration. Only 6 percent of German internet users had made a purchase on mobile devices in 2013, compared to China's 18 percent. For many Chinese consumers, smartphones have begun to replace computers. In order to keep up with consumer demands, many of the major Chinese online shopping stores have developed their own mobile apps. The market volume of mobile e-commerce in China had reached around 233 billion yuan in 2013, a 141 percent surge from 2012.
Another factor rapidly utilized by the Chinese e-commerce industry is social media presence. Chinese consumers rely heavily on friends and peer groups for shopping information. Therefore social media has gained a lot of relevance for e-commerce endeavors. As one of the most popular social media platforms in China, Weibo has a significant impact in that respect. As of 2014, around one fifth of Weibo users had been shopping online via Weibo.