In the first half of 2010, internet sales in China rose 60% year-over-year, according to the China e-Businesss Research Center. Online transactions, including business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer sales, totaled $331 billion in the first half of 2010.
However, the sector is still underdeveloped, particularly when it comes to transaction security and credit-card use, which is still not common, although the largest player, Alibaba Group's consumer shopping platform Taobao, avoids the credit card issue with its own payment system, Alipay.
The consulting group's 2011 Outlook for the Retail & Consumer Products Sector in Asia report says bricks-and-mortar retailing is also growing fast. It expects retail sales in China to grow 14% or more next year, thanks to growing incomes and government stimulus programs.
As a result, hypermarket expansion is sweeping Asia, led by China. Global retailers like Carrefour, Wal-Mart, Tesco and The Gap are expected to expand aggressively in China, which recently overtook Japan as the world's second-largest retail market after the U.S.
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