China’s e-commerce kept a rapid growth with the market scale expanding and the number of consumers online growing rapidly during the first half of 2014. According to the initial estimates of research institutions, the trade volume of China’s e-commerce in the first half year reached 5.66 trillion yuan, up 30.1% year on year. Online retail market reached 1.1 trillion yuan, up 33.4% year on year, and up 7.9% compared with that of the second half year of 2013, accounting for 8.4% of the total retail sales of consumer goods of the first half year. Driven by new technology and model innovation, e-commerce has penetrated into all sectors of national economy through various channels, and become an important social and economic pattern and way of circulation, playing an increasingly important role to the national economy and social development.
New characteristics emerge in e-commerce during first half year
Firstly, the development of e-commerce and traditional industries were integrated. Traditional retailers sped up their transformation to the internet, and O2O (online and offline combined) extended from online group purchase to various sectors including home furnishing, catering and cultural leisure, with amounts of industrial clusters getting on the internet, forming an “online industrial belt”. Qingdao Redcollar Group conducted the O2O e-commerce featured by customization, realizing bilateral interaction online and offline. E-commerce platforms like Alibaba gathered numerous online industrial belts like Guangzhou clothing, Quanzhou tea, Wenzhou leather shoes, and Zhuji pearl and socks.
Secondly, industrial tycoons went listing, and China’s e-commerce stepped into a new development stage. With the accelerating of industrial integration, the listing of Jingdong and Alibaba deeply affected the industrial development pattern. In the B2C market, Tmall took up 51.3% of the market share, Jingdong 23.6%, and Suning 5.2%. After listing, with market value amounting to US$ 36.05 billion, Jingdong has become China’s third largest listed internet company after Tencent and Baidu.
Thirdly, mobile online shopping entered into a thoroughfare of rapid development, broadening growth space of online shopping. According to statistics, in the first quarter of 2014, transaction scale of China’s mobile shopping market reached 64.19 billion yuan, up 140.8% year on year. It is estimated that the second quarter will still witness a growth of 130%. On June 18, when Jingdong celebrated its anniversary, orders from mobile clients accounted for about a quarter of the total orders. Through smart terminals, mobile clients provided richer data resources, with which enterprises could conduct a more precise “market forecast and marketing”.
Fourthly, internet finance enjoyed a rapid growth, with features of the internet reflected in the industrial pattern. In 2013, payment organizations settled 15.338 billion internet payments, valued 9.22 trillion yuan, up 56.1% and 48.6% year on year respectively. By the end of 2013, the number of active debit and credit platforms in the country had surpassed 350, with accumulated trade exceeding 60 billion yuan.
Various measures taken to promote development
As a new way of modern circulation, e-commerce has become an important content and key link of business work. Active efforts have been made in improving its development environment and promoting its application by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
Firstly, efforts were made to build exemplary pilots to lead innovation and development. MOFCOM worked with eight departments including the National Development and Reform Commission to develop exemplary cities for e-commerce, with the second batch of 30 such cities chosen this year. The ministry also guided the exemplary cities on innovation application pilots in key regions and special areas. In addition, the ministry promoted the establishment of 34 e-commerce exemplary bases and guided them on innovating modes of public service and building and improving public information service platforms.
Secondly, key areas were highlighted and e-commerce application was strengthened. E-commerce application in farm products circulation and in rural areas was promoted. National public service platforms of business information on farm products were improved, large circulation enterprises were encouraged to enter into wholesale markets of farm products and supermarkets. E-commerce businesses were urged to get involved in information-based upgrading of rural circulation networks and building of rural logistics service system. Enterprises were encouraged to expand international market by the use of e-commerce. Measures were taken to do research on solving problems relating to the mechanism that constrain the development of cross-border e-commerce, support development of industrial and comprehensive foreign trade e-commerce platforms, And encourage e-commerce businesses to go global and expand cross-border e-commerce chains.
Thirdly, efforts were made to accelerate the building of e-commerce logistics system. MOFCOM worked with the State Post Bureau to choose some typical cities to carry out collaborative development pilot of e-commerce and logistics, advance management system innovation, strengthen urban logistics infrastructure construction, improve relevant policies and standards on distribution traffic management, raise the quality of employees and enhance the solving of problems concerning “the last 100 meters” along with the distribution of e-commerce commodities.
Fourthly, the building of e-commerce credit statistics system was strengthened. E-commerce statistical monitoring system was improved. In February 2014, the national e-commerce information management and analysis system opened. It has served as a comprehensive platform with five functions of statistics, monitoring, credit, business management and services, covering both central and local governments. China E-Commerce Report 2013 and China Online Market Assessment Report 2013 were compiled and released. E-commerce credit system construction was promoted. Researches on the standards of e-commerce credit evaluation indicators and credit archives were conducted to establish uniform credit evaluation and reward and punishment rules. Researches were carried out to build an e-commerce credit database so as to set open, transparent and dynamic business credit records. Efforts were also made to promote inter-department information sharing and collaborative supervision mechanism to form an e-commerce credit system involving various parties, led by governments with uniform standards.