China is set to retain its dominant position in the global e-Commerce landscape. Bolstered by a remarkable 9.9% growth, the Chinese e-commerce market is anticipated to surge to CNY 15.2trn ($2.2trn) in 2023, driven by the ongoing shift of consumer preferences from offline to online shopping, forecasts GlobalData, publishers of EPI.

According to GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics, e-commerce sales in China grew at a CAGR of 11.2% between 2018 and 2022 to reach a value of CNY13.8trn ($2.0trn) in 2022.

China accounted for 33.9% share in the global e-commerce market in terms of payments value in 2022. China was followed by the US with $1.8trn while the UK stood at a distant third with $ 287.4bn in 2022. The global e-commerce landscape is unlikely to change in 2023 with China expected to retain its position at the top.

Alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay accelerate e-commerce growth

Ravi Sharma, Lead Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The Chinese e-commerce market evolved rapidly during the last five years, supported by the rapid adoption of smartphones, growing internet penetration, increasing number of online shoppers, and the availability of alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.”

Sharma added: “The Covid-19 pandemic further accelerated e-commerce activities in China, as wary consumers are increasingly using online channels for purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that is set to continue.”

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 areas increased by 12.5% during the first half 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

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Livestream shopping gathers pace

Livestream shopping has been a trend in the country. Livestream shopping allows customers to view and buy products via online video streams hosted on e-commerce platforms. In addition, social commerce is growing in popularity thanks to the efforts of messaging platforms such as WeChat. Sub-apps offered by WeChat run within the WeChat app, allowing users to buy products without having to download other mobile apps or be redirected to another website.

Sharma concluded: “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 11.6% between 2023 and 2027 to reach CNY23.5trn in 2027.”