E-commerce businesses that haven’t figured out a strategy to begin selling in China could be missing an enormous opportunity. While China’s place as the biggest e-commerce market in the world is unassailable, data compiled by the country’s Ministry of Commerce put some definition around its dominance. China accounted for more than 40 percent of total e-commerce value in 2016, surging nearly 20 percent from 2015 to CNY26.1 trillion ($3.8 trillion), according to a report in Sina News.
As in the U.S., where much of the growth in e-commerce is fueled by the dominant online marketplace (Amazon), in China, the report said, expansion of Alibaba’s Taobao and T-Mall marketplaces and Tencent’s JD.com are responsible for an outsized chunk of the country’s overall e-commerce growth.
And, simply from a demographic standpoint, growth does not figure to flag in the near future. Internet adoption in China topped 53 percent in 2016 at 731 million users, according to the Ministry data. Nearly 64 percent of those users (467 million) are online shoppers and an astonishing 441 million of those have placed an online order using a mobile device.