August 28, 2018
As e-commerce in the U.S. begins to mature, online merchants increasingly are looking outside their borders to find revenue growth. China is an obvious destination from a demographic standpoint and, despite the massive opportunity that already exists, the country still is on a growth trajectory, a new report shows.
According to the country’s state-run China Internet Network Information Center, the number of Internet users in China surpassed 800 million in the first half of 2018—almost 30 million more than the end of 2017. Despite that enormous number, Internet penetration still is less than 60 percent (57.7 percent). The numbers also underscore the importance of mobile optimization for businesses that want to succeed with Chinese consumers. More than 98 percent of the country’s 802 million users access the Internet primarily via a smartphone.
The report said the integration of e-commerce and social applications has deepened over the first half of this year. As of the end of June, more than 70 percent of Internet users identified themselves as online shoppers—one of the Internet’s most popular uses in China.