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E-shopping fuels domestic consumption

(China Daily)

08:30, August 21, 2012

Considering the increasing weight of consumption in China's gross domestic product, online shopping has great room for future growth. The number of the country's online shoppers has grown at an annual rate of nearly 50 percent since 2008.(Photo/ China Daily)

BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- With an Internet population larger than that of the United States and Japan combined, China saw its online shopping maintain an annual growth of 140 percent in sales since 2004, making it a powerhouse in driving up domestic consumption.

Online shopping in China has an immense Internet consumer base, said Liang Da, an expert with the National Bureau of Statistics.

The number of online shoppers has grown at an annual rate of nearly 50 percent since 2008. Sales of online retailers accounted for 4.3 percent of the country's overall retail sales of consumer goods in 2011, up from 0.08 percent in 2004, according to the bureau's statistics.

Chinese shoppers spent 511.9 billion yuan online in the first six months of this year, up 46.6 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the China e-Business Research Center, a market analysis company based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

China was home to 214 million online shoppers by the end of June, up 23.7 percent year-on-year, the report said.

Chinese online shops, such as 360buy.com, Tmall.com and Suning.com, are providing a variety of goods and services for customers, sometimes at a discount price that make them attractive to netizens, market experts said.

Many online shops have less inventory pressure and all have lower operational costs, enabling them to set lower prices to compete with traditional shops for custom. For example, books sold at online shops are usually 30 to 40 percent off the regular prices and cosmetics are usually 20 to 30 percent off.

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