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China’s retail sales expected to surpass that of U.S. this year

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online)    16:16, January 17, 2018

China’s retail sales are expected to surpass sales in the United States for the first time in 2018 due to innovation and transformation of China’s retail enterprises, says China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), according to official microblog of China News on Jan. 16.

The growth is another definitive marker of China’s rise to economic superpower status, the Washington Post recently reported.

The U.S. media reports retail sales in China are on track to hit just over $5.8 trillion this year, according to Mizuho, a Japanese bank. It’s a stunning rise from a decade ago, when retail sales in China were only a quarter of those in the United States.

MOFCOM says the development of China’s retail sector is mainly attributed to innovation and transformation of China’s retail enterprises. For example, the retail sector is actively developing online and offline sales.

Statistics released by China Internet Network Information Center show that as of December 2016, 45.3 percent of Chinese enterprises have sold their products online, up 12.7 percent compared to 2015.

In addition, brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce businesses are seeking cooperation.

For example, Chinese online giant Alibaba has attracted department store chain Intime Retail and major retailer Bailian to sell their products on its e-commerce platform. Chinese e-commerce giant also joined hands with Walmart and Yonghui superstores to boost their sales volume.

Also, Chinese retailers are developing unmanned shops. Taking Suning as an example, the Chinese online shopping platform launched five unmanned shops in China, which apply facial recognition technology to payment services and offer customers an intelligent shopping experience based on their consumption habits.

Xiang Jiangxu, president of Suning Technology Research Institute, noted that owing to China’s huge consumer group and favorable policies and regulations, the achievements of applied innovation are being rapidly promoted in China.

By contrast, American retailer enterprises are facing depression.

Data by Fung Global Retail & Technology shows that U.S. retailers have closed the doors on 6,985 retail shops by 2017.

Sears disclosed that it will shut down about 100 department stores this year, and U.S. retail giant Macy’s announced it will close 78 of its shops and cut the number of its employees in response to the pressure caused by rising online sales and the reduced number of shoppers at physical stores. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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