China's cross-border e-commerce industry ushers in a period of rapid growth

(People's Daily Online) 17:48, October 19, 2021

Two workers walk inside a warehouse of imported medicine for cross-border e-commerce in Tianzhu comprehensive bonded zone in Shunyi District, Beijing, capital of China, on March 12, 2021. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

China's cross-border e-commerce industry has been building momentum for several years, and now it has finally welcomed the "golden period" in its rapid development.

China is currently home to 105 comprehensive experimental zones for cross-border e-commerce, with a nearly 10-fold increase in cross-border e-commerce in only five years. In the first half of the year, the value of China's cross-border e-commerce trade totaled 886.7 billion yuan (about $136.4 billion), up 28.6 percent year-on-year.

China's customs statistics indicated that, last year, the country's foreign trade from cross-border e-commerce rose a whopping 31.1 percent to reach 1.69 trillion yuan. Last year saw China's real economy get hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, though its export-oriented e-commerce sector, which shows a high degree of flexibility, bucked the trend and achieved a high growth rate of over 20 percent.

Data shows that approximately 26 percent of business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions in the global cross-border e-commerce market takes place via Chinese mainland. China ranks first across the world in this field, surpassing the US, UK, Germany, and Japan.

"In recent years, cross-border e-commerce in China has been developing rapidly," said Zhang Monan, principal researcher with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), adding that the rapid development of China's cross-border e-commerce can be attributed to the improved comprehensive strength of China's digital economy and the long-term support of many different parties.

As one of the most vital infrastructures for cross-border e-commerce, the construction of China's overseas warehouses has continued to accelerate. Data from the Ministry of Commerce show that the number of China's overseas warehouses reached 1,800, with a combined area of 12 million square meters, representing an increase of 80 percent and 50 percent year-on-year, respectively.

This year, the number and scale of China's overseas warehouses have expanded even further. The business scope of China's cross-border e-commerce now radiates all over the world, with the number of overseas warehouses in North America, Europe, Asia, and other regions accounting for nearly 90 percent of the total.

At present, China has established e-commerce cooperation mechanisms with 22 countries, so as to facilitate trade and investment, enhance cooperation, and foster a favorable environment for the development of e-commerce in countries along the "Belt and Road".

"China's cross-border e-commerce is growing rapidly in the face of opportunities and challenges, and is expected to become a new track for China to boost its digital economy," said Zhang. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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