Rural Chinese online sales growing faster than in its cities for first time

19/08/2016

Rural Chines online retailRural Chinese online sales:  China’s rural residents spent almost $47bn on online retail sales in the first half of 2016 and posted a faster quarter-on-quarter growth rate than their urban counterparts for the first time in Q2, Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesperson Shen Danyang told a press conference this week. While rural purchases still only accounted for just over 14% of the country’s total online sales for the first six months of the year, the second-quarter growth rate of 13.48% was more than 4% higher than that in China’s cities. In some underdeveloped central and western regions, that growth rate had hit nearly 25%, she added. 
MOC data showed that rural residents spent most of their money on clothing, shoes, home improvement and digital gadgets and around $7.4bn on online travel bookings.
Alibaba CEO Jack MaThe potential of the market has not been lost on ecommerce giant Alibaba which earlier this year announced that it was to invest $160m to improve logistics and delivery services for its rural customers. Its CEO Jack Ma has also confirmed that he had reached an agreement with the China Communist Youth League to train up a million teenagers in rural China to help them start their own online businesses as part of a bid to take e-commerce to the country’s vast rural areas. 
A recent report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CINC) showed that, as of the end of last year, 1.95m or 28.4% China’s 688m Internet users lived outside its conurbations. Again according to CNIC, China’s e-commerce retail sales in 2015 accounted for over 40% of all global e-commerce retail sales and were expected to double by 2018, driven largely by the development of mobile networks and an increase in smartphone penetration.

Source: xinhuanet