China is set to report around $2.2 trillion (€2.03 trillion) in e-commerce sales in 2023, as it retains its position as the world's largest marketplace for online sales, a new report from GlobalData has found.
E-commerce sales in China grew at a CAGR of 11.2% between 2018 and 2022 to reach a value of around $2.0 trillion (€1.84 trillion) last year.
This means that China accounted for more than a third (33.9%) share of the global e-commerce market in 2022, ahead of the United States, where e-commerce sales totalled $1.8 trillion (€1.66 trillion) in 2022.
The UK, meanwhile, was a distant third, with e-commerce sales of $287.4 billion (€264.9 billion) in 2022.
“The Chinese e-commerce market evolved rapidly during the last five years, supported by the rapid adoption of smartphones, growing internet penetration, increasing number of online shoppers, and the availability of alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay," commented Ravi Sharma, lead banking and payments analyst at GlobalData.
“The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated e-commerce activities in China, as wary consumers are increasingly using online channels for purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that is set to continue.”
E-commerce is also gaining ground in rural China, GlobalData said, with online retail sales in rural areas increasing by 12.5% during the first half of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, according to Chinese Ministry of Commerce data.
Livestream shopping has also gained in popularity with shoppers, driven by messaging platforms such as WeChat.
Looking ahead to the future growth of the market, Sharma said that the Chinese e-commerce market "will continue to grow, supported by the rise in consumer preference for online shopping, improved payment infrastructure, and proliferation of payment tools."