China Continues to Lead Global E-Commerce Market with over $2 tn Sales in 2022

The e-commerce sales in China grew at a compound annual growth rate of 13.3 percent between 2018 and 2021 to reach CNY13.1 trillion ($2.1 trillion) in 2021.
China Continues to Lead Global E-Commerce Market with over $2 tn Sales in 2022

China’s e-commerce market, the world’s largest, is expected to register a strong growth of 10.4 percent in 2022, as consumers are increasingly shifting from offline to online. The market is expected to grow by 10.4 percent in 2022 to reach CNY14.5 trillion ($2.3 trillion), forecasts GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics, e-commerce sales in China grew at a compound annual growth rate of 13.3 percent between 2018 and 2021 to reach CNY13.1 trillion ($2.1 trillion) in 2021.

China accounted for over 37 percent share in the global e-commerce market, in terms of payments value in 2021. The country was followed by the US with $1.5 trillion, while the UK stood at a distant third with $292.1 billion in 2021. The global e-commerce landscape is unlikely to change in 2022 with China expected to retain its top position.

Ravi Sharma, Banking and Payments Lead Analyst at GlobalData commented, "The Chinese e-commerce market evolved rapidly during the last five years, supported by the rising internet and smartphone penetration, increasing consumer confidence in online shopping, the emergence of e-commerce platforms, and the availability of popular alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay."

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the e-commerce activities in China, as wary consumers are increasingly using the online channels for purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that continues beyond pandemic.”

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The growth in the e-commerce market is also supported by improving e-commerce activities in rural areas. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, online retail sales in rural village communities increased by 35.3 percent year-on-year in Q1 2021.

Online shopping events such as Singles’ Day (or Double 11) also contribute considerably to the overall online sales. Chinese e-commerce giants including Alibaba and JD.com collectively registered a massive sale of $139 billion during the Singles’ Day event in 2021, registering a jump of 8 percent and 28 percent, respectively, over the previous year.

Sharma concluded, “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. The e-commerce market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 8.7 percent between 2022 and 2026 to reach CNY20.2 trillion (US$3.2 trillion) in 2026.”

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