China to remain the global e-commerce leader with over $2 trillion sales in 2022: GlobalData

GlobalData expects Chinese e-commerce market to grow by 10.4% this year, retaining its leading position on the global scale

China e-commerce market

China to remain the global e-commerce leader with over $2 trillion sales in 2022: GlobalData. Source: shutterstock.com

Chinese e-commerce segment is expected to remain the largest market globally, registering a strong growth of 10.4% in 2022, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. As consumers are increasingly shifting from offline to online, the market is expected to reach CNY14.5 trillion ($2.3 trillion).

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

Robust sales brought China over 37% share in the global e-commerce market, in terms of payments value in 2021. The second-largest market was the US with $1.5 trillion, while the UK stood at a distant third with $292.1 billion last year. According to GlobalData estimates, the e-commerce landscape is unlikely to change in 2022 as China is expected to retain its top position.

“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 online channel for purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that continues beyond pandemic.”
Ravi Sharma,
Banking and Payments Lead Analyst at GlobalData

Furthermore, the growth in the e-commerce market is 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% year-on-year in Q1 2021.

Besides, 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 massive sales of $139 billion during the Singles’ Day event last year, registering a jump of 8% and 28%, respectively, over 2020. The popularity of the annual sale is boosted with the livestream shopping model. We have previously reported about its vast market opportunities

Sharma concluded that China’s e-commerce market would continue to grow supported by the rise in consumer preference for online shopping, improved payment infrastructure, and proliferation of payment tools. Namely, the market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 8.7% between 2022 and 2026 to reach CNY20.2 trillion (US$3.2 trillion) in 2026.

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