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

Rural 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.
The 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