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E-commerce crucial force in driving growth

2014-11-11 10:41 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

This year's Singles' Day online shopping spree lands on Tuesday. Thanks to Chinese e-commerce giants' acumen, November 11, the date that includes the most 1s, has become the world's biggest 24-hour online shopping carnival. In 2013, China's top e-commerce giant, Alibaba, achieved staggering record sales of 35 billion yuan ($5.7 billion) in a single day. Chinese online retailers are expected to smash sales records this year.

The Singles' Day online shopping spree greatly demonstrates the prowess of China's e-commerce and the potential of a China going digital. The overwhelming force of the Internet brings rapid, painful changes. For instance, some traditional industries and physical stores face severe challenges. And within e-commerce itself, price wars, which are unprecedentedly heated, still look chaotic. But one undeniable fact is that with the economies of scale of the Chinese population, China is able to maximize the vigor of its unique social resources and make miracles in the world's emerging fields.

Tuesday marks the first online shopping day since the new law on consumer rights and interests and the regulation on online transactions were passed. So far, the level of China's commercial civilization and legal awareness are inadequate when faced with this huge, revolutionary shift. It remains to be seen whether old problems, such as when retailers artificially lower prices, will be solved.

But the long-term tendency is that along with the legendary growth of China's e-commerce, the products and services it provides will become more diverse and standardized. The rise of China's e-commerce and Chinese consumers as a global force will, in turn, push comprehensive social progress.

In a State Council meeting on October 29, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed that supporting new industries and e-commerce is paramount to growth. The signals from the government are clear. Among the six fields designated by the government that are crucial to boost consumption, e-commerce came first. Society is also serving as solid foundation for this innovative online shopping carnival.

E-commerce giants like Alibaba rose from the Chinese grass roots, and they are seen as representing a future economic trend. Such a rise boosts confidence in Chinese society, and serves as an opportunity for China's economic restructuring and social resource redistribution.

In the October 29 meeting, Premier Li specifically pointed out that "double 11 day" is important to foster new industrial dynamics and new hot spots for consumption. While online shopping stimulates great vigor in society, a set of painful adjustments is called for to ensure the rapid but steady rise of e-commerce. This steady rise is important for the sustainable development of a China that is going digital.

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