China remains world's largest online retail market for 11th consecutive year

2024-01-19 15:13:40Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's online retail sales in 2023 recorded a year-on-year increase of 11 percent to 15.42 trillion yuan ($2.17 trillion) - remaining the world's largest online retail market for 11 consecutive years, as the country's efforts to promote high-quality development of the e-commerce sector showcased positive results, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement on Friday.

Amid China's rapid development in the digital economy, the e-commerce sector has injected more vitality into retail spending. Online retail sales of physical goods accounted 27.6 percent of the country's total retail volume setting a new record, official data showed.

The MOFCOM statement outlined multiple new consumption trends in the service sector in 2023, including online tourism, entertainment, and catering. The three sectors together contributed 23.5 percent to the growth of the total online retail sales last year while driving up the sector's growth by 2.6 percentage points.

Specifically, online tourism sales surged by 237.5 percent, boosted by popular destinations such as Harbin in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. The city saw 3.05 million tourist visits during the three-day New Year's Day holidays and generated 5.91 billion yuan in tourism revenue, new records in both cases, according to local officials.

The MOFCOM statement also highlighted the growing models for integrating digital and real sales and a broader international cooperation as another two major achievements.

For instance, the number of partner countries for Silk Road e-commerce increased to 30, while the sales of imported goods on major domestic e-commerce platforms reached 290.34 billion yuan in 2023.

China's consumption in 2023 played a vital role in bolstering economic development.

Final consumption contributed 82.5 percent of overall GDP growth, while retail sales set a new record of 47.15 trillion yuan, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

The strong momentum from record-high sales is expected to last in 2024. As Chinese New Year approaches, the bookings for both domestic and outbound traveling have been booming.

Propelled by the recent enthusiasm for winter tourism, the bookings for ice and snow tour related products increased more than 10 times year-on-year for the upcoming Spring Festival holidays on as of January 13, while orders for both outbound and inbound tours increased more than 10-fold on a yearly basis, the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Friday.

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