China has become the world’s largest online retail market for the eighth consecutive year, accounting for 24.9% of the total retail sales of consumer goods in 2020.
Online sales reached 9.8 trillion RMB in China in 2020 according to the Ministry of Commerce. The 14.8% year-on-year increase was partially a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which rapidly advanced the demand for and scale of China’s e-commerce market. A record number of deliveries were made throughout 2020, totalling 83.36 billion.
Retailers in the Chinese market have looked to grow online sales through a presence on e-commerce sites and expansion of digital marketing practises. As a result, the livestreaming industry boomed in 2020 with over 20 million e-commerce livestreaming sessions taking place.
Imports of consumer goods reached 1.57 trillion RMB, a yearly increase of 8.2%. Among them, imports of meat, jewellery and cosmetics grew by more than 30%, and luggage and watches by over 20%.