China’s e-commerce sector has huge scope for growth thanks to its vital role in unleashing consumption potential and countering the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
With people trapped at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the demand for online shopping has soared, and online sales have surged as brick-and-mortar stores have turned to online channels to increase their sales, said Lin Tao, an official with the National Bureau of Statistics.
In the first quarter, China’s online retail sales of physical goods increased 5.9 percent year-on-year, accounting for 23.6 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods, Lin added.
Lin’s remarks were echoed by Cai Yudong, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, who added that e-commerce has played a major role in maintaining healthy economic and social development during the epidemic.
Major e-commerce giants have launched telecommuting tools to help companies resume work and production, and worked together with large shopping malls, supermarkets and chain stores to boost their sales, Cai noted.
The ministry has attached great importance to promoting the growth of both online and offline consumption, launching measures to accelerate digital and intelligent transformation of the business sector, the official said.
Due to e-commerce’s significant role, the ministry will launch an online shopping festival to boost consumption from April 28 to May 10, which will see the participation of over 109 e-commerce platforms selling a large variety of quality goods.
Improved logistical services will also push forward the development of China’s e-commerce. 96.6 percent of towns and villages in the country have established express delivery service stations, according to Bian Zuodong, an official with the State Post Bureau.
Bian said the bureau has launched a program to bring express delivery service coverage to all villages in the country within three years.
China has also built 406,000 intelligent express boxes in recent years, Bian noted, adding that the bureau will set up more intelligent boxes across the country.
Furthermore, industrial internet and 5G provide important support for China’s booming e-commerce, said Li Ying, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
During the epidemic period, consumer demand for online medical and education services, as well as food delivery and new retail services, saw explosive growth, Li added.