China and Hong Kong lead eBay’s charge through Asia – and the world

The growing influence of Asia as a center for the world of e-commerce has been reflected by the first-ever look into the workings of the region's eBay network.

The inaugural "eBay Asian Exporters' Index" was released Monday, after being put together using internal data from eBay itself as well as a Nielsen (WEB) survey that charted the workings of eBay sellers who were shifting sales of more than US$100,000 (70,000 euro) annually.

The Index found that overseas sales from large, mainland China-based sellers had increased 34 percent in 2010, while in Hong Kong the same sort of sellers had enjoyed a sales increase of 14 percent.

Overall, while eBay says it expects more than 140 million parcels to head out from Asian sellers in 2011, that figure is expected to storm past 200 million next year.

eBay reported that the top five categories being sold by its mainland Chinese sellers were clothing and accessories, jewelry, gems and watches, mobile phones and accessories, computers and consumer electronics.

In Hong Kong, meanwhile, those categories moving the most merchandise were listed as photographic equipment, computers and accessories, mobile phones and accessories, jewelry, gems and watches, and clothing and accessories.

eBay has an estimated 97 million registered users worldwide but has found business in China to be so far tricky in a market dominated by the locally-run Alibaba group. Despite this, eBay still recorded around US$4 billion (2.8 billion euros) in sales across the Asia-Pacific region in 2010, according to industry reports.

The big lure for all e-commerce businesses is the fact that more than one-third of China's estimated 485 million internet users shopped online last year. That means around 161 million hungry shoppers looking for a bargain.

And the numbers get even more impressive when you talk about cold, hard cash. Online sales in China in 2010 reached past the 523 billion yuan (57 billion euros) mark.

MS

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