E-commerce sales in China surge in first half

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Internet sales in China, the world's biggest web market, soared 60 percent on year in the first half, as more consumers and businesses went shopping online, state media said Wednesday.

Transactions hit 2.25 trillion yuan (331 billion dollars) in the January-June period, the China Daily said, citing a report by the China e-Business Research Centre.

That compares with 3.6 trillion yuan for all of 2009, Qian Xiaoqian, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, was quoted as saying.

The data covers business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer transactions.

E-commerce has been expanding in China as more companies set up online stores to cut costs and improve efficiency, the report said.

There were 20,700 e-commerce websites in China at the end of June and the figure is likely to reach 23,000 by the end of the year, it said.

A comparative figure was not provided.

Underlining the growing appeal of the country's Internet market, which now has around 420 million web users, US sportswear giant Adidas said this week it had opened a flagship online store on China's largest auction site Taobao.

Web sales are likely to soar more than 35 percent a year on average in the next few years as more people shop online and more convenient ways of paying for transactions, such as using mobile phones, are made available, Qian said.