China's Internet shopping, though constituting less than one percent of the country's total retail sales, is taking off fast, as 55 million of China's 210 million Internet users have tried the shopping mode, said an industry report.
Transactions via Internet topped 59.4 billion yuan ($8 billion) in China in 2007, with the per-capita spending surpassing 1,080 yuan ($146), according to the report jointly made by China Internet Research Center (or iResearch) and taobao.com, China's largest online shopping portal.
The iResearch's annual report forecast that online sales would be increasing by leaps and bounds in the next few years.
"Revenues of the Internet shopping would exceed 1 trillion yuan before 2012, when the Internet would handle five to eight percent of China's retail sales," the report says.
China's commercial hub of Shanghai saw the fastest growth in Internet shopping, which was followed by Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu provinces and Beijing, according to the report.
Transactions via taobao.com achieved 43.3 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) in 2007, equivalent to the 2006 revenue of China's biggest retail enterprise, Hualian Group, says the report.
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2008)