Online Retail Sales Rise 18.6% YoY in June, China Sees E-commerce as Key Booster of Consumption

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The latest official data points to a robust rise in online retail sales in China during efforts to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, with state media pointing to e-commerce as a “stabiliser for the consumer market.”

Figures from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) indicate that China saw nationwide online retail sales of 5.15 trillion yuan (approx. USD$730 billion) during the period from January to June, for a YoY rise of 7.3%.

The rate of growth has risen for four consecutive months, with YoY growth in nationwide online retail sales hitting 18.6% in June.

Online retail sales of physical goods totalled 4.35 trillion yuan for the period from January to June, for a YoY rise of 14.3%.

Online retail sales of physical goods also accounted for 25.2% of all social consumer good retail sales during the period, for a rise of 5.6 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

The Chinese government is currently of expediting domestic consumption via measures such as “E-commerce Festivals” (电商节), as well as the issuance of consumption vouchers via fintech platforms such as Alipay.

MOC said that the second “Dual Product Online Purchase Festival” (双品网购节) held from 28 April to 10 May drove over 430 billion yuan in nationwide online retail sales during the period, while online retail sales of physical goods rose by 33.3% YoY.

According to MOC multiple regions throughout China are working with e-commerce platforms to expedite consumption via methods such as voucher issuance, to “effectively drive online consumption and restore market expectations.”

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