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Chinese cross-border shoppers to reach over 35 million by 2018

Shoppers cross the street in a busy reta
Chinese cross-border shoppers are on the rise. Alibaba launched Tmall International and Amazon recently entered China’s Shanghai free trade zone aiming to provide cross-border online shopping services to Chinese. Now, Yihaodian, a local online grocery company (Walmart owns 51% of the firm), joined the competition for cross-border e-commerce and launched overseas purchase services at the beginning of this month.

E-commerce companies globally are eyeing the cross-border e-commerce market – 18 million Chinese purchased foreign goods directly from overseas countries in 2013.

According to a recent survey by Nielsen and Paypal, in 2013 China’s cross-border consumers reached 18 million with total transactions reaching 213.6 billion yuan. This number is expected to jump to 35.6 million by 2018 with a projected market size of 1 trillion yuan.

The United States is the most popular cross-border online shopping destination among Chinese. Acccording to the report, 84% of surveyed consumers have shopped on US e-commerce websites. Other popular destinations include: Hong Kong (58%), Japan (52%), UK (43%) and Australia (39%).

The top five cross-border purchases in China by category  are:

  • clothes, shoes and accessories (RMB22.0 billion)
  • health and beauty products (RMB17.6 billion)
  • computer hardware (RMB13.5 billion)
  • jewelry, gems and watches (RMB13.1 billion)
  • personal electronics (RMB12.9 billion)

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