E-commerce to quadruple by 2015, official says

QUANZHOU, Fujian – China’s e-commerce will grow quickly in the next five years and its transactions in 2015 are expected to quadruple last year’s figure, a senior industrial official said on Tuesday.

“The sales volume of China’s e-commerce will annually grow at least 32 percent year-on-year from 2011 to 2015. We estimate a transaction volume of 18 trillion yuan ($2.8 trillion) in 2015. The amount in 2010 was 4.5 trillion yuan,” Dong Baoqing, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s informatization promotion department, told China Daily.

Dong said the sales volume of online shopping is expected to account for more than 9 percent of the country’s total retail sales of daily necessities and consumer goods in 2015. The current figure is around 3.3 percent.

All those estimated figures will be included in the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for e-commerce development, which is to be released in September, he said.

“E-commerce has been listed as a strategically promising industry for coming years, and the foundation of the Five-Year Plan is to continue to encourage its development and updating and provide more favorable policies to support its sound expansion,” Dong said.

The main tasks include expanding the scope of e-commerce to traditional industries such as heavy industry, logistics and tourism, improving online sourcing and retailing capability, boosting cross-border and mobile e-commerce and creating a safer and more trustworthy e-commerce system, he said.

Dong also identified some of the problems in developing the emerging industry.

“First, e-commerce has yet to be effectively combined with physical industrial development and its potential has not been fully explored; second, services that facilitate e-commerce are not perfect, for illegal activities such as fraud, intellectual property rights infringement and counterfeit goods exist,” Dong said.

As these problems are solved, a good environment can be formed to help e-commerce maintain sustainable development, Dong said.

“Laws and regulations should be perfected to combat illegal activities because laws and moral norms do not apply just in the physical world, they should also take effect in cyberspace,” he said.

Li Jinqi, director of the electronic commerce and informatization department at the Ministry of Commerce, said at the forum that his ministry has been cooperating with other sectors to help e-commerce cover more small and medium-sized enterprises and they are working to draft standard contracts for online businesses among companies.

“We also plan to carry out pilot programs in some cities and enterprises to conduct e-commerce, and we will later extend what we have learned to more places,” he said.

Source: China Daily

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