Cross-border e-commerce sales in China are expected to reach $85.76 billion this year, up 50.1 percent from 2015, and accounting for 4.2 percent of the total retail e-commerce market, according to new estimates from digital research firm eMarketer.
Emarketer said cross-border e-commerce is expected to grow steadily — albeit at a slower pace — over the next four years. Cross-border e-commerce sales in China are seen climbing to $110.68 billion in 2017 and to $157.70 billion in 2020, according to the research.
“This rapid surge in adoption [to cross-border e-commerce] is in part thanks to a higher standard of living in China combined with a greater exposure to, and knowledge of, foreign products. Last year’s intense growth is also attributable to Alibaba launching Tmall Global in 2014, and JD launching JD Worldwide in 2015, enabling overseas brands to sell their goods directly to digital shoppers in China,” eMarketer said. “In addition, in some categories, such as infant products, consumers in China perceive overseas goods to be higher-quality and more trustworthy.”
Emarketer said 11.2 percent of Internet users in China made at least one cross-border purchase last year and it expects that percentage to climb to 25 percent in 2020.
“While the new cross-border e-commerce tax implemented in April this year negatively affects some categories of goods, the demand for foreign goods via the cross-border e-commerce channel is still expected to remain strong due to better prices compared to off-line retailers, perceived quality and better variety,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Shelleen Shum.