Nothing seems to be able to slow down e-commerce growth in China. According to market research conducted by the University of Fribourg, the global recession may have helped the country’s e-commerce growth, particularly in rural areas.
Beginning in 2008, Western countries decreased their consumption of Chinese imports. The lack of sales forced factory owners in China’s urban centers to layoff portions of their workforce. Most migrant workers – who make up a sizable number of the manufacturing industry’s employees – returned home out of a job. As the jobless returned home, they brought their knowledge of the Internet and online shopping home to the countryside.
This dissemination of information, along with strong government initiatives to provide broadband Internet access to citizen living in rural areas, helped raise business to consumer (B2C) online purchases to 63 billion RMB in 2010.
Along with the rise of mobile Internet users (155 million mobile netizens in 2009), the Chinese are getting online and shopping in big cities, rural towns and everywhere in between.