E-commerce in China Soars: Study

SHANGHAI ~ Commerce on the Internet in China is expanding rapidly, with spending rising 60 percent in the first half of the year, an industry body said.

China’s Internet users spent 256.1 billion yuan (US$37.5 billion) in the first six months of the year, up 58.2 percent from the same period in 2007, research institute Data Centre of China Internet said in a report.

Spending online for all of 2008 is expected to hit 587.4 billion yuan, up 47.3 percent from the previous year, the Beijing-based agency said.

“The growth is mainly attributed to fast expansion of China’s internet population and an increase in average online consumption,” it said.

During the first six months of the year, Chinese netizens spent an average of 211.8 yuan each month through the Internet, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

China’s online population became the largest in the world after it reached 221 million in February, outnumbering United States Internet users, according to reports in the Chinese press.

The research institution said China’s internet population will reach 263 million by the end of 2008, representing a 25 percent increase from the 210 million in 2007.

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