The Chinese e-commerce market is the largest globally, with its strong growth even in 2020 supported by robust payment tools specialized for remote channels, developed logistical infrastructure and high levels of consumer preference for online shopping. This trend has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The ongoing Singles Day event, one of the largest e-commerce shopping events globally, will further drive the country’s e-commerce market growth, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ravi Sharma, Lead Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “As consumers are increasingly shifting from in-store to online spending to avoid exposure to disease vectors, e-commerce payments are set to record a steep increase in 2020.”

An analysis of GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics reveals that e-commerce market in China is expected to register an annual growth of 22.3% in 2020. This is expected to grow further at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1% between 2020 and 2024 to reach CNY22.1 trillion (US$3.2 trillion) in 2024.

Mr Sharma continues: “While the lockdown in the country led to the overall decline in consumer spending, this was offset to a large extent by the rise in online spending, as wary consumers stayed at home and used online channels to purchase essential goods. Online payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay greatly benefitted from the situation.”

E-commerce retailers were also benefited by this trend amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s revenue grew by 34% in the three months to 30 June 2020, compared to same period last year.

The ongoing Singles Day (which is comparable to the Black Friday event in the West) is expected to further push e-commerce growth. To drive consumer spending, the shopping event this year is stretched over two weekends starting 12 days ahead (no longer confined to a single day on 11 November). The event is expected to register around 800 million shoppers, 250,000 participating brands with around two million new products being added.

Mr Sharma concludes: “While there has been a rising preference for faster and more convenient payment options, especially among millennials, this trend has become more prevalent during the current COVID-19 outbreak as Chinese consumers are embracing e-commerce and alternative payment solutions more than ever.”