July 28 2023

China online retail sales steadily expand in H1

China's online retail sales logged steady growth in the first half (H1) of 2023, with emerging livestreaming e-commerce gaining steam, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

In the January-June period, online retail sales nationwide hit 7.16 trillion yuan (about 1 trillion U.S. dollars), up 13.1 percent year on year, said the ministry, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The emerging livestreaming e-commerce industry has shown great vitality in this period. Key livestreaming platforms monitored by the commerce ministry sold merchandise worth 1.27 trillion yuan in the first six months of the year, with 110 million livestreaming shows held and 70 million types of products involved.

Over 2.7 million live streamers are actively engaged in the online sales frenzy, said the ministry.

Eight out of 18 categories of goods monitored by the ministry reported double-digit growth, the data showed.

Specifically, sales of gold, silver and jewelry increased by 33.5 percent year on year, while sales of communication equipment rose 23.3 percent.

Online service consumption also demonstrated a robust growth trend, with the sales of tourism products and tickets surging by 272.4 percent from the same period of 2022, and online culture and entertainment jumping by nearly 70 percent, the data revealed.

Online retail sales in China's rural areas rose 12.5 percent year on year in H1, 3.7 percentage points faster than that of the first quarter. Rural online retail sales totaled 1.12 trillion yuan in the period, according to the ministry.

Early data showed that China's retail sales of consumer goods maintained a relatively fast growth of 8.2 percent year on year in January-June, 2.4 percentage points higher than that of the first quarter. The country's retail sales of consumer goods totaled around 22.76 trillion yuan in the period.