On­line shop­ping

ChinAfrica - - Cover Story -

“The fast de­vel­op­ment of the In­ter­net in China has pro­vided a good en­vi­ron­ment for e-com­merce de­vel­op­ment,” said Li Yongjian, a re­searcher with the Na­tional Academy of Eco­nomic Strat­egy un­der the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

“I sel­dom go to phys­i­cal stores now and I can buy nearly every­thing on var­i­ous e-com­merce plat­forms with my cell­phone apps,” said Bei­jing res­i­dent Wang Hongyi. “Be­sides lower prices, it is re­ally con­ve­nient.”

Work­ing in a pri­vate com­pany in Bei­jing, Wang usu­ally or­ders veg­eta­bles, fruits and other daily ne­ces­si­ties with her cell­phone on her way back home from of­fice. When she gets home, she will find the goods she or­dered in a box in front of her apart­ment. “It re­ally saves me a lot of time,” she said.

Wang is one of the many In­ter­net users who has been ben­e­fit­ing from the In­ter­net-based apps. Ac­cord­ing to CNNIC’S re­port, by June 2017, China’s on­line shop­ping app users reached 514.43 mil­lion, 480.42 mil­lion of whom used the apps with their mo­bile de­vices. While these apps make peo­ple’s lives more con­ve­nient, the large num­ber of on­line shop­pers has also, in re­turn, greatly boosted the de­vel­op­ment of e-com­merce.

When Jack Ma es­tab­lished his e-com­merce plat­form Alibaba in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhe­jiang Prov­ince in 1999, no one ex­pected he would suc­ceed as China’s brick-and-mor­tar re­tail­ing in­dus­try was boom­ing at the time. The world fa­mous re­tail­ing giants - Car­refour and Wal­mart - es­tab­lished their first su­per­mar­kets in China in 1995 and 1996 re­spec­tively. But to­day, Alibaba has be­come one of the big­gest ecom­merce plat­forms world­wide, with the trans­ac­tion value reach­ing 3.7 tril­lion yuan ($566 bil­lion) in 2016. On Novem­ber 11, 2016, known as Tmall Global Shop-

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