The e-commerce market in China is expected to grow by about 19 percent year on year in 2017. China has entered “a new retail era” characterized by online and offline (O2O) retail that has created huge potential and demand, especially for customized products, according to a report released by consulting firm Mckinsey & Company. The popularity of social media spurs online buying, it said. After years of explosive growth, China has emerged as the world’s largest e-commerce market, equaling the combined size of the next six major markets including the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany, South Korea and France, said the report. Last year, China’s e-commerce market expanded 19.8 percent year on year to $3.82 trillion, accounting for 39.2 percent of the world’s total, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce. approach, government approvals are not required for most foreign investment and only investment on the “negative list” remains subject to approval. A new foreign investment catalogue, which included the negative list as well as sectors and industries that the government encouraged foreign companies to invest in, also took effect on July 28. As a result, foreign investment now have easier access to China’s highway passenger transport, processing of certain rare metals, as well as manufacturing of rail transit equipment and cooking oil, among others. Sectors that are off-limits to foreign investors include air traffic control and compulsory education institutes.