According to Dai Haiping, secretary general of China Electronic Commerce Association's (CECA's) tax branch, who spoke during CECA's recent general assembly, e-commerce Web sites in China are on a growth path, with web sites like the on-line bookstore dangdang.com and Chinese domain name service provider 3721.com proving to be successful.

Developing customer loyalty did not seem to be a problem as long as services were rendered "properly." Until two years ago, e-commerce sites were mainly those established by IT firms and e-commerce service providers, but nowadays there are sites run by firms who specialize in the products being sold — in June, online auction giant eBay said it would spend US$150 million to increase investment in EachNet, a firm that runs an e-commerce site in China and currently has more than two million confirmed registered users and both auction and retail schemes to sell everything from electronics to clothes to furniture.

By 2005, China's e-commerce revenue is projected to grow to more than US$16 billion, according to a report from IT analysts IDC. However, weaknesses in the banking and credit card system in China will hamper online trading for some time to come, say analysts.

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