China is already the world’s largest e-commerce market and it’s expected to get even bigger, reaching $3.3 trillion in 2025, GlobalData estimated.

The data and analytics firm predicted strong growth of 17.2 percent this year, as consumers increasingly shift from offline to online. Between 2021 to 2025, the size of the e-commerce market is expected to grow at a strong compound annual growth rate of 11.6 percent between 2021 and 2025 to reach 21.4 trillion, or $3.3 trillion in 2025. Between 2017 and 2021, e-commerce sales in China grew at a compound annual growth rate of 17.7 percent to reach 13.8 trillion renminbi, or $2.1 trillion in 2021.

“Chinese e-commerce evolved rapidly during the last five years, supported by high internet and smartphone penetration, increasing consumer confidence in online shopping, emergence of e-commerce platforms and the availability of various alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay,” said Ravi Sharma, banking and payments lead analyst at GlobalData.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further driven e-commerce activities in the country, as concerned consumers are increasingly using online channel for their purchases to avoid getting exposed to disease vectors, a trend that is expected to continue even beyond the pandemic.”

The long-term growth prospects are despite the disappointing set of numbers seen in July, impacted by outbreaks of the Delta virus and flooding in Henan province. Total retail sales rose by 8.5 percent in July from a year ago, lower than consensus analyst forecasts of 11.5 percent, and online sales of physical consumer goods rose by just 4.4 percent, far off the average of 21 percent growth seen in the past five years.

The country’s National Bureau of Statistics will release data for the month of August on Wednesday.

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