China's representation in global new consumer markets continues to rise. With the stable growth of China’s economy, consumers’ income has risen sharply. The sustained improvement of infrastructure and constantly enhanced consumer goods have prompted the continuous release of consumer demand potential. In 2017, China’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached RMB36.6 trillion (USD5.43 trillion at RMB6.75 per USD), a year-on-year increase of 10.2%, and accounted for about 25% of total global retail sales.
China has a unique online economic environment with the world’s largest online shopping population and total online retail sales. According to data from eMarketer, Asia-Pacific has the largest share and fastest growth rate among global online retail markets, and China is the major online retail market and core driver in this region and around the world. The world’s largest online retail market, National Bureau of Statistics data shows that the overall size of online retail in China reached RMB7.18 trillion in 2017, a year-on-year increase of nearly 32.2%. It is estimated that by 2025, the overall size of China’s online retail market will exceed RMB18 trillion, and its proportion in total retail sales of consumer goods will continue to rise, exceeding 25%. In this era of development in the digital economy, the potential of China’s online retail consumption will have deeper forward- looking significance.
The elevated concept of discerning consumption is becoming an important driving force and development trend in the Chinese consumer market. Continued income growth has led to changes in the structure of China’s per capita disposable income, and the expanding middle-to-high-income population is becoming the main driver of the consumer market. Alongside increased income, the information channels available to consumers in the digital age have become more plentiful than ever before. Consumers' awareness has risen gradually. Their focus has shifted from traditional consumption to emerging consumption and from commodities to services. More emphasis has been placed on quality, content and shopping experience for goods and other diversified needs.
As consumers become more discerning, demand for imports becomes more concentrated in high-end and quality products. China Customs’ data shows that in 2017, the range of categories of consumer goods imported into China continued to grow, and the choices of daily consumer goods also became more abundant. Consumers are placing new demands on imported consumer goods.
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